I don't know what it is, but it seems to be universal (at least universal among my friends) that little kids do NOT want to wear coats. WTH? Do they have higher metabolisms so they don't get cold? Do we get colder as adults? Are they hanging onto the baby fat to keep themselves warm? Are they sneaking a little rum before leaving the house? What is keeping them warm, and what is causing this extreme dislike?
This morning it finally got cold. I am so grateful to have the weather matching my holiday mood, but my mood turned sour when I insisted that Luke needed to wear his coat and he pitched a holy fit about having to wear his coat. I mean a serious two-year-old-lay-down-on-the-floor-kicking-and-screaming fit. It has been ages since I've seen such a display. I tried to explain that it was cold and that he needed to wear a coat, but he insisted in a very rude way that he was not going to wear the coat. I insisted that he had to wear the coat and attempted to zip it up at which point he started jumping up and down, twisting and turning and trying to pull his coat off.
I gave him my very best stern mother voice as I said, "Lucas Berend! It is cold outside and you will wear a coat! Now stand still." Him in the whiney voice I loathe to hear, "I don't want to wear my coat!" Me, "It doesn't matter. It is cold and you have to wear your coat." At this point, Luke turns really ugly and in between his angry little sobs he reaches out and tries to squeeze my arm with his hands.
Sounds pretty harmless right? Well, you're right, it is pretty harmless because he isn't strong enough to hurt me that way (yet), but the fact remains that he was trying to hurt me and that does not fly at our house.
My eyes widened as I watched him try to hurt me and I pulled out the Pissed Off Mom Voice (which consists of a lower pitched but louder version of my very best Stern Mother Voice) and I said, "That is IT! You will not hurt me or anyone else. Do not even try it!" I gently tapped his bottom through his jeans (no harm at all, I promise, since he pulled the magic bowed back maneuver - if you're a mom you know what I'm talking about - if you don't know, ask me to demonstrate next time I see you). I pointed to the time out spot and ordered him "Get in Time Out now, and I don't want to hear any crying."
Before moving an inch he opens his mouth as wide as he can and wails as loud as he can in my face "AhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHH!" This turns me into Hysterical Pissed Off Mom, and I yell back (I admit, probably not a good decision), "GET OVER THERE NOW!" With a loud wail he runs to the living room and throws himself onto the carpet in the designated Time Out spot. Then he rolls into his automatic complaints (whether true or not) that he is sick and he starts to cough in a way that would normally indicate he is about to give me a second look at his breakfast, but that never amounts to anything other than him torturing himself to put on a display to gain my sympathy. This continues between sobs and running tears and boogers, as he informs me "I'm sick!" Alternating with a cough-cough and attempted gagging noises. Then he proceeds to grab his stomach and complain in between coughs and gagging, "My stomach hurts."
Now, the first two times he pulled this stunt, I totally was at his side comforting him and trying to soothe him and keep him from barfing all over. After that, I figured out that it is all a contrived show to get my attention off the fact that he just acted like a total brat or was behaving poorly. So now my response (whether appropriate in your estimation or not) is, "Stop it. You're not sick and your stomach wouldn't hurt if you would just stop crying." Of course, this just pisses him off more, but there's no way I'm going to acknowledge his temper tantrum as anything other than just that - a temper tantrum. Of course, he's probably quite right that he feels bad - I remember feeling bad after throwing fits like that too. Still, I'm not giving him sympathy when all he has to do to feel better is stop crying and do what he is told.
After continued coughing, gagging noises and crying, I tell him to get out of time out and go the front door (where Evie is waiting quietly and watching the entire episode without a word - smart girl). He still is ticked and barely moving from his time out spot so I go pick him up and tell him that he is being silly. I try once again to zip his coat, but that just pisses him off even more, so I gave up and walked him to the front door. (Remember, I'm carrying a four year old boy against his will as he struggles against my prego belly, and yet, I find it amazing that I haven't really lost my cool yet, well except for the moment of Hysterical Pissed Off Mom.) We get to the door and I've given up trying to reason with Luke so I just set him down (jacket fully unzipped but still on his body) and we all exit the house into the cold weather.
Before Luke can even get to the car, he starts whining that he is cold. I look at him with my evil squinted mom eyes and think, but don't actually voice, "No Shit!? Ugh!" What I did say was, "That's why you had to wear your coat. Now get in the car so we can get warm." And that was it.
I only convey that story to say, Why the hell don't kids want to wear their coats? Do they truly think that I'm an idiot and it isn't really cold outside? Do they think coats are just a torture device created by mothers and fathers? What is it?