By The Wiz
He’s never been able to wear pants one day and then shorts the next.
Years ago, he refused to wear anything but pants. It was all pants, no
shorts, no way. Then he switched to shorts, and now he won’t wear
anything but shorts. I could buy him pants. He won’t wear them.
He turns 18 next month.
My daughter, when she was small, would not wear denim, or anything
with any seams or tags that bothered her. My mother-in-law was always
buying her denim clothes, because it’s so durable. Eventually she
realized I wasn’t joking when I told her my daughter wouldn’t wear
denim and she should just save her money.
But my youngest son is the really weird one when it comes to clothes.
When he was a toddler, he refused to wear socks. He didn’t just not
like them. He was scared of them. Terrified! What do you do with a two
year old with a sock phobia?
You let him wear sandals a lot.
Once when he was three I decided I’d had enough, he was going to start
wearing socks. I took him to WalMart. He started looking nervous from
his perch in the shopping cart when he saw we were heading near to
where the boys’ sock aisle was. He was immediately suspicious.
“Where are we going? What are you doing?”
Thinking fast, I said, “We’re going to get you some robot feet!”
This was a kid who once spent three full days pretending he was a
robot, walking around with his limbs completely straight and talking
in a robot voice. A kid whose imaginary friend wasn’t a friend at all.
Instead, his imaginary friend was an imaginary New Dad. Which drove
his Real Dad nuts. Especially considering his New Dad was an
indestructible robot who was taller than 100 buildings, lived in
Tokyo, and was made of parts that knew how to go back together again
if anyone, like say a Real Dad, decided to dismantle him.
“Robot feet?” he said, doubtfully, but also, I considered, hopefully.
I began to get excited. This might actually work!
At the sock aisle, I quickly picked out some thick gray socks with
rubber on the bottom. Not your typical socks, I thought. They might
just pass for robot feet. I tossed them in the cart and headed for the
check out lane. Fast.
“If I wear robot feet, will I turn into a robot?” He asked me.
He so obviously wanted it to be true, what else could I say except, “Uh…yeah!”
At first he looked excited. But it didn’t take him long to realize if
it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. By the time I’d paid
for the robot feet, in his mind they were no longer robot feet, but
socks. And as such, a complete waste of money.
It wasn’t until a year or two later that we finally got him to wear
socks. My husband took him upstairs one day before church, sat on him,
and wrestled socks onto his feet. My husband came downstairs alone and
told us NOT to mention anything about socks. So we didn’t. We all
pretended we didn’t know he was wearing socks.
When we got to church, my son was very self-conscious. We passed other
people in the hall and he hid his face against me. “She’s looking at
my feet!” I had to give him my sweater, which he wrapped around his
legs. When we sat down in a pew, he’d wrap it around his ankles and
This kept up for weeks. He was actually wearing socks, but no one
could acknowledge it. Finally one day my oldest son got impatient,
waiting for him to get ready to go somewhere, and he said, “Just get
your shoes and socks on and let’s go!”
My youngest son looked devastated. He gasped, and turned to his
father. “You TOLD them?!”
Once he was over his sock phobia, he developed a fear of stairs. He
refused to go up any staircases, and steep outdoors ones (like where
my sister lived) freaked him out big time.
About a year later, he decided he would only wear camouflage pants. I
had to buy 5 pairs, and he wore them everywhere. Including church.
Now, he’s 14. He’s still a little weird about clothes. He’ll only wear
black. Black pants, black t-shirts. If all his t-shirts are dirty, he
won’t borrow a t-shirt from his dad unless it’s black. Dark blue? No.
Has to be black.
My kids come by all this naturally. I myself have only about 3 or 4
pairs of pants I’ll wear regularly. (And two of them are
pajamas/sweats.) We all have sensory integration issues. Don’t get me
started on what we all will and won’t eat.
Anyone else got kids with weird clothes issues?
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