Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jackety Yak

I love so many things about the fall season. The changing foliage that makes a drive up the Don Valley actually pleasant. The festive pumpkins and chrysanthemums on everybody's porch that ease us into the holiday season, and whisper promises of better things to come. The crisp, clean air that envigorates the senses and makes me feel like I can take on the world, and change it for the better. What I don't love about the season is that it heralds the onset of what I lovingly refer to as: The Jacket Wars.

The Boy was born in the winter of 2005, an especially frosty January fit only for Mr Coldmeiser. Despite this, or perhaps, because of this, we still went outside each and every day, even if it was only for a walk down to Starbucks and back again. Each and every time we went outside, I steeled myself for the requisite twenty minutes of screaming while I inserted The Boy into his bunting bag (and, quite possibly, seventeen layers of blankets), simultaneously cursing my inability to leave the house without torturing the child. I was sure that next door neighbours were going to call the cops, who would burst in at any moment and crown me as Mrs Unfit Mother of the Year.

Winter of 2006 rolls around and The Boy is a year old, and much more mature. Now, instead of a bunting bag, we have a one-piece snowsuit with a jaunty looking Winnie and Tigger smiling and waving on the front. It should go a lot easier this year, right? Wrong. I underestimated The Boy's ability to roll over and crawl away. (I remember being so happy the day he learnt to roll over...what went wrong?) Now, I have to hold him down with one hand and endure a thirty minute temper tantrum, flailing legs and all. I was kicked in the face more times than I'd care to remember.

Ahhh, fall 2006. The Boy is approaching the two year mark, understands - and can follow - simple instructions, and is remarkably easy-going after all the earlier grief. He's mellowed. This should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong again. For The Boy, alas, has learnt the power of "No". Or rather "Noooooooooooooooooooooo!". Yes, that's more like it. On a very good day, The Boy will get his hat, scarf and mittens for me and dump them ceremoniously on the floor at my feet, before running away. On an okay day, The Boy will run away droning "Noooooooooo" before he hits a wall (not hard, but yes, hits a wall), turns around, shoves his thumb in his mouth and trudges grumpily back in my direction. Just when I think I can put the jacket, he runs away again, laughing like he's just tied someone to the proverbial train tracks. Most days, I have to hold him firmly while resolutely putting on his outdoor clothes and listening to outraged complaints, troubleshooting arms that get pulled out of the jacket two seconds after they've been inserted.

I've tried games, songs and the only thing that has made any difference is the fact that I've spent the last year saying that Lunar Jim wears a "hat" and "mittens" before going out into space. And, to be honest, the only reason I said that was that I couldn't think of the actual terms for an astronaut's garb at the time, and it just stuck. Sometimes, the Boy will tolerate mittens and a hat. The Jacket is still evil. It is the Enemy. Some days (okay, most days), I feel like I've put in a full days work before I even get to the office. Sigh. I still love the fall. I just never knew it would talk back, à la yakety-yak.


Beck said...

My toddler has discovered, to her utter horror, that Cruel Mama is not joking about the whole hat thing. So now we spend all of our walks with her howling refrain of "stuck! sttttuuuuuuuuuuck!" as she tries to peel it off her little unwilling melon.

Julie Pippert said...

One time, I said...Okay, no coat. I had hit that "too fatigued to fight anymore" point. She was two-ish, same as your boy.

And it was fall versus the subzero winter time. So I said okay.

And that time we went out with no coat (this was back before we lived in Summerland). We actually meaning her, my daughter. I wore a jacket.

She pretended to be fine for about 22.4 seconds.

Then she wailed, "Cooooollllldddd, Mama!"

Why, what a happy coinkydink. I just happen to have your coat-hat-gloves right here.

I like to call that Natural Consequence. ;)

But I am also willing to let my daughter dress like a cat and walk on all fours while grocery shopping, and have taken her to school in a bathing suit in early spring before.

So take my words for what they are worth. LOL ;)

penelopeto said...

i hate winter. bee has so far been good natured about all the rigamarole that preceeds going outside, but alas, it is only october and she hasn't had to don the snowpants or boots yet. at least we still have one more winter in diapers, so i don't have to worry about undoing everything before we even leave the house so that she can go pee.

kittenpie said...

Jacket seems to go over okay, mittens are something of a novelty, but she really loves her fall hat and was not impressed when I tried on the winter one for the first time the other day. Hopefully the one with very enticingly funny bunny ears on it will go over better...

Suzanne said...

Getting out of the house for any reason always takes forever, and with the onset of cold weather it's like forever and an extra 25 minutes for coats, mittens, and hats. Not to mention trying to squeeze the car seat buckles over all that bulk!

Haley-O said...

Hats suck because they ruin the monkey's hair! I always put her hair up in a pony tail on top of her hair -- it looks like the top of a pineapple...perfection! Darn hats ruin it, flatten it! ...I'm the one crying about it, not my little monkey! ;)