Friday, October 2, 2015

Wardrobe Rules of Fall

October has come with quite a snap here in the southeast. We had 85 degree weather and then snap it's cold, wet, and 50.

I love it. The cooler weather makes me breathe easier, makes change feel right, makes me want to take walks three or four times a day.

It also means it's time to switch out my boys' clothes. Change does not come easily for these two.

In the summer my little men ( I should say little and tiny men since they are 11 and 5) wear the same clothes until their sisters pitch a fit. They know the Wardrobe Rules of Summer : if you have had sunscreen and/or bug spray applied you get a bath; the sprinkler counts as a bath; don't wear your clothes to bed;  flip flops mean more toe nail clipping; clean clothes for church.

That's pretty much it. Lee didn't know about the Wardrobe Rules of Summer and was spraying our littlest one down with bug spray a few weeks ago. The mosquitos love that kid so by the time August rolled around he looked like he had chicken pox. Anyway, Liam starts bawling, "No, no, no! Now I am going to have to have a bath!"

At least one of my men knew the rules.

The Wardrobe Rules of Fall  are not so laid back. My rules center around the fact that we are in close quarters more often and clean clothes mean happy noses. Not that these two care about the contentment of our sniffers. After all, they are most impressed with me when I fart and lock the van windows, or stick their head in my armpit after a workout. Boys are dazzled by bad smells, and that is for real.

My goal for Fall and Winter is for my boys to be wearing clothes that are clean enough and warm enough that people at church don't anonymously donate warm apparel to us.

I kid you not.

It's not that I'm opposed to donations. It's that I don't want the warm things to go to waste. In the darkest parts of winter my boys are in their room sporting nothing but their underwear as they roll around in Legos. I have pictures and can prove it. They stay in their rooms because their sisters won't sit next to them if all they have on is underwear.

I live in a constant state of tension, people.

Anyway, so as we prepare to haul out the tote holding the cold weather wardrobe I have to steel myself against the arguments, tears, and pulling of hair. Can you guess which ones of us will be arguing,  crying, and pulling out their hair?

These boys must have had a conversation about their tactic for this year because the oldest boy already had sit down conversation with me. If only he had been wearing a suit for the arbitration.

"I really feel most comfortable in shorts. I will wear shoes and socks and a hoodie, but I would prefer to keep my shorts out," said Spencer who will be 12 very, very soon. He then reiterated, "I'm just more comfortable in shorts and it's not my legs that get cold."

He entered negotiations with a really deep voice to show me he was serious and in control. I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing. Also, he insisted his hoodie come from Walgreens because he saw one there for $10. His socks had sat useless in his drawer since April (we've been through 5 pairs of flip flops since then), so he's ready to go in the footwear department. Since we did indeed buy the hoodie, in his mind, he's set for winter.

The younger one, though, didn't mind starting out hard. All I did was ask him to try on some jeans and sweatpants from last year to see where we were size-wise.

Liam went all spaghetti legs as soon as he saw the jeans, crying real tears immediately, while moaning, "Please, not the long pants. Please, not the long pants."

"What is the problem?" I asked. For pete's sake, since when did long pants make children cry? He's happier to see the dentist than a pair of dungarees.

"They're too long. I step on them. They make me hot. The pockets are too tight to put stuff in," he tallied off, tears still streaming.

"Look," I said, "you've grown. They fit better now."

He stopped crying and looked down. After a couple of seconds his eyes re-filled with tears.

"But they're so long, mom," he cried. Then he noticed the snaps. "Oh, no. Oh no. Oh no. Not the snaps. Not the snaps, mom. And a zipper. No. NO. NO. NO." He could barely catch his breath.

I had a full on melt down headed my way over a snap and zipper so I had him put his shorts back on before he started throwing up or something ridiculous like that.

One or two lingering mosquito bites. No jeans.

"Is it just too hard to do the snap and zipper?" I asked.

"Yes," he answered as one single tear slid down his cheek, "and, if we're playing our game and I have to go to the bathroom I have to go fast and not get my pants wet or then I have to change again and Spencer makes us end the game."

Honestly, this makes it easy. The Wardrobe Rules for Fall will be: elastic waisted; deep pockets; not hot.

I'm thinking pajamas with deep pockets and treated with spray-on waterproofing.

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