By Heather O.
My son has a new skill. He can get ready for school BY HIMSELF. Almost every morning for the past month he has come into our bedroom fully dressed, ready to go. Ok, sometimes it’s a little bit earlier than we would like, mainly because he thinks that being dressed completely (”To the shoes!”) entitles him to go outside and knock on our neighbor’s door to see if the boys there can play bikes. At 7:15am. Our neighbors like J, but really, not that much.
Anyway, I want to encourage this behavior (the independence, not the early rising. That I could seriously do without), which means that on more than one occasion, I’ve had to bite my tongue and let my kid wear what he picked out. And really, who wouldn’t want to wear a Superman T-shirt with a striped shirt underneath with yellow batman shorts to preschool? Besides, the striped shirt has a pocket, and the Batman shorts and Superman shirt don’t (I guess Superheros don’t carry wallets or loose change all that much), so he puts the striped one on underneath so he can sneak his Star Wars guys into preschool in the breast pocket without the teacher noticing! See, stylish and practical. Of course the teacher won’t notice the 4 guys stuffed into my pocket and falling out—they are COVERED by my SUPERMAN SHIRT!
Anyway, my point is that I am totally ok with my kid lookin’ a little lame now and then because I can just shrug and say, “He dressed himself.” And all the mothers give me that little smile, and look at J with his mismatched socks and shoes on the wrong feet and say, “Ah, yes. Of course”. Plus, there is that extra added bonus on being able to blame it on the preschooler that really, there were no matching socks in the house because Momma is behind in the laundry.
I’m ok with it when it’s my 4 year old. Not so much when it’s my husband.
When it comes to how DH dresses, I can’t let it go the same way I can with J, I just can’t. Our first year of marriage was frought with admonitions and exhortations from me along the lines of, “You can’t wear those socks, they don’t match”, or “That tie just looks bad, honey”, and “Those pants are wrinkled, we need to iron them.” I’m really not that much of a nag when it comes to clothes, not being much of a clothes horse myself, but DH can’t go to church wearing mismatched socks, he just can’t! What kind of wife would I be if I allowed such a thing?
We were discussing this issue with a friend of DH’s, and frankly, he was appalled at my behavior.
“You married a grown man, Heather. He is not your son, he is his own person. His wrinkled and dirty shirt do not reflect upon your wifely skills. They reflect his OWN slovenliness, and you need to let it go.”
DH, surprised to get some support, said, “Yeah. Yeah! Let it go, wouldja?”
I have let up some in the intervening years of our marriage. But I find it ironic that I refuse to let my husband wear a T-shirt that says ‘Commies aren’t Cool’ and has a picture of Che Guevara with a line through it in public, but I can let my son walk around wearing a blue duck towel on his head all day because he thinks it makes him look like a Jedi. For some reason, I am more concerned with my husband’s grooming standards reflecting badly on me as a wife than I am about my son’s grubbiness reflecting on me as a mother. Anybody else feel this way?
I guess I should really just employ the same tactic I use with my son when I think my husband looks like a total goofbrain:
Shrug and say, “Hey, he dressed himself.”
WordPress database error: [Can't open file: 'wp_comments.MYI' (errno: 144)]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '310' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date