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The Haircut From Hell

Updated: Jun 17, 2021

When I think about my childhood and images that are literally burned into my brain, the first one that comes to mind is the one of my mother giving my father a haircut in our kitchen while she was in active labor.

It was the day of Grampa Tommy's 65th birthday party. My mom was 8 months pregnant with my brother, Richard. She woke up that morning not feeling too well, but brushed it off and got to work cooking for the celebration.

I remember her being a little snippy throughout the day, but didn't think much of it because she told me many times that she wasn't feeling good.

The day went by pretty uneventfully. My aunts, uncles and cousins arrived around 5:00 pm and headed straight upstairs to my grandparents apartment where we'd all be having plastic with a side of dinner. My parents sent me upstairs to be with them so my mother could rest before joining everyone.

An hour went by.

Then an hour and a half. I was starting to wonder what was going on and I overheard Gramma and Grampa talking feverishly in Italian, which was my signal that they were hoping that I wouldn't figure out what they were saying. Unfortunately, I couldn't speak the language, but I could understand it.


"Mommy's having the baby?!"


"No, not right now."


"Then why did you say she's having the baby?! The baby came out?!"


"No, Gina! My God!"

Aunt Lucy

(appearing out no where) "She's not feeling good and she feels like she might have the baby soon. But you need to stay up here because --"

I wasn't about to stay up there! I needed to see for myself what was going on! So, I ran down the stairs and headed directly for my parents' bedroom where I found my mother standing at the foot of the bed, packing a bag and stopping every few minutes to howl like a wolf and stomp her feet.

Aunt Lucy

"I tried to get her to stay upstairs, Donna. She ran down on her own."


"It's okay!" ::insert howling sound with expletive here::

My dad was standing the kitchen, pacing back and forth. That's when my mother appeared in the doorway with a scissors, comb, and cape, looking slightly maniacal.

What happened next baffled my innocent brain:

She demanded that my father get a folding chair and sit down for a haircut before they left for the hospital, because, and I quote:


"I will not have you in that delivery room looking like a wild man!"

God bless my father. He sat down and endured the most harrowing haircut of his life. He came close to loosing an ear at least 4 times. He was almost blinded on several occasions, as well.

Women in labor should never be allowed to wield scissors.

After she almost stabbed him the jugular with once last snip-contraction combination, he'd had enough and demanded:


Get your ass in the car!

He grabbed her bag, ran out the back door and started the car. My mother, however, continued lingering in the house. Next thing we knew, she was holding a pregnancy manual and assessing her stage of labor. She decided she was transitioning and that it was, in fact, time to leave.

At the end of this debacle, she arrived at the hospital just in time to deliver my brother in the hallway outside the emergency room.

I remain traumatized.

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