You might not think boys care about their clothes, but you’d be wrong. Mine care about comfort first, coolness factor second. Or rather, comfort first, coolness factor of the T-shirt design second, and fashion forwardness not at all. And don’t you dare call them cute. When my 8yo was a toddler he once said, “Mommy, I’m cute in my jammies and cool in my clothes.” But these days it’s all too-small sweatpants, Minecraft hoodies, and Crocs with socks. Don’t care; not a battle I choose to pick.
But he does wear a uniform to school (thank God), and I was surprised and a little amused when he came downstairs one morning wearing fashionably slim-cut khakis. The thing is, his grandmother buys a lot of his clothes and I don’t think she or he noticed these were skinny pants. They looked really cute on him, but I’m not allowed to say that anymore, not even about his jammies. Did I mention he’s 8 now?
Anyway, off to school he went. When I picked him up, he was uncharacteristically grumpy. “What’s wrong, bud? Did you not have a good day?”
“No! It was the worst day ever! I couldn’t run around at recess or at gym because of my pants!”
“Because of your. . . ? Oh, you mean they were too tight?”
“Yes! Worst day ever!”
Pants are a big deal in our house. What can I say, they’ve gotta be comfortable. Even for me. (I did the Mister Rogers change-up in reverse today – started with yoga pants, then changed into skinny cords for pickup. Sometimes I feel the need to make an effort. P.S. I usually peter out, along with my wardrobe, by Thurs.)
Then here’s the other kid: rushes in the door from school, up the stairs, and back down again in a T-shirt and gym shorts, no matter what temperature it is outside. “Ahhhh!” he sighs. “I like these clothes. You know why, Mom? They feel like summer.” I totally get that.
Clothes matter. They do. They can affect our mood and our confidence. Which is how I talked myself into buying an amazing Theory blazer I found waaayyy on sale. Fits like a glove, looks like a million bucks. I will be oozing confidence and style in my next business meeting. Of course, I haven’t taken the tags off yet. Maybe I’ll exchange it for another cardigan? No. I need to back away from the Athleta catalog and embrace the occasional tailored cut. I can always change when I get home, right?
LINK O’ THE DAY: This Washington Post story about a teacher who shadows her students for 2 days is really eye-opening. One of her takeaways? Kids sit. All. Day. Long. No wonder they’re often tired and grumpy and can’t concentrate.
My son’s first-grade teacher did this thing called “brain breaks,” where she’d put on a music video and let the kids dance and jump around for several minutes a few times a day. This NY Times article proves why this is a great idea: a study of 8 to 10yo students showed that after 20 min. of exercise, all showed marked improvements in their math and reading comprehension scores. More striking, the children with ADHD significantly increased their scores after exercise.