A MUM has admitted she cried for three days when her five-year-old son decided he wanted to have his 24-inch golden hair cut short.
Tanya Marks, 34, from Staffordshire, had left River’s locks to grow after he refused to sit still for a trim when he was a toddler.
But when people started mistaking him for a girl – even his school teachers – he made the decision to get 16 inches cut off.
Mum Tanya said: “River’s hair grew thick and fast but he was not willing to sit still for a cut.
“I really started to like him having long hair and it was something I was very proud of. I would take very good care of his hair.
“From then it was just easier to pop in a bun but he always looked super trendy – he also seemed to love it.
“My son loves playing football and he enjoys a little pose in front of the camera too!”
Tanya, who shares adorable snaps of River on an Instagram account she made about him, said River’s hair never caused him any issues.
But when he was four and started reception class at school, he noticed that people were calling him a girl.
River occasionally mentioned that he wanted his hair cut like the other boys but then he’d change his mind – so Tanya kept his hair long.
Tanya said: “When River was born he had dark hair with a very noticeable blond stripe on the back.
“I wasn’t sure if it was a birthmark or if it was just showing me the colour his hair was going to be as he got older.
“His hair gradually got lighter as he got older but the white blonde stripe stayed, however it did get less noticeable.
“By the time River was two, the toddler had golden glossy long hair down his back.
“He started recognising that most people called him a girl – even his teacher on his first day of reception thought he was a girl, I couldn’t believe it!” Tanya told MakeTheHeadlines.co.uk.
“Honestly he could be wearing a T-shirt with the words ‘I AM A BOY’ sprawled across it – and he would still be called a girl.
“He would never say anything about it, it would always be me correcting people and then they would apologise and say it’s because he’s so pretty.
“It never bothered us really until recently he started to notice and it would make him feel shy so he decided for sure he wanted short hair like the other boys in his class.”
Tanya revealed she was initially in shock and was sad about saying goodbye to her son’s 24-inches long hair but now loves styling his hair everyday.
He had 16-inches cut off of his long locks – and now loves his hairdo even more than before.
She said: “By the time River turned five and was waiting to start year 1 in September, he made his final decision to go for the big chop.
“So at the beginning of September I took him to get his hair cut short. I cried in secret for three days but my boy was super happy about his beautiful new hair style.”
The family are donating the long plait of River’s hair to the Little Princess Trust charity.
She went viral after posting snaps of River’s long hair on Facebook – gaining over 15,000 likes and nearly 3,000 comments online.
She wrote in a caption, “This is my son River. He was desperate to have his hair chopped before he started year 1 this September.
“I cried for a good three days after!”
One Facebook user commented: “He’s so adorable! He’s gonna be a heart stopper when he’s an adult. I totally understand about the hair. Your a good parent for letting him choose how he would like his hair. They grow up way to fast, savour every moment. Absolutely love the name River. I hope you have an amazing rest of your day and thx for sharing your post and photos of your precious little boy.
While another replied: “I love it short, too, but I can totally relate to your tears! He’s instantly grown up just by having a haircut. He’s still the same precious boy inside and so handsome on the outside, but it must be hard as his mom to see such a quick and drastic transformation, even if it is a gorgeous one!
A third added: “Oh bless I would have cried too it was proper stunning. He still looks lovely though and u never know – might grow it back when he’s older. Lovely name makes me think of River phoenix although let’s hope your lad has a happier story!”
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