DISCLAIMER: I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LOVE THIS KID. I DO. BUT...
This is how I found Evan outside after I woke up yesterday. After the homework was completed and he did the required changing of the clothes to get out of his school uniform. John, of course, was oblivious. The kid was clothed, so he didn't care. But now I feel I need to point out that the child has jeans that fit him well. He also has every variety of shoe one can imagine for a 9-year-old little boy. But the rule is, after replacing expensive gym shoes every 2 months, that he is not permitted to go outside and play in mud and muck in his new-ish Jordans. His solution? A pair of brown leather oxfords, sans laces, and apparently socks are optional as well. The 6-inch flash of ankle really sets them off, don't you think?
But this? This is how he was playing. Outside. Where my neighbors and passers-by could see. Everybody look at the poor child whose parents don't provide appropriately-fitting clothing. I was so embarrassed. And then I started to thinking again. I hate when I do that.
Isn't it supposed to be the other way around as Ev gets older? Isn't he supposed to reach a point where he is embarrassed by us, too cool for us? But here lately, the kid will throw on anything. Too short, too long, holes, stains, worn-out? These are of no consequence to Evan. Of course I couldn't care less in the house. But we will be getting ready to go out-- to the mall, to dinner, wherever--and I will look and see Evan in this weird combo of clothing choices and if we haven't already left the house, I have to make him change. If we happen to have left already when the discovery is made, the plans are instantly changed to drive-thru meals and a return home. Of course there have to be solutions to this. But it goes a little deeper than just what he is wearing.
Since having Zach, I've been hyper-sensitive to how things appear. I take more pics of Zach because, well, Zach's a baby and is constantly changing and doing new things. Evan? Not so much these days. Example: Zach stood the other day--really stood. And I took a pic. No pic of Evan standing because he's been doing it for about 9 years now and it isn't so new. I can assure you that I did the same with Ev when he was Zach's age. And Zach is constantly outgrowing clothes or reaching new stages where he needs different gear or the next size up in clothing, so it seems we are always going shopping for something Zach needs. And it makes me question whether I am neglecting Evan.
Of course I'm not neglecting Evan. But I'm still crazy/neurotic/worried about it. And it's little stuff like this on which my neurosis feeds. Because people see us out and Zach is adorably dressed in brand names and Evan is soiled and stained and in disrepair. So then I am thinking that other people are judging me, when in truth, Evan would be dressed just as well and look just as clean-cut if we could revert to the days when I bathed him, I dressed him, I did his hair. I miss those days. Really I do. Because aside from the horrible clothing choices, we are also in what I am choosing to call "The Pig Stage".
The Pig Stage, seriously. Where he takes these God-awful long showers and emerges with hair that smells like dirty hair instead of shampoo. Ewwwwww. And I have to fight him to go back and wash himself. When did his personal hygeine go out the window? And the bedroom. We've already gone there. It's enough to make me insane.
So, since I have never had a daughter, I am left wondering if little girls do this stuff, too. Is this phase going to pass? Or maybe it is just that I am whirling from the over-abundance of weiners in my house. I think we should add another pair of ovaries to the mix. Someone else who smells like flowers and stuff. Who bathes and actually enjoys being clean. Someone who will be able to tell the boys, while I am at work, that they really shouldn't go out in public like that.
Or maybe I just need a kid who will wear clothes that fit.