Posted by: Gregg | July 7, 2008

Question for y’all:

Fact One: my father and my brother both wear mustaches, and have worn them almost all their lives.

Fact Two: possibly because of Fact One, I don’t like mustaches, and have steadfastly refused to grow them. Once, during the early 90s, I sported a goatee for a few months, but I was young and reckless and have been cleanshaven since then.

Fact Three: my son, Gavin, has a paralyzing fear of mustaches. Whenever he sees my brother or my dad (or anybody else with one, for that matter,) his lips quiver, and his whimpers of fear quickly turn into howls of bloodcurdling, inconsolable terror.

Nothing can be done about this. Any sort of family gathering has become a painful ordeal, with no end in sight, as both my dad and my bro refuse to shave their ‘staches off, not wanting to bow to the will of an unreasonable seven-month-old. I don’t blame them, but as Gav’s father I feel somewhat responsible for his condition.

So, I ask you: what do I do? Should I continue as normal and hope he grows out of his fear at some undetermined point in the future? Or do I go against all taste and personal principle and (horrors) grow a mustache myself? Or do I compromise and regrow the goatee, hoping that the newfound goatee confidence somehow carries over to the mustache? What do you think?


  1. take a magic marker (permanent if you got one) and draw a big ol’ mustache on the kid. then give him a little mirror……
    oh sure, he will probably cry for a couple of weeks until the mustache fades away, but who knows he might not fear mustaches anymore…..or he will fear them more. (and you could probably get a couple of years of mustaches out of that one marker)

    hope this helps. 🙂

  2. damn it, i thought this was a post about how to remove facial hair.

    babies are scared of facial hair. it’s a fact. keep your kid happy and shave ’til it’s older.

    if no one can deal with the kid’s cries around facial hair – guess what? keep the people with facial hair away from the baby.

    the baby’s health and happiness is most important of all – ’cause if the baby ain’t happy, then mama ain’t happy. and if mama ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy.

  3. mustaches are awesome, grow one immediately.

  4. A little Skinnerian conditioning might work on Gav; get him to associate good things like candy, toys and money with moustaches. Instruct dad and brother that they must –must– shower Gavin with candy, toys and money to help salvage this situation. Any time they are in his presence, or yours, or your wife’s, they must be forthcoming with candy, toys and/or money. I’m sure things will get better in just a few years. I know they’ll understand. After all, they’re family.

  5. *chuckles at Mickey* Ah, good ol’ classical conditioning.

    My son and my girls never had a fear of facial hair. Grandpa has it and they just tug on it like no tomorrow. Makes it more his probably than the kid’s.

    You might combine your dislike of them and borrow a bit of the psychological playbook. Get some yarn or something and make the funny face that’ll keep it on your upper lip, than either let them or you pull it off and laugh about it.

    Fast forward two weeks, and watch the fam get their face ripped off.

  6. Maybe see if Gavin will play with your brother’s or dad’s nose neighbors? Maybe he just needs to see that they’re made of hair, and not freaky lip and nose eating animals : )

  7. I will be happy to scare your kid for educational purposes… staches are awesome!

  8. He will outgrow it eventually. One of my nieces used to be terrified of my goatee when she was a baby, but it doesn’t phase her anymore.

  9. The boys grew up with facial hair, so they’re comfortable pulling and tugging for all they’re worth.

    I don’t know that there’s any call for you to grow the goatee, unless you want to show off your alternate-world Gregghood or begin a career in stage magic. Gav’ll move past the concern as soon as he gets teeth, I’m thinking, as he’ll be more interested in grabbing their lips and teeth rather than worrying about the strange aliens on their faces.

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