Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Seasonal Insanity

It was around this time last year that I began the search for the perfect coat. No, not for me, for my then 5 month old son. I was obsessed with all things baby warmth. I began my search via the internet, favoriting websites and marking possibilities. How could I keep him warm in the freezing Chicago weather? It's so windy, so very windy. I considered snow pants matched with huge coats, fuzzy fleecy baby-in-a-bags, one piece down things with hands and feet built in - I had no idea what I was doing. The search ended up taking roughly 2 and 1/2 months. It was an actual source of stress for me. I even remember accusing Hubby of a lack of involvement in the life of his son because I could not under any circumstance get him to talk to me anymore about baby winter apparel. He had had enough. Two months in our conversations went something like:

"Why don't you just order that one?"

"FOR THE 59TH TIME I TOLD YOU LAST WEEK I CAN'T GET THAT ONE BECAUSE IT HAS NO FEET AND IF THERE IS A GAP BETWEEN HIS PANTS AND HIS SHOES HE COULD FREEZE!"

"Ok, how about that one?"

"FOR THE 83RD TIME I TOLD YOU TWO WEEKS AGO IT CAN'T BE THAT ONE BECAUSE IT WILL BUNCH UP TOO MUCH AND HIS SEAT BELT WON'T FIT RIGHT AND HE'LL DIE IF HE WEARS IT IN THE CAR!"

"...that one?" (shrinks away in fear)

"FOR THE 107TH TIME I TOLD YOU YESTERDAY THAT THE PRINT IS UGLY AND I HATE THE COLOR AND I'M CRAZY AND AN INSANE BITCH ABOUT COATS AND BLAH BLAH CRAZY WOMAN BLAH SCREECH WHY WON'T YOU HELP ME YOU DON'T LOVE ME BLAH CRAZY COATS CRAZY COATS CRAZY COATS..."

And so I had to go it alone. In the end I made what I thought was the perfect decision - it had hands and feet and zippers and down and a hood and it would make my babe a bundle of toasty goodness all winter long. Except for the fact that I did not actually intend to bundle up my child and go trecking through the windy blowing blizzards of our freezing city. What was it exactly that I needed this SNOWSUIT for?

Here is a picture of one of maybe 3 times total that I put Sam in this thing. Think "A Christmas Story" here.


See how he has to explore with his tongue because all of his limbs have been rendered immobile?

Clearly this is not a garment I could expect him to wear for any period of time over 3 minutes. I tried to put him in it for a car ride once and had to pull over and take him out so that he wouldn't sweat to death, big sweaty head that he is. Or maybe I just opened all the windows and froze myself as his body temp equalized...

Today is chillier than it's been. For our grocery trip this morning we sported long sleeves and I my new jeans jacket - let's go 80's woohoo! But it hit on my walk to the car as I held my 3 layered child: "Oh no, what is Sam going to wear for a coat this winter?!" And it all started flashing before my eyes again. Snowsuits, boots, parkas, fleeces, hoods, hats. Dear God, it begins again, with a whole new set of toddler like issues. Meanwhile the like new blue suit sits in the closet longing for another body to smother.

23 Comments:

Blogger GranolaGirl12 said...

Hilarious. That picture is priceless. Definitely rehearsal-dinner worthy.

I won't even try to suggest anything...


psst. land's ends, maybe?!?

8:42 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

Ok. First of all - THANK YOU cuz I am cracking up over here! And the poor little guy! Priceless...

I'll insert my BTDT Mom advice (since you didn't ask) and you can take it or leave it as you will (and I am Chicagoland as well, so I understand.)

You need 2 coats. Wait. 2 COATS? Yes. Cuz he WILL want to play in the snow this year and so will you. Get that snowsuit with the overall pants and the coat that goes over it (with a hood, of course). Then, get a medium/warm coat for the 20-50 degree days. You know, lined but not downy filled for the arctic. So he can wear it when just shopping and not freeze but also not sweat to death in the store!

Also, you don't need fancy. Wal-Mart, Target, etc. have great coats that work just as well as the Carter's Land's End Etc. etc. that charge 2-3 times as much. I personally ALWAYS check the clothing resales that I love to frequent BEFORE I do my coat shopping each year. (I got Corinne's snow suit this year for $10 !! and it's practically new!)

Oh, and I suggest going out as soon as they start stocking the shelves cuz they stop stocking mittens in February. Isn't that brilliant? I ran out of mittens last year and the only ones they had in my son's size were PINK AND GLITTERY.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Kelli in the Mirror said...

Wow. So glad I live in Texas. We get by on sweaters and running from car to building almost the whole winter. I did buy Gilly a coat this past year, for the first time, and I think she wore it twice. There's no snow for her to play in, so I just hold her and run. It's easier. :)

10:53 PM  
Blogger bon said...

I am with Tracey... only I usually have the luxury of having TWO of the medium weight coats... 'cuz mah girls is pigs and the queen of laundry I aint! I say luxury because my MIL and FIL are the rulers of the yardsale all summer long. They find and purchase the Gap, Gymboree, Carters, Osh Kosh, and Old Navy stuff for $.25 a pop.

I don't say this to brag... I just say this to get behind the idea of second hand works great too! Surely in a big place like Chicago they have a "children's second hand, but not nasty or stained" store?
wait... was that just assvice I offered? take it alllll with a grain of salt!

11:23 PM  
Anonymous katie said...

We are heavy into the raincoats and not much else over here, so I can't help you too much!
This post totally made me laugh out loud, mostly the "BLAH BLAH CRAZY WOMAN BLAH SCREECH WHY WON'T YOU HELP ME YOU DON'T LOVE ME BLAH CRAZY COATS CRAZY COATS CRAZY COATS..." because truly my husband feels your husband's pain! (take out "crazy coats" and insert anything I am currently biting my nails over.)

12:56 AM  
Anonymous ABC Momma said...

You crack me up!

A lightweight jacket has been sufficient for grocery trips, etc, but we have a great Obermeyer ski/snow suit that Ant used for 3 years and now Bud is using. It comes with the bibs and a coat to go over them. It came all hemmed up so it could "grow" three sizes. I'm not sure how spendy it is--my SIL worked at a ski shop and gave it to Ant for Christmas.

2:23 AM  
Blogger Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh yes. I am there- as you know I am near Chicago and so we are feeling the weather here!! Gosh one year I plopped down too much $$ for snow suits and boots that got worn maybe twice?? THEN I got smart and checked out GOODWILL! (For my older boys.) Yeah, I am still a clothing & shoe phobe or snob- take your pick. Gray has to have "new."

11:16 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Those pictures are too funny, and oh-so-Christmas-Story with his arms straight out.

I love how he is checking it out with his tongue, I laughed. :)

Good luck with the coat hunt!

1:31 PM  
Blogger Allie said...

Beth - do you have a store called Children's Place down there? Extremely practical, stylish and affordable clothing in my opinion.

Love the post! I think every mother can completely envision being in that conversation. :)

I agree with the multiple coat theory. Where I live (Canada), you have the full on snowsuit (pants go up to the arm pits, while Jacket past the butt) - my son looks like the Michelin man but can last for hours in the cold weather.

Then you have your fall jacket, the fall/winter jacket, full on winter jacket, then the spring jacket. Do I dare get into the boot/shoe selection?

Good luck with this year's dilema!!

3:24 PM  
Blogger Mama D said...

Will you kill me if I tell you that I bought A's winter snowsuit at Value Village for $2.99. It's Baby Gap, Purple with a tiny flower print, and has fake sheep fur around the collar. I just found a hat and mitten to match (the mittens have a string so they won't get lost!) and they cost $10. More than the suit!! Now I just have to find some winter boots that she can walk in since she'll likely want to be walking around in the snow this winter!!! Eeek!!! Exciting!

3:39 PM  
Blogger Mama D said...

I should have added a question mark after the "would you kill me part". Can you believe my poor punctuation? And you can't kill me cause I'm too far away! HA HA!!

3:41 PM  
Blogger allysha said...

Layer. It's trendy. It's practical.

We use a warm, but not too bulky coat with a hoodie underneath when it's really cold and cute little stretchy gloves. We have serious gear for outdoor snow play. Warm waterproof boots and poofy coats and hats that go under hoods nicely. good luck!

5:37 PM  
Blogger amyjane said...

I did the same thing last winter--bought my babe a freaking huge suit from Children's Place that he wore exactly twice. Instead we bought a BundleMe the fits in the carseat--great for newborns. You do have me stressing about this winter though--he will want to walk and touch the snow which means even more outerwear--eek!

7:47 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

OMG, I'm laughing so hard right now. I am the EXACT same way. I was obsessed with finding warm clothes for Little Guy last winter. And just today I got the Lands End Winter catalogue and I was getting all excited looking at the new winter coats and fleecy coveralls for toddlers. Several of them look similar to that blue suit.

BTW, those pictures are priceless. Too funny!

12:56 AM  
Blogger sari said...

We don't have coat issues here, we live in H*ll! Ok, I take that back. In the winter, when everyone is freaking out about coats, it's about 75 here, so I can't complain for a second there.

I had this with my first for the about 2 times we ever went on a trip somewhere cold. It did actually snow here once for about two minutes, and he was prepared.

My second, poor thing. He makes do with whatever is outgrown by his older brother, and if that's not enough, we just layer on some more clothes! ;-)

9:18 AM  
Blogger sari said...

PS The picture with the tongue? Cracks me up.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Oh my God this is the funniest thing I've read all day!

I just snorted I was laughing so hard.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Poopydigs said...

Oh Beth, Oh no. Thanks for the chuckle. Oh, the tears of laughter.

It's like when we put Ella in her skunk costume for Halloween. She looked cute, but couldn't move. She ended up taking a nap sitting up because she couldn't move.

By the way, I have 2 freakin' tivos and neither of them recorded GA.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

I'm totally cracking up over here! Those pictures are great.

I have to suggest a children's book to you:
Thomas' Snowsuit by Robert Munsch. You'll love it!

5:17 PM  
Blogger janice said...

Jackson had one of those kind of "Christmas Story" suits! my husband got so mad when I put him in it!! But what to do? It is cold in the snow!!!

4:24 AM  
Blogger Kim's Life said...

LOL Its really warm where we live so we never had to put our children in clothes for the cold. LOL I love the photo's

8:39 AM  
Blogger Nikkie said...

I'm finding myself having a similar problem now too. I'm not sure what size to get him! I don't want to go to small and have him out grow before the end of winter and I don't wanna go to big! Its just not easy to decide!

6:39 PM  
Blogger New Mama's Nest said...

That is "A Christmas Story" if I've ever seen it! Good luck with this winter's search!

1:05 AM  

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