The low was in the 40’s today. For us here in the South, that is a vicious Winter cold front. I bundle up in my sweater and coat, and I still feel chilled for 20 minutes after coming inside, where the heat is blasting on high.
My boys, on the other hand, were born with a rare yet serious condition known as never-cold-rothopy. Symptoms include having no capacity for feeling cold, having a strong aversion to wearing pants, and becoming highly offended and irrationally emotional when someone suggests that they should.
Weird, I know, because at night they need approximately 13 blankets to fall asleep. This condition seems to strike out of convenience, and is possibly (definitely) psychosomatic.
Mornings in our house are filled with cuddles, home cooked breakfasts, and long chats about our daily intentions. Actually, our mornings are filled with the exact opposite of those things.
We are running around like crazy people while making threats to hurry up and get your shoes on, or you will be late! This is a useless threat, because my kids don’t give 2 poops about being late. But, I care a whole heck of a lot, because I’m sure as mess not walking my bra-less self in the school to sign them in as tardy.
So, when my boys come out of their room in their summer’s best cargo shorts, I only briefly consider physically stuffing their little bodies into seasonally-appropriate pants. Instead, I take a deep breath and remind them that it is very cold today. If you choose to wear shorts, you will be cold. We live in an advanced society, but Target still isn’t selling leg jackets. Yet.
As per usual, my sons take my words of caution and stick it wherever it is that most of my mom advice goes to die. They walk out of the house in shorts, swearing that they “aren’t even cold, MOM!”
I have a voice in my head that nags me with lectures and reminds me that I am probably screwing up my children. I hear her loud and clear, “Children need to learn what is expected, and do it. We make the rules and the kids follow them. Something about respect...This is what’s wrong with society...” I hear you, inner sancti-mommy! I really do. But, please shut up!
Mama is tired. I fight a lot of battles, and how my school-aged children choose to cover their lower extremities ain’t one of them. At this point, if they can find a loincloth that fits into the school dress code, it’s fine. I DON’T CARE! Call it lazy parenting. Call it free-range parenting. Call it sticking my head in the sand. My helicopter is broken down, and my new parenting style is making it through the day with no new wrinkles.
Worst case scenario, my seasonal misfits will be cold. For 2 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at recess. They won’t freeze. That is a small price to pay for a peaceful(ish) morning. And best case scenario, these kids are cold and uncomfortable and learn to plan for the day through experiencing natural consequences. And best-best case scenario, they think to themselves, “Geez. Mom knows a lot. Maybe I should start listening to her.” But we all know they are more likely to find that school appropriate loin cloth.
So, keep an eye out for my boys out in last summer’s shorts, you will know it’s them because they have both grown a good bit since August, and those now almost booty shorts are starting to look like they belong in a Spring Break twerking contest. Give them a wave and ask them if they are cold yet. If you can’t laugh with them, you might as well laugh at them!