The Wardrobe Chronicles: Jamie and the Gray Sweatpants
Welcome to "The Wardrobe Chronicles," a series of stories from parents and kids who have gone to extremes in their clothing preferences. Whether it's a tutu mandate or a denim boycott, we'll hear how moms and dads made it through the quirkiest of style phases. In this installment, dad Randall Bennington explains how his three-year-old son, Jamie, decided this was the year of the gray sweatpants.
It started well intentioned, as these things do. We gave Jamie a choice in what he wanted to wear every day. A choice: A or B. And that worked out well in the beginning. He was able to say this or that T-shirt, these or those pants, so at least they match, and mommy and I can be self-respecting urban chic parents, right?
Then one day, he picked one of the many Curious Geroge T-shirts in his collection, but when presented with a pair of jeans and blue pants, James replied, "No No, Daddy, gray pants. I want gray pants." Daddy was so excited with his verbal ability I unthinkingly gave in, and got him out gray pants. In hindsight, this was where we (to be more specific, I) went wrong. Because every day since, it's been gray pants.
Jamie: “No No, Dadddy, gray pants." Me: "But we’re going to church." J: “??” M: "You have to wear nice pants to church; everyone does." J: “OK, nice… gray pants.” M: "We don’t have nice gray pants only sweatpants." J: “OK, gray sweatpants."
And it continued: Jamie: “No, No, Daddy, gray pants.” Me: "But it's 90 degrees out." (We did not have gray shorts on this day.) J: “Okay.” M: "Jamie you’re going sweat your head off." J: “YAY!” M: "MOMMY, where are the scissors?" (We then bought three more pairs of gray shorts.)
In total, we now have seven pairs of gray sweatpants, and four pairs of gray shorts. For four months, gray pants were the only pants Jamie would wear. Once summer hit, we were able to slowly coerce him into other-color pants, but at least 3x week we still hear, "No No, Daddy, gray pants."
Jamie and a pair of his sweats. And a lizard.
For the most part, who cares? I myself wear jeans almost every day, and refuse to wear shorts in public. So I know where this is coming from. In fact, Mommy never tires of reminding me that this is MY child. In some ways it's better. At least he picked gray, which makes matching easy. It also makes it easier for school, where we leave gray sweatpants for him in case of accidents with potty training, and we know he will be happy with his clothes. It could be worse. We have multiple pairs, as opposed to washing the same single shirt every day or having a child climb into their dirty Halloween costume from October through New Years.
The only real problem is when we have to insist on wearing something specific, like when we went to a wedding and kept removing his very dapper seersucker pants every chance he got, saying, "No No, Daddy, Gray Pants." Luckily, his mother had grabbed a pair of gray sweats, and just before the walk up the aisle, he changed and continued to wear for the remainder of the ceremony. In the end, what’s really more important?
When It's Safe To Move Him Into Another Color Zone