January 5, 2010

The Needy

Earlier this afternoon, I received a phone call from Cortlen's kindergarten teacher. She assured me right off the bat that she wasn't calling with bad news: my son was behaving fine in class and had even had his name posted on the blackboard as a Super Duper helper. One of the reasons why she was calling, she told me, was to wish me a happy new year.

"Happy New Year to you too!" I chirped.

The teacher also was calling to see if my husband and I needed assistance providing Cortlen with an appropriate winter coat.

"This is what happens when you refuse to wear your coat to school," I explained to my son after the very awkward phone call ended.

I pretty much spent all afternoon wanting to crawl under a rock.

"Did you tell my teacher that coats make me sweaty?" my son wanted to know. In my defense, my son is exceptionally warm-blooded. He routinely sleds down our driveway in shorts.

"A rule is a rule," I told him, citing the school's policy on sub-freezing temperature attire.

After dinner, I made a specific point to hang Cortlen's winter coat on the closest hook next to the back door.

By bedtime, the coat was AWOL.

After thirty minutes, Cortlen still couldn't remember where he hid it.

My husband told him that if the coat didn't show up by tomorrow morning, then he would have to wear his sister's hot pink ski parka to school.


Mysteriously and quite miraculously, my son's memory was restored.

If only my tattered pride could heal as quickly.

54 comments

Mass Hole Mommy said...

HAHA! That is so funny! Amazing how they amazingly remember under the threat of wearing "girls" clothes. My son doesn't like to wear his coat either for the exact same reason. I let him keep it unzipped because it's easier than the battle that would ensue. LOL!

Sherilyn -The Dominee Huisvrouw said...

I hope that I can come up with threats that are that effective when my kids do something like that! Parenting at it's best!

Kelli said...

My daughter's coat is on her body when she leaves home and shoved unceremoniously into her backpack when she returns, even if the temp hasn't miraculously risen 50* during the school day. I feel your pain.

Stef and Bry said...

That is HILARIOUS! Don't dads always know what to say to get quick reactions. Ha

Tricia said...

So funny. I have a 9 year old son who has been wearing a hoody to school with a temp. in the mid 30s. He walked by tonight and saw your blog up on the computer. He says, "The Meanest Mom, is that your blog?" I asked him if he thought I was The Meanest Mom. He giggles and says, "No, the second meanest. You've had that title for as long as I can remember." :)

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

That is so funny~! And I kind of love that the school would check on that, makes me feel good that kids that do need coats might be getting them. Happy New Year!

Too Many Hats said...

LOL - My daughter is that way too with coats - never wears them. Thank goodness we live where coats are rarely needed and there is no school policy about sub-zero weather.

Working Mommy said...

HAHA!!! That is such a great threat!! I'm going to keep that one in my memory bank...for when/if we have a son!!

~WM

Anonymous said...

Ha ha! Love this post! Love the idea your husband came up with! I swear...boys are very warm-blooded. I'm freezing under a million covers while my 4 year old is sweating like a pig when he goes to sleep.

Gigi said...

Oh those boys.....I'm glad your school has a "policy." But mine doesnt' ever wear one either. When he was small we would snuggle with him to get warm because he always put off sooooo much heat. We'd use him as a heat source now - but 15 year olds really don't care to snuggle so much....

Holly said...

wow! I should expect a call from our school any day now then,lol

Mandy @ The Party of 3 said...

HA!!

Emmy said...

Oh my! That would be embarrassing. But from this end, i.e not part of it, it is pretty funny. Hey at least he is a doing really good in class :)

girlnblack77 said...

Reminds me of last year, when I was urgently summoned to school to remove a tick from my second-grader's head. I arrived, grabbed the alcohol-soaked cotton ball and tweezers from the nurse, and plucked it out. I wore an expression of disgust as I accompanied my child back to her classroom, where I met her teacher in the hallway. The woman smirked with barely-contained humor.
Apparently, my daughter discovered the tick on the bus ride to school. Upon entering the classroom, she announced, "I have a huge tick on my head. My mom knows about it, so you don't need to call her." Because, you know, I don't care about nasty little bugs sucking my child's blood all day. That sort of thing is certainly better handled after school and work, right?

Viv said...

Here in the Sunshine State, there are two cold weather trends. The first is the 'Native Floridian' trend, they put on their vacation ski parkas the moment the temps drop into the 60's. Then we have the 'Northern Transplant' category, we wear a hoodie, possibly two, over our tees and shorts, and as further tribute to freezing temps, we wear our running shoes, as they are likely the only pair we own that are closed toe. Your son would look like every other kid at our bus stop.

P.S. With the wind chill, it was a lovely 13 this morning when my kids left for school.

A Beaded Affair said...

I swear kids stay up nights thinking up ways to embarrass us. Just so you know, this part of your life gives you the opportunity tom totally embarrass them when they are 13 and it's so easy....of course that wears off when they are 28 and just think you are quaint and funny. Life really is a kick.
Keep writing, I love it.
Lois

Keely said...

Um, yeah, mortifying. But it's gotta be a kid thing, right? I don't think they need the same kind of winter gear we do.

Angie said...

The preschool teacher once sent me a note reminding me of the importance of breakfast, apparantly he got so hungry he forgot that I 'd fed him before he left. That was a good day.

Lainie said...

I am ALL ABOUT those natural consequences. When my younger son refused to wear his coat to school, I made sure the teacher had my blessing to keep him in from recess.

Even better: One day he refused to take the lunch and snack I packed him. I had the honor of calling the school to let them know I was aware he had no food for the day, and that it was by choice. If they had extra they wanted to give him (our district has no hot lunch) that was fine. Otherwise, I wasn't making the trip out to bring him food. Mean me.

Donna said...

My kids are the same way with coats! But since they have no sisters I don't have the threat of a pink coat to get them to wear their own.

Connie said...

I know what you're saying. My ADHD 1st grader, pulled the soles off his shoes just before going to school. I told him that he'd have to wear the shoes to school. By the time he got home, the teacher called to tell me they had taken a collection to buy him some new shoes! Hang in there, after 23 years, I've gotten over the embarrassment! :D

Good Egg Hunting said...

Hilarious! I will have to remember this trick -- good one.

Symply Me said...

Why is it that kids always seem to look their worst at times like that. Like, I swear, I can keep my kids looking nice and put together, and wearing all the appropriate clothing until we are about ready to walk out the door. Then suddenly everyone is sticky, and nobody has a coat or shoes, and I'm the mom that is taking her kid to Walmart wearing flip flops in January. Yeah me!

Megan B said...

Oh, OUCH!! But I love your hubby's solution. Good one :)

Brooke said...

My mother-in-law likes to tell the story of when she went to parent teacher conferences for my husband, the teacher was interested when my father-in-law would be home. She came to find out that my husband had been telling everyone his dad was in prison, for tax evasion. Which was of course a surprise to everyone.

Laura said...

Love it! That's one way to get the coat to appear! Can you imagine the teacher if he showed up in the pink coat. hahaha

Nate and Stacia said...

I totally would have told the teacher why he wasn't wearing coats-no way would I take the blame! Seriously though, that's funny! My 3 year old wakes up at night bawling and begging me not to make him wear dresses. So I'll definitely have to remember that threat in the future!

Stephanie said...

I work as an aide at a special ed preschool here in Utah, where it hasn't hit above 34 degrees since mid-November. Today, one of our typical kids walked in, and as she came through the door she said, "WOW. It is SO COLD OUT THERE." She said this while wearing nothing but leggings, sandals, and a hot pink long-sleeved t-shirt. "T., where is your coat??" "Oh, I didn't want to bring it today," she said breezily. She's FOUR. Ahhhh, the joys of parenting stubborn kids.

Jenna said...

A phone call? I usually just get a note home that my daughter needs to bring her snow pants to school. I love teachers that care.

Sometimes I can get my kids to get their appropriate snow clothing on by telling them that I can NOT have another Swiss person yell at me for then not looking warm. My girls still do not care.

Sam said...

Love the concept of wearing sister's coat. One of mine has a silver parka that just may come in handy. THanks for the ammo!

Parenting Ink said...

When I taught 7th grade, if a girl (or boy, but let's face it, it was usually a girl) was dressed inappropriately (i.e. cleavage spilling out of a 13 year-old's tank top), we'd make them don the "UGLY SHIRT."
This ugly shirt was one of several polyester, oversized numbers my fellow teacher and I purchased at the thrift store. It was a bit of a "cool" thing to walk around in the ugly, 70's print shirt, and the girl usually got more attention than she deserved, but at least she was fully covered.
On a better note, the complaints about how the shirt smelled like mothballs sometimes stopped the offender from dressing inappropriately again...

Julie said...

Guess what...it won't get better. My 13 year old gets off the bus every afternoon in a tee shirt! It was 19 degrees yesterday. Coat is jammed in his bookbag...oh yeah and my father in law watches out his window each afternoon and calls me about Jacob's lack of coat!!!

Angela said...

There is an award for you on my blog!

babyyahyah said...

my son was like that too. last year he wanted to wear shorts year round even on cold days. I am sure the teachers thought we had no pants for him.

The Crane Family said...

I have 4 girls and #2 is really warm-blooded. There's no way she got that from me... She's the same way. What can we do?? Can't threaten pink coats on her!

Anonymous said...

I havent had a teacher call home yet, but they have made comments to my kids. My favorite was when my daughter insisted on wearing her boots to school for once. She was being sneaky about it for some reason, but I didnt have time to ask what was going on(we were running late as usual). She came home from school and told me that her teacher told her not to wear dog poopy shoes to school again. She made my daughter take them off. I was moritified! The best part is that my daugter knew they had dog poop on them! I am so glad the teacher didnt call me at home for that one!

mamajil said...

Absolutely Hysterical!!! LOL!!

Andrea said...

My son refused to wear a coat during his 1st grade year in school. I waited for that phone call everyday!

Jen said...

My husband did this to the deacons when they didn't bring coats to an outdoor activity. He offered to go get them coats, but he got the girliest, most embarassing coats he could from the parents. That hasn't happened again! :)

Desert Rose said...

Oh gawd..couldn't the teacher just have asked about where his coat was instead of putting it that way? Geez! 2 of my kids are really warm-blooded also and are always getting too hot in jackets, and one freezes to death even with one on.

The Mother said...

I have one who absolutely refuses to wear warm clothing.

I fielded "helpful" comments about how he was going to catch pneumonia for many years.

I generally referred them to the nearest microbiology textbook.

Renny said...

Someday someone will call and your son will use it to his advantage. Like my seminary teacher who thought my brother had a mental disability and told my brother's seminary teacher that. So the seminary teacher called my mom and asked her if she should know anything about my brother. My mom didn't want to tell my brother what my teacher thought of him, but he found out because of the way my teacher treated him. The whole next year in seminary he did nothing worthwhile because he knew she wouldn't get after him.

Anonymous said...

I was the kind of child that routinely played in the snow in shorts and t-shirt. My four-year-old son has followed in my bare footsteps and now I am waiting for someone call social services every time we go out in sub-freezing temps and he doesn't wear anything but a t-shirt and hat (pants and slippers are a given). He sat on my lap during a movie once and I thought I would die, my legs were so hot! I like having a kid that can "tough it out"--my daughter constantly whines about being cold unless the hat/scarf/mitten/coat combo doesn't look good with her pretty dress! She is two.

Marg said...

Is this like a kindergartener/6 year old/boy thing? My all of the above absolutely refuses to wear his "fat jacket". He claims he will be fine in 18 degree weather. When he steps out of the car and jams his hands in his pants pockets I ask him if he's cold. Usually he just mumbles "a little". I can't get the kid to wear more than a light hoodie without a major morning meltdown!!!

Amber said...

Thanks for making me laugh on a hard day! I so needed this post and the comments from moms of stubborn kids. My four year has begged me all week to take him swimming, then today when I was *finally* taking him, he refused to wear a coat and get in the car! Is he trying to make me crazy??

Jen said...

When we moved to California a few years ago, my kids used to being colder were wearing shorts way past the time the other kids switched to pants. They were plenty warm enough since the temp was still in the 60s. My son's preschool teacher mentioned that he should be wearing pants and when I told her he preferred shorts and was not cold, she said that it was time for me to take the shorts out of his drawer so he only had pants to wear. Guess she knew better.

Though I have used that tactic of taking the clothes out of the drawer that I no longer want him wearing so there was an upside.

Charlotte said...

My son came home with a donated jacket once. We had jackets at home he refused to wear, but his dear teacher must have thought we were destitute. Apparently she knew we had 6 children but was unaware my husband is a physician. Still have the jacket, though.

Me. said...

That is so funny! I just know it's going to happen to me! luckily I live in Southen California so it doesn't get TOO cold...but cold enough for a jacket...and both of my kids REFUSE to wear them! Oh well...I'll just laugh if I ever get the call because I will now know that I am not the only one! :)

AlsoMean said...

THANK YOU for confirming that I don't have the only boy who won't wear a coat when it is 20-something degrees outside.

He's in short sleeves.
Willing to wear a sweatshirt over that.....

I have to threaten to take away TV to get him to wear a coat.

Adoption Of Jane Ug-LBC said...

HAHAHA @ Hot Pink Parka... I gotta remember that next time for my son!

Christine said...

My son is the same way! And he won't put it on by himself, either (he has to drop his toys and hold his sleeves in his hand so they don't get scrunched up in the arms), and it's a PAIN! More than once, upon picking him up from preschool, the teacher has said, (with a puzzled/incredulous look on her face), "He said he didn't wear a jacket today?" Pause. Pause.

Nope, he didn't. Sorry, lady.

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