Put your hat on

“Put your hat on!”

“I don’t want to. I hate wearing hats. Why do I have to.”

“Because I said so.”

What is it about hats? Why the resistance to warmth? I guess it’s for the same reason I didn’t want to wear one as a kid either. Basically from a kid’s point of view it is a stand worth taking. Even if you lost the hat battle but you were still guaranteed the satisfaction of making everyone angry about it.

I remember walking to the bus stop with wet hair that would freeze by the time I got there. I could shake my head and listen to it clink as if my hair were beaded into braids. No doubt about it, I was cold, my ears were freezing and I had an ice cream headache. Guess where my hat was. It was in my hand which is as sensible as a helmet strapped to the back of a motorcycle. This was not without my Mother saying, “You are not leaving this house without a hat on!” (add “young lady” which translates into “you miserable shit”. I left the house with the hat on but it was off by the end of the driveway.

As a bright-eyed (read rookie) parent, I come into each winter season ready to tackle the hat stand off. First order of business, I engage the kids in picking out hats of their choice. Not just one, but at least two that way when something happens to the first hat, there is another viable option. Next, I compromise on the coat choice when the weather is reasonable to ensure the hat goes on. Non-negotiable I say. That’s right listen to me. I’ve got this all under control as if I’m the first Mom with all these bright ideas.

By December, it is a full blown hat stand off and not only is there no hat but most days my oldest son gets off the school bus with his winter coat tucked in his backpack. Why? – Because he can. He can make that choice and look pneumonia straight in the eyes. Better not get it because getting pneumonia means not only did you loose the battle, you lost the war.

It’s good to be a rookie parent. That way I will continue to approach each of these rites of passage like I’m going to be the first parent to change these timeless traditions. (ha-right!) And being a rookie means even when I haven’t succeeded I have the blind ambition fight the next battle.

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