Sunday, December 20, 2009

How Charlie lost his shorts.

My son is "that kid." You know, the weird one who wears shorts even when it's twelve degrees outside. He wore them while we were camping and it was nearly freezing. He wore them to fifth grade science camp when it was freezing.

I am a believer in letting my children make choices for themselves and suffering the natural consequences. I think there is no better way of learning. So I've been letting this one go. On and on. It's December. And while I recognize that this is Texas, life is still a little uncomfortable in shorts and a sweatshirt (Oh, did I mention? He also refuses to wear a jacket.)

I console myself when we walk to school that surely people understand, that they aren't judging me, as my other two children are completely appropriately dressed for the weather, sometimes over dressed and usually not matching, but not cruelly dressed for the wrong season. I hope people don't judge. Too much.

And there was the day that Charlie came home from school explaining that he didn't like that people in the fifth grade put everyone is a box and labeled them and he was hoping to escape labeling by being too weird to categorize. Um weirdo category, anyone? Hellooooo. But, I felt a little better that day about allowing him to express his independence.

But yesterday. Yesterday. I reached the end of my rope. We were doing a trash cleanup along a creekbed. We bought our rubber boots for the occasion, the weather was expected to be a balmy 34 degrees. He had to wear his cub scout uniform. We had an old fashioned three year old style temper tantrum. All because he needed to wear pants.

And because I also believe that the punishment should fit the crime, he is wearing pants for the forseeable future. Until he can quit whining about it. His friend's mom noticed this afternoon, and said, "Oh, Charlie got new pants?" I said, "Um, no. He's had them for quite some time. That and another pair of jean, a pair of khakis and two pair of athletic pants. He just refuses to wear them."

The upside? Hand-me-downs in perfect condition.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ode to a minivan

Introduced my son to the joys of Barney music.
Had a Barney CD stuck in it, along with a penny, a dime and a calling card.
Brought two children home from the hospital.
Brought one of them back to the hospital again and again, sometimes in a hurry.
Had my first car accident.
And my second.
Went through the drive thru a million times.
Spilled french fries a million times.
Was barfed in.
Pooped on.
Stranded me on the side of the road.
Stranded me right near the fabric store.
Drove us to California.
And the Dakotas.
And Mississippi.
Only had one working window.
Had crayon melted in one seat and a milk dud in another.
Brought us to football practice (again and again and again and again)
Was only washed a handful of times.
Spent a lot of time in the shop.
Didn't have many original parts.
Used a quart of oil for every tank of gas.
Had 172,328 miles on it the last time I saw it.

That minivan has a new life now - it was likely an organ donor, but it's not mine anymore. As sentimental as I might seem here, I'm not at all. Except when the kids start talking bad about it, I feel a little protective, like someone's talking bad about an ex-boyfriend who you're still fond of, but you're totally over.

No need to be mean, kids, just because we've upgraded boyfriends.