Friday, October 22, 2010

My Child is Cold

"Look Mommy, it's raining!" My girls were delighted to see true rain really coming down all of a sudden. Of course, it was the first time in a long time that I hadn't checked the weather report. The rest of this week had been overcast in the morning but warm and sunny by the mid-morning or afternoon.

I was hit with the realization that I sent Josh to school today in shorts, a t-shirt and a very thin sweater. Not only did it start to rain soon after I got him on the bus, but I realized that his class was planning on going to a field trip to a pumpkin patch farm this morning. Attached to the permission slip that I had signed earlier in the week was the suggestion to dress your child warmly and to wear comfortable shoes.

I panicked. I sent my son off to school and off to a field trip where he is going to be cold, wet, and uncomfortable. Oh my God. What kind of a mother am I?

Thinking about my child being out there somewhere underdressed and cold hits a "Asian mom/ your children must never be cold" nerve in me. Do you ever notice how Asian parents or grandparents always overdress their kids? We have a park down the street where a bunch of Chinese grandparents gather in the daytime with the small grandchildren that they are taking care of. Those children are always layered to the hilt. Vests, scarves, gloves, thick jackets--- all on a moderately warm day!

It must be somewhat connected to a shame issue. I do feel some worry that people are going to judge me for not having the good sense to properly dress my child. Yes, this can be difficult since I live in a part of the country that has a million different micro-climates and big temperature fluctuations throughout the day. But nevertheless, I still feel the pressure to get it right. . . especially since my child happens to not be able to say, "Hey, I'm cold".

I called his teacher who said, "Yeah, we were just looking through the lost and found to see if there was something else he could wear." (More shame filling my innermost soul.) Apparently, they were still going to go to the field trip despite the rain because the bus was already there and the rain was supposed to burn off by mid-morning. They were planning on leaving in five minutes so there was no time for me to rush over to his school.

I sprang into action. No son of mine is going to walk around a "%#*@! pumpkin patch cold. Not today. Not ever. "Girls, get dressed" I commanded. In less than 5 minutes, I got my two girls and myself dressed, brushed hair and teeth for all three of us and snapped them into their carseats. We were at that pumpkin patch at least 10 minutes before the school bus was.

When they finally arrived,the sun began to come out and it turned out to be a lovely day. My son, however, walked around wearing four layers of clothes all morning.

So what was my deal? Why was I so frazzled this morning? I'm not sure but I have a feeling that it has to do with the fact that there is so much about Joshua that I cannot control. No matter how many exercises I do with him, there are so many skills that he just cannot master. This makes it very hard to feel like I am doing my job as a mom. But there are a few things that I can do and it works. I dress him appropriately and he's not too hot and not too cold. Realizing this (and writing about it) helps me to have more grace on myself.

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