Tuesday, 9 July 2019

A Moment in Parenting: The Sweater Debate

Ever since my son has been old enough to express an opinion on the matter, he has been adamant about two clothing rules:

Rule Number One: Socks are a must. Daytime, nighttime, winter, summer, doesn't matter. He wants socks.

In this case, I have a pretty good idea where Kiddo's belief that socks are a necessity came from. When he started to crawl, he got rough spots on the tops of his feet where they rubbed the carpet in our basement. I started putting socks on him all the time to protect his skin.

It worked really well. I didn't know I was ingraining a rule that would stick, but we have managed to teach him that pools, beaches, and splash pads are exceptions to the socks-always rule. So, whatever, I don't stress about this one. His other rule, however...

Rule Number Two: Sweaters are an abomination. You might as well be putting me in a straitjacket, Mom.

Our living room is, unfortunately, located on the north side of the house with large windows that will eventually need replacing. On many winter mornings Kiddo and I went in there to play and, despite cranked heat, it felt cold. But do you think I could convince him to wear a sweater? If I did put one on him, he'd have it unzipped and off about half a second after I let him go. Instead, I would close the curtains to keep the heat in, crank the furnace further, and hope the heating bill didn't put us in the poorhouse.

Chilly fall and spring mornings that warranted a sweater for the ride to daycare? These often consisted of tears, bribery, and finally a wrestling match to get Kiddo into the sweater that he would be unzipping before he was fully in the door at our daycare provider's house.

While I can relate to his love of socks, I do not at all understand Kiddo's hate of sweaters. I'm always wearing sweaters. Setting the A/C to 23 °C is enough to make me reach for a sweater. If I'm not wearing one, Kiddo will usually ask where it is. Yet his refusal to follow my example has persisted. Until...

July 1st. We took Kiddo to the Canada Day fireworks this year. Knowing it would be chilly by the water after the sun went down, I packed a sweater for him. I had little hope he would wear it, so I also packed his rain jacket. Thankfully, his aversion doesn't include jackets.

About an hour before the fireworks were due to start, we brought Kiddo out on the grass to play with some sparklers.

Kiddo: "I'm cold. It's cold out here."

Me (already planning my counter offer of the rain jacket): "Do you want to put on your sweater?"

Kiddo: "Yes!"

Me: "Really?"

Kiddo: "Yes, I want my OshKosh sweater."

Thankfully, I had in fact brought the favoured OshKosh sweater. I helped him into it, still not too hopeful. The few other times Kiddo has voluntarily put on a sweater, he has changed his mind about it within five minutes.

Kiddo, sweater on, hugs himself: "I'm cozy in my sweater."

Me (sideways glance to Hubby, stunned look on my face): "Great. I'm glad you like it."

Five minutes passed, then ten, then an hour. We got to the end of the fireworks and all the way home and Kiddo stayed happily in his sweater. Wow, I thought. We've reached a turning point.

Yes. A turning point, indeed...

Last night, about 9pm, I heard: "Mommy...Mommy...MOMMY!"

Knowing full well I should ignore this and he'd eventually go to sleep, I went into Kiddo's bedroom to see what was up. He was sitting up on the bed with the OshKosh sweater in front of him.

Kiddo: "I want to wear this."

Me: "Now?"

Kiddo, tears brimming: "It's cold. I want to wear it."

It was definitely not cold in his room. Still, choosing to avoid the late-night meltdown, I helped him put on the sweater. He went to sleep immediately. But, it being July, I was afraid he'd roast. After about half an hour (to ensure he was truly asleep) I went back in and (very carefully) took the sweater off him. I put it back in his dresser drawer. 

This morning, the sweater was on his pillow. He was not happy when we wouldn't let him wear it in the car to daycare. It was 8:15am and already 20 °C with a humidex of 25. We held firm on this one, despite the tears.

Yep, my son who refused to wear sweaters in January has decided he loves them in July. Day and night. I'm taking bets on whether he'll decide he hates them again by November. 

No comments:

Post a Comment