Son2 has developed a disquieting habit of late. I don't mean talking with his mouth full or leaving the seat down while peeing. Lord knows he's done those for years. He's always been the more eccentric of the two kids. We've chalked it up to his "artistic nature" and referred to him as quirky. But now, at 11, Son2 is surpassing even, well, Son2, in the weirdness arena. Son2 has decided pants are optional. And with warmer weather here, I'm living in fear he's going to take his show into the great outdoors of the backyard.
Nudity not withstanding, as I mentioned, he's always had some quirks. Wardrobe has been an issue before. There was his love affair through the second grade with pajamas. He had a school uniform, so it's not like we had to worry about him wearing them to school. But first I found flannel pj's tucked into his backpack. Then finally, one day I picked him up at aftercare and was greeted with his flannel-clad gams. Turns out the weasel was slipping into clean pj's THEN his school pants. Not sure what he would have done once warmer weather hit. He may have passed out in library from overheating. Not quite sure if he had a plan once the spring uniform of walking shorts came out of the drawers. He probably did since he planned out sneaking a clean pair into the bathroom to put on under his uniform that very day. "Well, Mommy, I knew you guys would wonder where my pajamas were if you didn't see them in the hamper, so I knew I had to get changed when I got up. So I just had a different pair for school." It was a little diabolical for 2nd grader.
Ahh... the good old days... when he wore not one but two pairs of pants. One would be kind of nice right about now.
I first noticed this new trend a few days ago. Well, "noticed" may not be accurate. "Forced to stop living in denial" is maybe a little more to the point. That was when I went into the kitchen to find Son1 doing nothing. Not getting food (shocking in and of itself), not drinking the 3rd gallon of milk that day. Just standing, inviting the question "why are you in the kitchen, not the rec room?" Answer: "Because my brother's not wearing any pants. AGAIN!" Hhhhhmmm. Again, eh? "He's always taking his pants off, then he sits in the chair like nothing's wrong and I'm sick of it. It's weird. I'm not going back down there until he puts his pants on." A) That's the most logical set of thoughts I've ever heard from you. B) I'd have to agree. C) Can you please back up to the stress on the word "again" for me?
Sure, I'd noticed there were constantly socks strewn around the rec room. A sneaker here, a sneaker there. But ya know you come in and you take your shoes off so I could see that. But it's really not a common reflex to walk in the house, put down your keys, check the mail, and drop your pants (and not replace them with another garment) before sitting at the dinner table. So when I first saw the pants down there, I just figured he raided the clean laundry pile to put on pj's and the dirty clothes never made it to the bin. Or maybe he was getting his snowpants on to go out the backdoor to play and left his other pants there. I mean, I know it hasn't snowed in 4 weeks and it's all melted but it sounded sort of plausible. Or maybe I just needed to face facts that Son2's next "quirk" was surfacing and flying free was the way he wanted to be.
But then the Great Pants Caper became more obvious. Sitting at the table eating, I looked down and saw bare leg. "Aren't you forgetting something, on your legs?" Answer: "Oooh! napkin on my lap, I forgot." FORGOT?! Your NAPKIN? JUST your napkin???? Then tonight, while watching TV with him, I happened to glance away from my super important work (Pathwords) and glance toward the hub's easy chair in which Son2 was perched. And there, on the floor, in a trail like a soap opera bedroom scene was a line of shoe, shoe, sock, sock, and (of course) shorts winding to a cuddled up Son2 in a blanket. "Why are you not wearing pants?" Answer: "Don't you think it's so much more comfortable? Besides, I left my underpants on this time." Oh, ok. Gee, thanks for that, "this time." Excuse me while I go wash the blankets down in the rec room though.
Had this habit developed when he was 3 or 4, it may have been cute. If any of you have ever been faced with a middle schooler who has suddenly decided au natural is the way to be I'd LOVE to hear your parenting advice for getting the pants back on, because in my house I'd prefer children eat with mouths closed, with napkins on laps, OVER fabric. Call me a dreamer. For now I'm going to Google things like "sudden nudity" and "son refusing pants" to see if I can find any advice. I should just ask Son1 to help, since now we're both huddled in the kitchen, one avoiding the playroom until it's gotten Clorox wipe treatment, the other wondering where she went wrong, and praying her younger son would just put on his goddamn pants so our house can get back to the fully clothed 3ring circus it's always been.