How many of you Moms out there struggle with having a child who refuses to dress appropriately for the weather?

Kelsea is 14.  This is the first year since she was able to talk that I have been able to get her to wear a winter coat.  In fact, this year, she has TWO!  One is an army surplus jacket we got at a vintage store in Cheyenne.  The other, which looks almost identical but is warmer, is one that Pat got her for her birthday.  He had suggested to me that I find her a winter coat.  And I respectfully told him to do it himself.  I tried to find a coat she liked last year and nearly had a meltdown after 10 stores and no nods of approval, and I refused to do it again.  To my way of thinking, I’d found her the army jacket.  If he wanted her to have something else, he could go and find her something else.  And damned if he didn’t find something she liked almost immediately.

I’m happy that she looks warm.  As she has always told me, she’s a Colorado girl and the cold doesn’t affect her like it does me with my thin Southern blood.  There may be some truth in what she says.  She gets much hotter than I do in the heat, and stays much warmer than I do in the cold.  It was always disturbing to see her going to school in a heavy sweatshirt and jeans and nothing else on a frigid day, but I had come to accept it.  Being in the cold doesn’t make you sick; germs make you sick.

Maybe I’m just more aware of it because of the whole Kelsea-coat thing, but it seems like more and more kids are running around in this -9 degree weather inadequately dressed.  I saw two boys in SHORTS and sleeveless T-Shirts the other day, and it was all I could do not to yell out the car window “Go put some clothes on!! What are you thinking??”  A girl walking to school this morning had on only skinny jeans, Uggs and a skin-tight zip-front hoodie, and the same cry once again nearly crossed my lips.  Kelsea’s best friend was supposed to walk to school yesterday, but called and asked me if I could pick her up because she “doesn’t really have any shoes”.  It’s true.  She only has what I consider slippers.

I want to say “where is the parenting”?  But on the flip side, I have fought the losing battle of trying to get my child to dress for the temperature.  I know what it’s like.  I know how hopeless and frustrating it can be.  At least Kelsea does not wear jeans with intentional holes all over them, or burnout T-shirts and push-up bras, so I have a lot to be thankful for on that score.  My Mother only used the phrase, “You are not going out of the house dressed like that” to me one time when I was 16.  (She was fortunate too.)

But now that I am a mother, I will never be able to see a kid running around in summer clothing in the deadest of winter without cringing and having to turn my edit function wayyy up high.  And keep my car windows locked.  Or maybe I should just wear a gag.