We go through this every year when the warmer weather arrives. My children in general, and my boys in particular, seem to think that any outdoor temperature above the freezing mark calls for flip flops and tank tops.
As a result, their familiar call of “I’m going outside!” is inevitably followed by “Put your coat on!” which is inevitably followed by heavy sighs and eye rolling.
They whine. They plead. They beg. But it’s no use; they have an obstinate mother.
“It’s 45 degrees,” Eamon attempted to reason with me one recent afternoon. “There are frogs out there.”
“And they should be wearing coats,” I told him.
When all attempts at reason fail, they sometimes try to punish me. They say it’s not fun to play outside with a coat on, and so they will have to stay inside. Ambrose and Eamon once spent an entire five minutes sitting on the couch with their arms folded stubbornly across their chests and a basketball resting between them.
Unfortunately, however, their mother ignored the ruse.
Eventually, the sound of other kids playing outdoors came to their ears and their eyes fell upon the warm rays of sunshine as they came filtering through the living room window. When the ineffectiveness of their scheme became undeniable, they broke down. They donned their coats—all the while complaining that they would surely sweat to death—and headed outside to play.
Yesterday I was glad to have some backup in the house. It was not quite 50 degrees outside and Dan was working upstairs when the coat wars began.
“If Papa says it’s warm enough for no coat,” I told the boys, “Then you don’t have to wear one.”
They were overjoyed to hear this and they raced upstairs to get what they were sure would be their father’s approval. Moments later, though, they came slumping down the stairs and put on their coats before heading outside.
Ever the gracious victor, I kept my mouth shut. Score one for Mama.