I do NOT keep my children appropriately clothed.
A child’s tone of voice, facial expression, attitude —– those things I attune to, but clothing? It escapes my notice.
Until . . . . . . . . . . .
that inconvenient moment . . . . . . .
when it reaches out and snares my attention . . . . . . . . . .
A few weeks ago, Sid, the children and I went to town on an errand run. As usual, I was preoccupied — making sure I had my pocketbook, to-do lists, last minute needs running through my head, herding children out the door, loading them in the Suburban, seatbelts. Whew! We were on our way.
We parked the car at Wal-Mart. I opened the passenger door —- out came Rachel, Prairie, Sidney.
And then a pair a very large shoes attached to the ends of very skinny legs. Very long, skinny legs. The legs kept coming, coming, coming . . . . .ah, a pair of shorts and an oversized soccer jersey.
“Um, Lincoln, your shorts are unzipped.”
“I know,” he said, unconcerned. “I can’t get them zipped. They are stuck.”
I gave them a try, but they WERE stuck. Impatient, I yanked his shirt tails out of the shorts, thinking to hide the stubborn zipper.
The shirt tail did cover his zipper. And his shorts. And pretty much all of him. The shirt, several sizes too big, hung down almost to his knees. He looked like he was running around in his underwear and a shirt or a very baggy dress. And those long, skinny legs sticking out the bottom of that shirt drew attention.
Sid walked aroung the back of the Suburban and caught sight of Lincoln. He gave me this look, the kind of look that said, “WHAT is my son wearing?”
I looked at him helplessly, feeling the giggles beginning to brew. “It’s the zipper. It is stuck. Can you fix it, so we can tuck the shirt back into his shorts?” I mostly had a straight face.
Sid crouched in front of Lincoln, and began tugging on the zipper.
“Oooouuuuuuuuch!” squealed Lincoln.
He wasn’t wearing underwear.
My giggles had brewed into a full boil. I caught sight of Sid’s face and his shaking shoulders and had to turn my back on the kids.
Moral of the story for me, Tina: Go through the boys’ clothes and approve everything. Be certain to PRE-approve the clothes they “buy” from Mama’s store in the basement. Force Lincoln to spend some money on underwear.
***The boys work for Sid and have their own bank accounts and are responsible for buying their own clothes, usually from Mama’s store in the basement. Sometimes they fall in love with a shirt way too big or too small and try to wear it. They are tightwads and prefer to sock most of their earnings away in their accounts. Underwear does not rate high on Lincoln’s list of things he wants to buy.
Moral of the story for everyone else: Don’t try Sid and Tina’s parenting schemes in your own home.