Appropriate Attire

by | Jul 26, 2009 | Eli | 11 comments

Does the middle of July say “snowpants” to anyone but Eli?


  1. Clog

    I love the other day when Eli had the snowpants on and then informed me that the straps had to go a certain way on the arms. It will be so fun to watch and see how his unique fashion styles blossom as he gets older.

  2. Alix

    Julie, When my son Ralph was about 3 years old, he wanted to dress himself. After breakfast, as I was about to go out to hang the washing (on the clothesline!) I told him to put on a pair of shorts. Because it was July. And hot. Shortly thereafter I was talking with my neighbor over the fence and Ralph appeared in his shorts. And his favorite hat–a red leather number with fur ear laps. And a pair of wooly mittens. July madness??

  3. Julie

    Alix, that’s so funny! If Eli had a hat like that he’d wear it every day, no question. (Eli also coincidentally sometimes refers to himself as “Ralphie.” They must be soul brothers or something.)

  4. emily

    I’d just like wylie to wear clothes. bottoms especially. It’s his constant drive to not wear bottoms outside. It started with no shoes (“I just need my bare feet mommy”) and has graduated to nothing, which you can do at gran’s in the country, but not so much in NYC, though it did happen today after sprinklers in the park, wet shorts, off! and then: “I just neeed my nakendness mommy.”

    Well, it serves me right. I evidently wouldn’t keep my undperpants on in nursery school. my mom still tells a story about when our local minister, reverend buchard, made a visit with his daughter to play with my sister, and I appeared in all my glory… hooo boy.

  5. Julie

    Oh, Emily, Eli mostly doesn’t wear clothes at all either. Or, like Wylie, he goes pantsless. And what is wrong with me that I somehow find it more inappropriate when the neighbor boy goes shirtless (or entices Eli to do so) than when he’s pantsless. I think because no pants is still cute little boy behavior, but no shirt is crass adult behavior. But yeah, I guess there’s a difference between naked in Maine and naked in NYC.

    I will also say that Henry strips down to the altogether about once a week (as opposed to daily by Eli). Generally Eli is either naked or wearing something ridiculous. Yesterday was really hot and muggy and both boys were wearing flannel pants, long-sleeved shirts (a thermal shirt on Henry), and spider costumes. I thought I was going to sweat to death just looking at them.

  6. Elizabeth

    Isaac, too, is naked pretty much all the time. My mother is visiting at the moment and finds this very unseemly. The other day, she said, “I have NEVER seen a kid who likes to be naked all the time” or some such thing (He’s her fifth grandchild). I replied with, “Well, you know how Bohemian we are here in Portland.” Even though I don’t FEEL very Bohemian most of the time. The way I see it, we have way more important things to worry about on a minute-to-minute basis: Has a faucet been left running somewhere? Are there muddy footprints on my white sofa (yeah, yeah – I know)? Is Isaac sticking his finger in an electrical socket? Is he playing with nails or staples? He’s four. He can get away with it. Now, if he’s still running around naked at fifteen, that’s a different story. I was so happy to see your post about camping and Eli ripping off all of his clothes. “Okay,” I thought. “This is normal.” Whatever normal is.

  7. emily

    you get to a point, you know? today, wylie has broken out into the most horrible, horrible hives, which I thought were heat rash, or something, and there were were at the 97th street playground and he wanted that hot diaper off and i was like, WHATEVER, YES, GO FOR IT! because I couldn’t bear the thought of him so uncomfortable. and none of the upper west side’s moms (or nannies) ran for the hills or made me feel bad- even though in his nakedness he was revealing my horrible parenting: sores! misery! pustulating skin! STRETCH HER!

    I’ve had a margarita in the face of all this, apres benadryl and emergency doc calls when the hives got worse and worse and his little ankles swolled up like sausages and he cried about walking. forgive me for drunk posting.

  8. Julie

    Oh, Em, we feel your pain (though this whole thing is also making me wonder if anyone’s kids DO wear clothes??). What do you think Wylie had a reaction to? (Correct answer: clothes.)

    I’m impressed that you had a margarita. It takes a higher form of annoyance to go to the trouble to mix up a blender drink. Rather than just pull the cork out of the wine bottle with your teeth, like I would.

  9. Anne

    My kid wears clothes! In fact, it took me the entire month of June to convince him to wear short-sleeved shirts and shorts, because he really wanted to wear long sleeves, sweaters, and long pants.

  10. Julie

    Wow, Anne. That’s just crazy. How on earth do you deal with such inappropriate behavior? I’m sure you’re always having playdate parents pull their naked children home because they don’t want them exposed to a sweater-wearer.

    (Ok, that said, Henry went through a long-sleeved-only phase, and would always be screaming when I put on a short-sleeved shirt and madly trying to pull the sleeves down to make them longer. He is also usually the one to wear the most seasonally inappropriate outfit in the summer. But he seems to be genuinely comfortable in fleece pants and a thermal shirt when it’s 80 degrees out, so I just let him do it.)

  11. Anne

    Sam has this navy cardigan with elbow patches that makes him look like a tiny old man. We were out on the playground one hot day in June, and Sam was in his little elbow-patch cardigan and rumply khaki pants. I was thinking that Sam looked like he’d fit right in among the grandpas on the playground … except that we were in Darien, so the grandpas were actually wearing short-sleeve polos and go-to-hell shorts.

    Anyway, he’s mostly over the long-sleeve imperative now, but he got there on his own. I’d layer a sweater or hoodie on top of his t-shirt, and eventually during the day the top layer would come off. And at some point, he decided shorts were OK, too.


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