I am trying a new tactic this summer. It will work on 3 out of 4 children. The 4th child is simply a statistical anomaly that may have to go to military preschool or some other such Place For Wild Toddlers.
Here is my tactic, named Scratch My Back and I Will Scratch Yours. Otherwise known as Bribe, Baby Bribe. It is a follow-up to last summer, which was Survive Baby, Survive, and is notably better than Run Baby, Run and Cry Mommy, Cry.
It goes like this: "Small children seated in a row on the couch before me, this is how our summer will progress. I will need to go to the Y gym 3 times a week. I will need you to get dressed and in the car nicely, without complaint and without dressing like homeless hobos. In return for this, you will get to have a friend over once a week. Sweet!" (cue excited squeals and handshakes on this trade.)
It also goes like this, in the car upon leaving the Y: "Small children, that have managed to dress properly and much unlike hobos, your hairdos still look hobo-ish. For each of you that decide to get haircuts at *the same place* (ie: do not force me to drive to any other places, though I may have done so in the past), there will be a pudding pop waiting for you at home. And don't forget that playdate!" (cue suspicious nods and quiet assent to proposed shearing of hair.)
I may also have made various remarks about how nice haircuts make children cuter, and cuter children make me more inclined to give them things. Or something like that. Shameless deal-making, back-scratching and trades, I am summer-mommy.
And so I give you the results of Day 1- haircuts all in a row: (please excuse Cole, who just woke up, though with the new cut, his bedhead is almost gone! And notice the girls - still up to their tricks of dawn rising and immediate dressing for action.)