Monday, March 25, 2013

Boy and Clothes

backward, clothes, backwards, boy, boys

Getting dressed is an every day occurrence and something you'd think that a child who is going to be heading into middle school next year should have well under control.  But, as some child psychologists have theorized, boys seem to mature later than girls.  

I would tend to agree as our daughter is quite capable of putting her shirt on with it facing the right direction.  With our son, it's a hit or miss proposition.  Some days he lucks out, but 9 times out of 10, he's coming in to breakfast with the tag and collar of the shirt directly under his chin.  I've asked him several times "Son, can't you feel how uncomfortable that is?".  His reply is usually "well, it did seem a bit odd.".  

Does a child really need to "mature" to understand which is the front and which is the back?  If this is indeed a fact, does this mean that my son will be in college before he learns that the side of his shirt with the tag imprinted on it is actually the back of the garment and thus, that side should be worn on the back?
I should've seen this coming though.  One day when he was 5 years old he decided he was old enough to dress himself without the help of Mom or Dad.  We backed off and allowed him this opportunity to grow and mature as all of the so-called "experts" suggested.  When he came downstairs dressed for Kindergarten with his blue jeans on backwards and his shirt not only backwards, but inside out, we tossed the child-rearing book in the trash and went with common sense.  Common sense says that if you have to zip and snap your pants using moves that were invented by Houdini, you might be getting dressed incorrectly.  
I do have to admit to using some of those moves back in the late 70's and 80's when skin tight jeans were all the rage.  Of course, they weren't really skin tight, they were much, much tighter than skin.  If they'd only been skin tight, I probably would've just had to suck in my tummy a bit.  With the tightness of the jeans back in the 70's and 80's, you would have one person hold the jeans open and then you would get up on your bed and take a running start so you could leap into the jeans while hoping that your weight would be enough to carry your feet all the way down the pants legs.  We'd heard that you could get stuck halfway and that would require a call to 9-1-1 and the thought of that conversation was almost too much.  We theorized the call would go something like this "9-1-1, What's your emergency?".  "Ummm, my friend was trying to put on her super-skinny jeans and has gotten stuck halfway".  And then the 9-1-1 operator would guide you through the many different treatment interventions which started with baby powder, then soap and before paramedics were called, they had you try baby oil.  If that didn't work then you ended up the paramedics with a pair of scissors and jeans that were now only usable as quilting quarters.  

When your friends weren't there to help, then you'd have to get a family member, like your mother, to hold the pants.  Kind of awkward having your mother holding your pants for you in high school or college, but the things we would do all in the name of fashion.  Once you were in the jeans there was no time to celebrate because then came the incredibly difficult task of actually fastening them.  

My personal favorite was to attach a wire hanger to that little hole on the zipper handle and then lay down on the bed, exhale all air from my body while simultaneously sucking in my belly and then yank, tug and pull on that hanger until I heard the telltale "ziiiipppp!" of it having closed securely.  Other people used pliers or screwdrivers.  Even heard of a few girls who put soap on their zippers so they'd go up easier, only problem with that was they would go down just as easily, but I probably shouldn't get into that.  And then the battle to close the snap or button began.  

Snaps were easier but had the nasty habit of coming unsnapped at the most inopportune times ......... like as soon as you tried to get up from the bed where you'd just spent 5 minutes trying to snap them to begin with! 

Once you got them snapped then it could take another 10 minutes trying to  get up off the bed using every means possible including trying to raise yourself up in a rigamortis pose, using the roll off the bed method, to holding your hands out for someone to pull you up. Anything to get up, so long as it didn't cause the jeans to unsnap. 

And later on, heaven forbid you walk through the cafeteria food line at school and see something you wanted to actually eat.  There was no room for food, beyond a bite or two, when wearing those jeans.  Nothing like being around 200 of your nearest and dearest high school classmates and have your pants come unsnapped because you had 3 or 4 bites of food.  Everyone would say "oh, poor Lottie.  She should've known she can only have 1 or 2 bites with those jeans on.  This is a really tough lesson to learn.".   The only thing worse than that was if they came unsnapped and unzipped due to the stress of the PSI they were under.  You weren't so much horrified that your pants came unzipped as you were that you didn't have a hanger with you in order to zip them back up.  After you and a couple of your friends would go to the bathroom and spend a fruitless 10 minutes trying to get your pants closed, you'd resign yourself to having to go to the school nurse and borrow a pair of pliers to get that sucker closed.

I always thought the school's custodian should carry a pair of pliers and watch for a surprised expression to come across some girl's face.  He could then discreetly walk over to them and hand them the pliers under the table, while acting like he was picking up/sweeping up someone's mess they'd made on the floor.  They could be slipped back to him just as covertly and none would've been the wiser......well, except for your friends who wouldn't say a word because they knew it was only a matter of time before they would be the one with the zipper issue.
All in all, I guess a shirt on backwards, and quite possibly inside out, isn't that big of a deal these day though.  I bet if I stand outside the school's doors at release time, half the boys would walk out with their shirts on backwards or inside out and their mothers are standing there probably sighing just like me and asking "Isn't that uncomfortable?  Didn't you notice?  I hope Mary Alice's daughter didn't notice or I'll never hear the end of it at book club."......

by: Christie Bielss

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