My Son: Wigging Out

C.J.’s birthday is six months away, so – naturally — he thinks it’s time to start planning his party. Last year we celebrated with lunch, shopping and pierced ears for his doll at the American Girl store in Los Angeles.

How does he plan to top that?

By having his eighth birthday party at a wig and hairpiece store.
We were at the mall when he shouted, “I’m going to have my birthday party there!!!”

When I whipped my head around, I saw him pointing to Pauls Products – which serves the nearby retirement community, with its population of 16,000 and median age of 78 years.

“Take my picture in front of it and send it to Uncle Michael!” he said as he posed by the store with a hundred well-coiffed heads. When C.J. thinks something is so fabulous that I can’t possibly appreciate it, he has me take a picture of it and text it to my brother.

I did as I was told.

photo 2-3
“Now, let’s go tell them I want to have my birthday party there,” he said, swiftly turning on a heel.

“Your birthday is six months away. We don’t need to go in there today. We have some time,” I said stalling. I hoped he would forget about Pauls Products and move on to the next great birthday party idea. What kid has their birthday party at a wig store?

“But, I don’t want them to get all booked up,” he worried.

“That’s not the kind of place that usually hosts birthday parties,” I said.

“They will if you ask them. Let’s go see,” he said, ever hopeful.

“I’m not going in there. It’s creepy,” Chase said.

C.J. looked at me and I could tell he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

“If we do go in there for your birthday, we won’t be able to take a lot of people.” I was trying to manage expectations without killing hope.

“That’s okay. I just want Uncle Michael. Cause I know he’ll like it.  Oh, and Grace. Cause she’ll like it too. And Grace’s Mom cause somebody has to drive Grace.” He was counting his guests and held up his fingers to show me that that was only four people. I guess I wasn’t invited.

“I’m gonna try on so many wigs. And I’m going to buy one,” he continued.

Shit. I guessed the wigs are really expensive because they looked very nice; not $15, like the chunky, rough ones he loves to get from the costume store before Halloween.

“If I get the wig, I get to keep the head right?” he asked.

“Oh god, I hope not!” Chase said instinctively.

“No you don’t get to keep the head,” I said, like I knew what I was talking about.

“Thank god,” Chase said.

photo 4
I tried explaining that the wigs were meant to be for people losing their hair due to medical reasons or age and that they weren’t just for dressing up and playing around in.

“But wigs are for everyone,” he argued. He was using my own words against me. I’m always saying everything is for everyone. Colors, skirts, dolls, wigs.

C.J. reluctantly followed Chase and me away from Pauls Products and to the car. He kept talking about the wigs and his birthday party.

“Maybe Uncle Michael knows of a wig shop in Hollywood where we can go instead,” I offered. Wondering where my brother’s actor, performer and drag queen friends get their wigs and hairpieces.

“Do they host birthday parties at Uncle Michael’s Hollywood wig stores?” CJ asked.

I told him I’d check into it when we got back from vacation.

Two weeks later, as we walked through the front door after seven hours on airplanes and in airports, C.J. reminded me to start looking into wig stores for his birthday party.

photo 5

As I looked up the number for Pauls Products, I wondered how many other mothers had to do this for their sons.

I called Pauls Products, feeling guilty for taking up the wig store worker’s time when they could be helping someone who legitimately needed a wig.

“Hi, would I need an appointment to try on wigs at your store?” I asked very sweetly.

“No, but you have to pay five dollars for every wig you try on,” the Pauls Products employee answered.

“Do you allow children to try on wigs?”


I was quiet, thinking about the pediatric cancer patients who may be in need of a wig, but couldn’t get one at Pauls Products. I was silently feeling sad for them.

“Okay. Kids can try on wigs, too,” they said. “But, it’s still five dollars per wig.”

They didn’t seem thrilled about having kids in their shop. I couldn’t blame them.

About raisingmyrainbow is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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39 Responses to My Son: Wigging Out

  1. Pingback: West Hollywood Wig Out Birthday Spectacular | Raising My Rainbow

  2. this is the first time I have ever heard of a child this sure about what he wants, I am very amazed by how he likes to try different things out, not just try them, but he seems interested of understanding the meaning of things, but what I like the most is that he is self-driven by his creativity and passion for such details. God bless.

  3. hilthethrill says:

    I’m going to start saying everything is “for everyone!” Like, doing dishes “is for everyone!” So useful in my life! Thanks! I found your link on a list of the 100 best women bloggers. They are SO right. You are rad.

  4. Bennett says:

    Hollywood Toys on Hollywood boulevard has TONS of wigs including very wild, fun, colorful ones. I’ve never paid for trying then on. They also style them right there for a fee if you wish. And it’s a very festive, party atmosphere with a looping full theatrical make up counter, and costumes and hats galore. This would be my 1st choice were I in your situation. It’s also where a lot of the LA drag queens get their wigs.

  5. Pingback: What’s Trending Now (According To My 7-Year-Old Son) | Raising My Rainbow

  6. Corey says:

    How about a party at a nail salon if you can’t arrange the party at the wig shop?

  7. Rachel Schaffer says:

    I hope you’ve had a chance to read this article!

  8. You can buy styrofoam display heads at Joann’s Fabric and Craft store.

  9. You can buy styrofoam display heads for $4.99 at Joann’s Fabric and Craft store.

  10. Elaine says:

    Love this post! And can’t wait to hear how it turned out. I think you should make Chase’s dream, OK, nightmare come true and get a bunch of the heads for the partiers to decorate as they choose. Sort of like my son’s 10th birthday party – everyone got a single layer cake to decorate – and take home with them. Great hit with the kids, not so much with the moms. Oh, well.

    Whatever you end up doing, I just know it will be fabulous!

  11. I LOVE this. But CJ doesn’t need a wig, his hair is already beautiful!

  12. Sammie F says:

    Here’s an eBay link yo some wigs. For what you are going to spend to have everyone try on wigs, you may as well buy some.

  13. Sammie F says:

    You should buy a bunch of wigs on the internet and have a wig party at your home. Then you can get fun wigs with different colors and short, long, grey, red, purple, etc. It sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Grab some funny glasses, hats, and costumes and an area to take pictures and CJ will have some awesome memories. I hope when I have kids they want to have a wig party!

  14. whatyouwant says:

    Something else…since your husband has displayed a creative side (making the doll bed), perhaps he can make the wig heads for the party. That way C. J. would be able to keep some of them and maybe the others can be used for party favors, so there won’t be bunches of them around the house to creep out Chase. Better get crackin’, you only have 6 months to make all those heads!

  15. Lisa says:

    I don’t know how CJ could possibly get any more creative! He’s going to do great things in his life. A wig party sounds fabulous and I can’t wait to hear how you pull it off. I know you will!

  16. So sweet! Could you make a wig shop/wig themed party in your home? Maybe that would be expensive but $5 to try on a wig. What? Given the response you got from Pauls Products I think it would be funny to call them an inquire about their birthday party packages.

  17. Kitty Catty says:

    Do a web search hun, there are a bunch of companies that offer “At Home Wig Parties” — not sure if there are any in your area but it can’t hurt to check around. I think a wig party for CJ’s birthday sounds like a rocking and unique idea! Maybe if y’all do it at home and he decides to invite more people, it could be a bonding experience between kids and their parents…

    Go CJ!


  18. Cheryl S. says:

    OMG! You have to see if your brother can find somewhere for CJ to have his party. OR, maybe his drag friends have old wigs that you could gather up and have the party at the house (with some of the owners there to do styling??)

  19. Jennifer says:

    Does the $5 per wig get credited towards the cost of purchase? (Because I can understand why they want to discourage lookie-loos, but wow that is expensive).

    Hope you find a Hollywood shop that can cater a bit more to him!

  20. Brian says:

    The best thing in the morning ! A great LOL
    I’ve never been one for wigs & I agree with Chase, wig head in the dark=creepy

    But I’m with Denise I REALLY want to know how you pull this one off
    Still LOL…:)

  21. whatyouwant says:

    I’d say definitely get in touch with your brother and pick his brain! Perhaps he has a friend or friends who would help out with the party by providing the wigs and you could decorate either a venue or your home to look like a wig store. Give it a very creative name, like “C. J.’s Wig Emporium” and he’ll love it. More friends could come, too, if it wasn’t an actual wig store.

    Good luck and I think planning six months ahead is a good idea in this case!

  22. Detetiv says:

    Could try Halloween stores, Jo Ann’s for cheap wigs. No cost to try on.

  23. so funny….exhausting little creatures aren’t they? Maybe he could host his own wig party – with a photo booth and all? so funny…he’s a force, that’s for sure.

  24. It’s 6:30am and I’m giggling on the bus. I’m so glad Jeremy’s not the only kid who plans birthdays half a year in advance and even more glad he never picked a wig shop. Hopefully you’ll find a place that doesn’t charge $5 each try. Still giggling, luckily most of the other passengers are asleep.

  25. Katrina says:

    Good luck with the party planning. I’m still stuck on back to school shopping, and my kids are already planning Halloween costumes for this year. I’m not even ready to think about birthdays. C.J. reminds me of my gender creative child, once his mind is set on something…there’s no turning back. Looking forward to finding out about C.J.’ s final birthday plans.

  26. LiberalMom says:

    I agree with Brenda….The first thing I thought about was: WOWSA….at $5/wig you are in for one VERY VERY expensive party as I am sure CJ would want to try at least half the store’s wigs! 🙂 We have been dealing with our one WIG-issue here as the Merida play-wig is completely coming apart and I pick up long hair in EVERY room and it is driving me completely bonkers!

    Hope you find a wig store that is up for the Birthday Party challenge!! YAY for planning 6 months ahead….I see a Party Planning business in CJ’s future!

  27. Mickey says:

    You might have better luck calling around to some local community theaters. You may find at least one that has a supply of wigs (and costumes) that they would be willing to share and they may even be willing to host. And if that doesn’t pan out they may be able to point you to someone who can. My local theatre community draws a very diverse crowd including teachers, lawyers, hair stylists, party planners, and even a couple of pirates (really). You never know what or whom you might find.

    Good luck and thanks for the smiles. Can’t wait to hear what happens.

  28. CJ’s persistence so reminds me of my son’s. Once he gets an idea in his head, there’s no getting away from it. Good luck!

  29. Denise says:

    This post made me laugh. A lot.
    But how does it end? Please tell me there is a drag queen wig shop somewhere with a birthday party booked.

  30. Paula Turner says:

    Wait. I assume that the $5 per wig try-on gets negated when someone buys a wig? Cause I would need to try on a lot of wigs before I found one I liked.
    I remember my mom had a wig (and, sorry Chase, the head too) cause in the 70s women did that. I tried it on ALL THE TIME. I think wigs are underrated as an accessory.
    I hope you find someone who can help you fulfill C.J.s dream. I think it’s a great birthday idea.

  31. Katherine says:

    Awe, well happy Half-Birthday to CJ =]

  32. Cyndi says:

    Oh man, I was in hysterics when you told him that he couldn’t take the head home!

    • Brenda Barta says:

      This is bad… and if it’s any consolation I am probably going to h £!! For what I am about to say.

      I laughed… and then laughed some more. .. nope— no idea why but your description gave me the best fit of giggles I have had all week! I’mThe things mom’s do for kids. At 5 bucks a wig– Disney for 6 is probably cheaper! Now I will go giggle quietly in the corner and wait for a wig update!

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