WE LIVE IN THE WRONG CLIMATE

I don’t say that just because Chicago area winters and transitional seasons are rough (I used to think people were crazy for living here, so then Life thought it’d be a hilarious joke to land me here). Sure, the weather requires me to wear my snow-treadin’, waterproof, heavy duty winter boots day-in-and-day-out about, oh, 90% of the year. But that’s not why I say we live in the wrong climate.

It’s because my five-year-old somehow was born with a body that hates cold-weather clothes. And I don’t mean the “oh, this sweater is a little scratchy” kind of dislike of cold-weather clothes. I mean, as soon as non-summer clothes hit her skin, a monsterific response ensues.

LEGGINGS = OF THE DEVIL?

Let’s talk about leggings for a minute. While they hang on my tall, lanky older daughter loosely like slacks, they somehow never provide enough room for my five-year-old’s build. I move up in sizes until the waistband nearly isn’t even touching her body, just to get the right amount of room in the legs. (And, before you think, “Oh, she really should try Such-and-Such Brand,” trust me – I have tried them ALL).

Now, what could possibly be the big deal if leggings fit my daughter’s legs a little snuggly? Because, isn’t that the whole idea of leggings?

Well, let me educate you on what the big deal is.

If the leggings fit too snuggly, she immediately falls to the floor. Quiet huffing and puffing begins, which appears to simply be a warm-up exercise for her lungs. Because THEN the real performance begins. She’ll yell out about how the leggings are too tight (and yet somehow manage to stand back up and run across the room to throw herself down in a new spot, all while wearing these leggings that are supposedly too tight).

But it goes beyond yelling.

My husband and I have observed that stretchy cotton clinging to her legs causes a reaction, called Pure Rage, to surge through her body. You practically can see this Pure Rage pulse its way through her whole being. When she is in this stage, we have learned to not make eye contact or get close enough for physical contact. In fact, it’s best to just not move; because whatever we might do next is sure to trigger Pure Rage, and suddenly WE are the cause of all things bad in this world.

Although, on the other hand, it’s not a bad idea to slowly back away before becoming the target of some flying object – the end goal is to clear the doorway swiftly, as that door most definitely is about to be slammed.

And then the sobbing begins. Oh, the heartbreak! Oh, the injustice! Too tight leggings have ruined her LIFE! Not to mention the whole family’s morning… and any chance of getting our oldest to school on time.

WHAT ABOUT JEANS THEN?

Ha! Forget it. The button pinching her belly when she sits, the stiff material, the pulling down at the rear when she sits. She will have NONE of that. (And, frankly, I don’t see how they’re comfortable for the preschool setting, either).

LONG SLEEVES = TORTURE DEVICES

When it’s cold outside, most of the world tends to believe that long sleeves are a good choice – cozy and warm, they cover our arms in a most innocent way. Or do they? According to my five-year-old’s experiences, they are torture devices.

Now, the long sleeves themselves aren’t the problem. It’s the putting of the long sleeves inside the sleeves of a coat or jacket. THAT, my friends, is the sticking point (and by “sticking point,” I mean the point at which I now feel like I’ve already used up all my patience and I am gonna explode).

Long sleeves get bunched up in coat sleeves. Stretching the sleeve down to hold onto it with her hand as she slides her arm into her sleeve is MUCH too “hard” to handle. But having me reach into her coat sleeves to smooth her shirt sleeves down is an act of war – do this, and I’m sure to witness her head fall back, her eyes shut, her mouth fall open and… wait for it…. Ahhh! THERE is the wind-up to the ear-piercing scream.

Welcome back the Pure Rage reaction (please see above for how to handle this).

WE’RE DOWN TO THE SOCKS. WE CAN DO THIS.

Socks?! SOCKS?!! Do you not know the evils of socks?!!

Socks have seams. Seams “hurt.” Seams bother the feet in a way that, somehow, reduces all her rationality and coping skills. Put said seam-filled socks into shoes and, whoa buddy!! Look out!! I mean, she might as well just stick her bare feet in a bucket of pins, for heaven’s sake – it’s apparently the same sensation.

Seamed socks being placed inside of shoes or boots require an immediate shout of horror and the footwear be immediately ripped off and, if possible, tossed across the room.

Of course, this then necessitates her throwing her body backward onto the floor as she cries her heart out to the heavens.

I HAVE TWO CHOICES

I can keep my cool or I can lose it. To be perfectly honest, there is a 50% chance of either of these two results.

The days that I lose my cool are the best (feel the sarcasm?). Because I’ve made everything just SO much better, and now my youngest and I are getting into the car in the worst of moods, and my very calm older daughter is just looking at both of us like we have multiple heads.

And I have approximately three minutes (the length of the drive to school) to turn things around and send the kids off with smiles in their hearts. Fat chance of that happening.

So, obviously, it’s better to keep my cool. I’m working on it.

THANK GOODNESS FOR WARM WEATHER

So when it’s 70 degrees or higher, I rejoice!! She can wear shorts! She can wear skirts and dresses (with little shorts under them… something many starlets should try). Tank tops!! She can wear (cue the angelic chorus) FLIPFLOPS!!
Hallelujah, the happiness has returned!! Getting ready for school is quick, easy, and painless!

It’s always SO exciting to have emerged from the winter of hellish dressing.

OH WAIT, IT’S CHICAGO AREA WEATHER

“Sit down, honey, we need to talk. Remember how you got to wear all those awesome, freeing, easy, pain free clothes yesterday? Yes, that was great, wasn’t it, honey? Well, um… it’s 30 degrees and snowing today. So, sweetie… it’s back to long pants and long sleeves and socks.”

*And RUN away before she blows!!!*