Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sharp Dressed Man

Okay, experiences in parenting never end. Today was my first school picture day. We'd gotten plenty of notice, and I had figured out last week what Alex was going to wear: jeans, a rugby shirt, and hopefully it would be cool enough for a turtleneck. Easy enough, right? I hardly thought this would turn into a *thing*...Had it all gone as planned, this is how he would have looked [I took this tonight].

You see where this went wrong, right? I used the word PLANNED in conjunction with my life.

On a somewhat unrelated note. I'm *tired*. My frenetic pace this month is beginning to take its toll, and when I got up this morning, decided there was no earthly reason to begin my day so quickly, and went back to bed. So Alex and I both got a little extra sleep this morning. Alex's school day begins at 8:30, and class time begins between 8:45 and 9. I always figure he needs to be dropped off by 8:40, at the latest ~

7:15 - Gently shake the boy awake (we still haven't conquered the whole - stay in bed all night, and complicating things is that now Alex sleeps with Woody from Toy Story). Really. You can imagine all of the inappropriate things that run through my mind when I wake up face to face with a Woody.

7:30 - Finally, His Highness rousts himself to the bathroom, where he brushes his teeth. His newest thing, when rinsing is to mimic a surprise. For instance: "Mommy? How old are you? [takes sip] "41". [spits water out as if he can't believe that I've not yet turned to stone]

7:33 [And here's where it all goes to hell] I'm dressing him in the outfit that I thought was so great for a kindergartner, and say "Alex! Picture day, aren't you excited?"

Alex: Mommy, can I wear a tie?

A tie? Who am I raising? Alex P. Keaton? A Warbler from Glee? Alex's school has no dress code, and he's worn a necktie exactly twice: at his Uncle Parrish's wedding and Easter Sunday (courtesy of my mother, because you know, nothing says Resurrection like dressing your grandson like a City Councilman) I am not that formal. The last time I wore a suit to work, my boss complimented me on how nice I looked. Translation: "Jesus, I was beginning to think you slept in khakis and sweaters".

Anyway, I tell Alex that we don't have a tie. I then ask, puzzled, why he's just bringing it up that he wanted to wear a tie, that we had to go to school.

Alex: "When you and Daddy got married, he wore a tie, so I thought you would know that."

Okay. At this point, it's 8:00 and I figure it's not the time to get into kid logic. So, no tie. He then proceeds to pick up his glow in the dark dinosaur shirt and asks to wear that. Easy answer. No, because they school said no black. And plus...really? From a tie to a dinosaur shirt?

Alex [pointing at the rugby shirt like it's made of stick pins]: But Mommy, that shirt is black.
Me: No, it's blue.
[crickets chirping]

Then he points to his button down shirt in the closet. Can I wear that, pointing to a shirt from LAST birthday's pictures, and I'm thinking there's no way in hell that it fits. Well, it must have been entirely too big because it fit him perfectly. The school instructions said no stripes, but it's now after 8, and we still haven't had breakfast.

Okay, fine - you can wear this shirt.

"Please button my sleeves Mommy. Alex always says please and thank you. He's a kind and benevolent ruler. As I'm buttoning, he spies a pair of black socks, and excitedly says:

"THAT sock can be my necktie."

Me: Ah. No. Goes into the drawer...this is the only necktie you have, and it --
Alex: Okay I wear it.
Me: --doesn't match.
Alex: No, Mommy. It'll be fine. I wear dis.
Me: Alex, your shirt is blue striped. Your tie is yellow with a design. I really don't think this matches.*

*I NEVER buy ties. I am impossible at matching them. And even in my limited experience, I can see this doesn't match.

I take my next breath to explain that he's going to look a hot buttery mess, and then remember the numerous conversations that I've had with my veteran parent friends about choosing your battles. This is not a battle to choose - after all, who of us doesn't have a COLLECTION of bad school pictures? And at this point, I can't argue much because it's...


So downstairs we go, had breakfast, packed lunches finally got to school. In the turtleneck, striped shirt, and printed tie at...8:55.

ONE HOUR to dress 3 feet, 10 inches. I'm sure there are people who DID get married today and didn't take so long.

God bless the little test pattern as he grabbed just a little more of his independence. And a small part of me was very proud that Alex was determined to wear his own clothes on his own terms. But the larger part of me wondered what he'd want to wear for Christmas pictures. A tux?