Last week my kid had a shunt revision.
By which I mean he had brain surgery.
Brain surgery isn’t funny. I swear, it’s not.
But, since humor is my favorite coping mechanism, I have to work really hard not to make inappropriate jokes during these nail-biting surgeries. Yes, a little brain-humor might make me feel better, but I’m pretty sure it makes everyone around me feel super creeped out.
Jokes I have to NOT make when my son has brain surgery:
- Zombie jokes (FYI: surgeon’s don’t take kindly to the implication that they’re going in there for a “little snack.”)
- Lobotomy jokes (asking the doctor if he can take out the “parts that cause toddler tantrums” doesn’t get nearly as many laughs as it should, in my opinion)
- Jokes where you just say “Brains!!” a lot. (Like “Careful with his brains on this one, doc!” or, if I’m really getting anxious, “Gosh I hope his brains aren’t all messed up after this.”)
Thankfully, Greg is quite the brain-joke connoisseur so, at least when it comes to grey matter, he doesn’t mind if I add a little color.
But there’s one part of this whole thing that I will not– will NEVER— find funny.
The dreaded surgical head shave.
I know it sounds shallow, but I firmly believe that any spina bifida mother (whose child has a shunt) or any parent whose child has experienced surgery of the noggin variety, will be totally with me on this. Not only do our kids have to endure the pain, discomfort, and generally ickiness of having their noodles scrambled (<– that’s gross, I’m sorry), they also have to walk around town for weeks with a patchy bald spot like a mangy stray dog. The thing is, our kids get a lot of attention already. Fitting in is something we work hard for. So when you have a crazy hack job for a hair cut, it’s just a little… discouraging.
Needless to say, my last words to the surgeon weren’t “Do what you have to do!” but were instead “Don’t go crazy with the clippers, okay doc?”
He didn’t listen. Simeon came out looking like that infamous sleazebag, Roger Klotz.
A few folks suggested we turn this mess into a mohawk but I’m kind of a square and, like my father before me, I still see a mohawk as a sure sign of adolescent delinquency (my little baby would look like a naughty kid!). Thankfully, my BFF and a fellow SB mama gave me some advice on Instagram: this can be fixed– follow in the footsteps of Macklemore and Miley… give the kid an undercut.
Brainiacs! (<–haha) So, three days post-op, I took Simeon to see Jillian (<— rhyming names = match made in salon heaven). Jillian takes care of my giant mop of hair so I figured she was up for the challenge of fixing Sim’s hairy situation. The kid was a real sport and took his haircut very seriously with minimal fussing and fidgeting. Jillian let him stay in his wheelchair for the big event, which meant she did the entire process while down on her knees (because she’s basically an acrobat).
And now for the big reveal…
So there you have it. The undercut is my recommendation for little boys post-shunt-revision (assuming their shunt is in the back). If you have a little girl then… I don’t know. But I’m sure, if we put our heads together, we could figure something out.
And now, I’ll leave you with some terrible brain jokes (that I found online because I’m not a freakin’ comedian).
What kind of fish performs brain surgery?
What is a sleeping brain’s favorite band?
What happens when you break the brain scanner?
(you have a CATastrophe)