No You Can’t Wear Shorts in January

January 10th, 2016

My children don’t believe in cold weather. They show remarkable resilience to chilly temperatures and look at me like I’m crazy when I try to convince them that it’s winter. I blame the former on genetics and the latter on El Nino.

Last weekend, I grudgingly took down my outside Christmas lights, cursing quietly while under attack from an aggressive holly bush and regretting my decision not to wear a hat and gloves. My fingers were numb, my nose was running, and I had begun to lose feeling in my ears. Meanwhile, Kung Fu Panda ran through the yard in a t-shirt and Birdie asked every five minutes when I was going to push her on the tire swing.

Every morning, I wake up, shower, and gird myself for the battle of getting all three of my children into weather-appropriate attire. The first skirmish is over the necessity of pants. Day after day, KFP cheerfully bounds from his room clad only in gym shorts. When I remind that it is winter and he therefore must wear pants to school, this news shocks and appalls him, necessitating a 10 minute fit of hysterics. Every morning.

Then there’s the question of outerwear. Winter coats are the hill upon which my children are prepared to perish in defense of their civil liberties. They whine. They cry. They feign ignorance when their parkas mysteriously vanish from the hall closet.

KFP does regularly wear a knit hat, but only because he finds it fashionable. It’s bright purple, boasts a large image of Tinkerbell, and formerly belonged to his older sister. The sister in question, on the other hand, ferociously rejects the premise of hats as they are incompatible with pony-tails. She sometimes deigns to wear pink princess ear muffs.

In fairness to my offspring, they come by their cavalier attitudes toward frigid weather honestly. Their father is utterly impervious to the cold. I’ve seen the man shoveling snow in shorts. I spend most of the summer trying to convince him that it’s simply not possible to keep the inside temperature 30 degrees lower than the outside temperature. I then spend most of the winter stealthily adjusting the thermostat up when he isn’t looking.

Snow Shorts 2015

Most nights, I burrow down under about five layers of covers, including flannel sheets, cotton blankets, and a quilt. My husband’s side of the bed boasts a single, thin blanket. My kids cover themselves with nothing but lightweight fleece blankets and still wake up sweaty. I’m baffled.

The one concession my children make to winter is their willingness to bundle up to play in the snow. When they see snowflakes falling, they sprint eagerly to the closet to don hats, gloves, scarves, and snow-pants. Thus I’m hoping that the real winter weather kicks in soon, if only because it should make it easier to get them dressed in the morning!


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