The Polar Effect in Kids

We have fought the battle to have Micah wear a coat for years. A lot of years. I have decided that I'm tired of fighting insignificant battles. There is a reason, my friends, why the older kids always cry, "the baby gets away with everything!" It's because parents are just too old and tired to care about every issue.

The way I see it, Micah will put a coat on if he's cold. Or he'll come inside. I feel this is common sense type of stuff and I probably should have incorporated this kind of wisdom (stupidity?) into my earlier years of parenting. I probably wouldn't have been so close to the end of my wits at any given time if I'd realized that every battle didn't need fought.

That's parenting gold, right there. Don't fight every battle. Choose wisely. If blood is involved, or brain cells can be killed off, you should probably take a stand. Otherwise, it might not be the worst thing ever.

Like Micah playing outside in the cold in a short sleeved shirt.

The boy refuses to wear long sleeves. It could be a sensory thing, but I think it's just the fact that he's perpetually hot. He hasn't worn a long sleeved shirt for 2 years now. I stopped making him put them on when I realized that he pushes the sleeves up from the moment he has his arms in the holes until he takes the shirt off again. The extra length is pointless, so I stopped buying long sleeved tees. (He's always been too hot for sweatshirts.) Now he has short sleeved tees year round and is happy. Even outside in the wintertime without a coat.

I do make him wear a coat to school. If he chooses to take it off, that's fine, but in the event that the bus breaks down in a snow bank and there is no heater, at least he'll have a bit more warmth than 40 excited kids jammed into a bus accident can generate. (Which, stated like that, he may not need the coat after all. But I won't tell him.)

Last week we had that cold snap where we rocked the single digits for a few days. I made Micah wear a light jacket to school. (It was easier than his heavy winter coat.) That came home in his backpack, because he chose not to wear outerwear on the bus ride home. He said he was hot.

Here's a gem of a photo that was taken during that cold snap.

Let me point out a few things about this photo. First of all, you'll notice that he's carrying a crock pot. I didn't notice that until after I took the photo. That crock pot was my Christmas gift from Josh, who has already discovered the beauty of Amazon Prime at the tender age of 19. Clearly, CrockPot brand doesn't believe in re-boxing boxes at the holidays for shipping purposes. OOPS.

Second, you'll see Micah is not only in his standard tee shirt, but also not wearing socks with rubber mules that I have for gardening. Personally, I don't wear a coat much in winter, either, but my hands and feet need to be warm in order for me to maintain body heat. There is nothing warm about Micah that I can see in that photo, and yet he says he's not cold, nor will he put a coat on.

Third, you'll see the UPS truck up at the road. Luke is on the Gator halfway there, for distance reference. Micah walked up and retrieved the box from the deliveryman, further proving that he spends time in the outdoors rather than just runs out, gets what he needs quickly, and runs back in. The boy is wired differently.

But he does come inside when he's cold. It's happened a small handful of times over the course of his life. Once, he even said he was cold, and he wasn't sick. Ironically, he's also a healthy kid with few colds for his age.

We should probably never move to the desert. He'd probably die. 


Cindy said...

Your last line, hahahaha!! I totally agree with you about being wired differently. My daughter Beth is the same way. She'll wear short sleeves all year long if we let her. I keep telling myself, "She's 32. I didn't want my mom telling me what to do when I was 32!" Yea, at some point you just have to pick your battles. Parenting is quite the job, isn't it?!

Kris Hurford said...

I laughed to myself as I read this post...can relate so much! My autistic son also is wired differently when it comes to temperature (well, to a lot of other things as well! LOL). We live in AZ (the desert) and he will wear his coat (mid weight) most of the summer ~ usually only taking it off when it hits 100 or so. He only wears light nylon track pants year round and short sleeves. I gave up long ago (he is 24) trying to make him put on or take off his coat. Like you, I finally realized he will do either when he gets uncomfortable. Not worth the battle! Casey is also very healthy. :-) I can count on one hand the number of times I have ever heard him complain about being too hot or too cold...just doesn't seem to register with him.