Dear Child of Mine. It’s Not June. Stop Dressing Like It.
This morning, I had to wonder if my daughter has a serious phobia against winter wear. Or perhaps a phobia of being warm? For such an academically inclined student, I seriously wondered where her common sense was. She first came downstairs in her school uniform skirt, t-shirt, and socks that barely reached her knees. I told her it was minus 11 with wind chill outside, and sent her back upstairs. She came back down wearing leggings, but still with a t-shirt.
I sent her back upstairs to get a sweater. Then I sent her back inside, as I waited for her in the car, to get a hat. Honestly? I ‘parented’ so much this morning, I was exhausted before hitting the office.
My daughter tells me she doesn’t get cold. Who the heck doesn’t get cold when it’s minus 11 outside, unless maybe you’re going through menopause? Teenagers, that’s who. And, four-year-olds as well, who also hate to be bundled up. Today my son, snugly bundled up before heading out, complained that he was “too hot.” Of course he was, because it took me twenty minutes to get him into his snow pants, snow jacket, mittens, and a scarf. By the time I managed to get his hat on, of course he was warm. I was warm too, because getting a baby or toddler dressed for the outdoors in winter, is a f***ing workout.
It blows my mind that I have to explain to my children that it is now winter. Not summer. Not fall. Not spring. Winter. Also, it’s cold outside. Very cold.
And they need to dress appropriately for the weather, because…I said so!
But, when I dropped my daughter off at school, there were numerous other girls wearing exactly the outfit my daughter had on before I made her change three times. So I guess for teens it is simply a matter of style over (common) sense. And, apparently, a lot of mothers out there have given up on telling their kids how to dress…even though the blasting cold only just hit and we have many more cold months to go.
Does anyone remember years ago, when Suri Cruise, (then one of the most photographed kids in the world) was caught photographed on a cold New York day, not wearing a coat over her summery dress? It was all over the news, with judgmental parents weighing in, because Katie Holmes, her mother, hadn’t made her wear a coat in the freezing weather.
‘My philosophy is, well, fine, because after a block of walking you’re going to ask me for your coat. So the pictures of her without a coat, are sort of embarrassing, but I said, ‘Suri, I’ll take the hit. Just put it on when you get cold,’ Holmes said about the brouhaha over her daughter’s lack of coat.
From now on, I’m going to take the ‘hit’ too. If my daughter comes down in shorts and a t-shirt, I’m not going to say a word. If my son demands (as he did over the freezing cold weekend) that he doesn’t want his jacket done up, and he doesn’t want to keep his hat on, I’m done. I’m with Katie Holmes on this. They will get cold. They will learn. My son also told me he was uncomfortable. Well, yeah, I’ve dressed you in boots and a bulky jacket and ski pants. Even looking at him, I feel uncomfortable.
Also, let’s be honest, I remember being a teenager and literally waiting in lines to go to clubs at night, sometimes waiting for almost an hour, dressed as if I were going out in California and not in the dead of winter in Canada. Because who wants to carry around a baggy coat or mess your hair up when you’re a teen? (Of course my parents wouldn’t let me leave the house like that. So if you are reading this Mom and Dad, I didn’t go clubbing at all. And I didn’t change my clothes at Ritchie’s house. I was studying at a friend’s house, just like I told you! Really!)
I don’t remember being cold at that age either, and there’s really no scientific studies that show teenagers’ hormones make them warmer, so, yeah, I suppose I chose style over sense too when I was a teen.
Now I’m a parent, and I won’t leave the house in winter without two pairs of socks and a coat so bulky it’s hard to fasten the seatbelt over it. And a hat. Both indoors and out. I may be warm, but I’m uncomfortable too. What happened to me?
I keep telling my children that I don’t want them to get sick, but my daughter is such a researcher, she came back with, ‘You can’t get a cold from the cold weather. You can only get sick if you come in contact with someone who is sick,’ to which I responded, ‘I can’t hear you. La-de-da-da!’ Of course, I was kidding, and she is right, but I do not like to be upstaged by my children.
So, yes, I’m throwing up my hands (in waterproof gloves!) because they will get cold, and they will learn that even though they may object to dressing properly, it’s kind of uncool to be cold.