A round of a claw – month ten, January 2014

2014-01-26 18.48.58cropAhhhhh; January.

Month of new beginnings. Sorrow at the ending of festivities. Cold, dark days. And the long, sober lull before springtime arrives and exciting things start to happen again.

In our house, January often brings with it the urge to put ourselves through an MOT. So, Austin and Gwen’s Round of a claw for this month involves two milestones: a team trip to the dentist, and the Mumcut.


Apart from a light trim of her fringe, Gwen’s hair had never been cut. And – despite the fact that D and I both like long, scruffy hair on little boys – Austin’s untended barnet had grown so unkempt that could no longer be described as a ‘fetchingly floppy-haired offspring of two ageing indie kids’ group. No, instead his haircut (or lack of) shrieked: ‘this child’s parents really can’t be arsed’. Even his pre-school teacher had started dropping hints that it might be time for a trim.2014-01-26 18.58.09

So, out came the shears, and a Mumcut was administered to both children (who are pictured above, Austin post-cut and Gwen waiting her turn to be attacked by Mum’s inexpert scissor-hands).

It’s funny how – even without a pudding bowl to guide me – the haircuts both ended up being unmistakeably bowl-shaped. And, although I’d set out with the intention of leaving Gwen’s hair longer at the back, she ended up with almost exactly the same haircut as Austin.

Here she is, modelling the look, with biscuity reward smeared all over her face.


As well as Gwen’s first haircut ever, and the Pigeon Pair’s first group Mumcut, this month we all trekked off to the dentist together, our first visit as a mini-flock.

2014-01-27 15.29.09crop

The excited twosome played their usual stair-based game of ‘sit together and stamp our feet very hard’ before we set off, giving me hope that youthful exuberance would help them overlook the fact that someone peering into your mouth – and poking at it with metallic instruments – is unquestionably a grim experience.

2014-01-27 15.56.30We started off well, with Austin doing his best to overcome any nerves at what, to him,  must have felt like the first time ever at the dentist. I hadn’t taken either of them since Gwen was born, and Austin had no memory of his last visit. It’s been consigned, by him, to the dusty annals of his toddler history, kept lodged in Mum’s mind (it only seems five minutes ago to me), along with those other things I thought he’d still be able to remember.

Like breastfeeding Gwen. It’s only ten months since I stopped, and now he says he can’t remember me feeding her at all.2014-01-27 15.56.22

But I digress. And, in actual fact, he did remember something. It was the sticker.

You could probably convince most children between the ages of two and five that many hideous experiences – like, say, having the inside of their nostrils tickled by an electric toothbrush – were fun, just so long as they were presented with a sticker at the end of it.

Sticker or not, I don’t think Gwen would have stood for too much poking and prodding. Luckily she was spared much of an ordeal by a kindly dentist who recognised the dazed bewilderment on her face as a warning that too much exploration would lead to howls of misery. So all she had to endure was a quick ‘open-wide’ and a mirror perched gently on her lip. She was allowed to play with it afterwards, too.

2014-01-27 16.03.16Our trip to the dentist would have been a complete success if we’d stopped there, but it was my turn next. Gwen sobbed, and Austin comforted, while my teeth were cleaned; afterwards, I found out from both children that they’d been scared of the noise, and worried about what the dentist and her assistant ‘were doing to Mummy’.

But, aside from the children’s terror at what looked like their Mum being tortured, we had a good afternoon out.

After all, stickers were presented right at the end, and I’m hoping their restorative powers will help wipe any trauma and dentist-based phobias out of Austin and Gwen’s tiny little minds.

So, for facing down the January blues, with your shiny new Mumcuts and your gleaming pearly whites, Austin and Gwen I give you: A Round of a Claw*.

*’A round of a claw’ is what Austin has learnt to call a round of applause. For more about its origin, visit month one, April 2013.



  • Alexandra Mercer
    February 3, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Austin’s big grin in the dentist’s chair is so lovely! #MagicMoments

  • Janie
    February 3, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Ah, this post brings back such a lot of memories. I love the fact that the first thing you do after talking about haircuts is put hats on!! They do look extraordinarily sweet, but it’s very traumatic cutting that beautiful baby hair. Sitting on the bottom stair and stamping feed sounds like an excellent way of waiting. And – I couldn’t believe it – the Rolly steamroller that Austin is grasping was Harry’s most treasured possession for the 1st 3 years of his life, he clung onto it in his cot the way most children do cuddly toys.

    We have a Dadcut tradition in this house. One of my friends is constantly noting that it is cruel to impose our shoegazing nostalgia on our son, and that the Dadcut shelf-life has long expired.

    Gwen sounds exactly like Katie the one time I tried to coordinate dentist appointments, possibly the least relaxing way of visiting the dentist ever! & what is that sticker thing about? – they get hundreds of them from magazines that they steadfastedly ignore, yet when it comes from a dentist it’s a bit deal!

    • Nell
      February 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      I did find cutting Gwen’s hair traumatic – and I managed to accidentally throw away the bay of baby hair I saved from the cut! Mainly because the only thing I could find to (temporarily) put it in was a nappy sack, which I later chucked into the bin while tidying. Sad to say, I DID fish it out (the bin was freshly changed – honest!) Thanks for commenting. x

  • sarahhillwheeler
    February 3, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Glad it went well at the dentist…something I always find terrifying (and grimace through so as to pass on my fear to Boy). Thank heaven for the stickers! #MagicMoments.

  • Colette
    February 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Having suffered at the hands of my own Mum for years as a child I totally refuse to cut my own kid’s hair lol – I’d make such a pigs ear of it!

  • Jenny @ The Brick Castle
    February 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Awwww, they did very well at the Dentist – a sticker does make everything bearable. I’m not very good with Dentists after some horrible experiences as a child, but I try very hard to be brave in front of my children. I can’t have my teeth cleaned though, no, no, no…. 😀

  • Kim Carberry
    February 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Aww! They looked like they were so good at the dentist!!
    In January my youngest gave her self a haircut….lol No amount of help from any bowls can put it right….Just have to wait for it to grow out x

  • Anne
    February 3, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    a round of applause from me 🙂
    I do mumcuts too, which usually end up in wonky fringes for the girls. I’ve not tried the little man yet, but as I’ve done my biggest son with the hair clippers I think I should keep taking little man to the barbers!

  • Jaime Oliver
    February 3, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    as always i love the round of a claw posts!! i have to say i am loving the fact its not just me that has given my child a basin cut!! everyone mocked me so i ended up getting a hairdresser in to rectify lol

    thanks for linking up with #Magicmoments x

  • MrsShilts
    February 3, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Aww i’ve got all of this to come! I used to hate the dentist but don’t mind it too much now. My little boy has got 9 teeth already (he’s nearly one) so we’ve started brushing and making it a fun thing to do to get him used to doing it. Great photos #magicmoments

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom)
    February 4, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Love the photo of them on the stairs 🙂 I cut the boys hair until they were about three and then it was off to the barbers with daddy for them! I’m not touching the wee girls hair… I just tie the fringe back!

  • LearnerMother
    March 24, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Looks like you had fun! We’ve had a group trip to the dentist too this week – it was the first ever time without one or more of them melting down over having to wait, I remember thinking that I should have taken a picture to mark the occasion! #blogclub


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