Friday, November 4, 2011

The Cold War

I awoke the other morning to find Sean sitting on the heating vent.

Mind you, that’s nothing particularly new or unusual in the Lehning household.  When the children were younger I used to put their clothes on the heating vent every morning to warm up before I dressed them.  It was always nice to put on a comfy, cozy, warm shirt.

But today was different.

As many of you know, I live outside of Chicago, Illinois.  And, you also know that it’s November which means winter is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere.

Then why, given those facts, is my 13 year-old son wearing shorts and a t-shirt and complaining that he’s cold?

Ya think?

It doesn’t matter the temperature.  Sean will wear shorts and a t-shirt every day.  It is only upon my insistence that he will put on anything else.

Years ago we bought an indoor thermometer for the house.  It has a little boy on the display that is clothed according to the current temperature.  His outfits range from full winter gear with scarf and mittens to a swimsuit for warmer weather.

Sean pays no attention and dresses as he desires.

And then complains that he’s cold.

I’m not sure where this aversion to wearing clothing started for Sean.  Of course, as a toddler, he disliked tags in his clothes.   Then again, I’m 43 years old and I still cut the tags out of my own clothing.

Is it the scratchiness?  Is it the extra texture of an appliqué?  Is it simply the feel of the fabric on his skin?

I’ve tried my best to figure it out but to no avail.  The boy simply loves to wear less.

He used to walk in the door and strip to his skivvies right there in the front entryway.  I could barely get “Oh, Sean!” out of my mouth before his semi-naked bottom would be heading down the hallway to his room.

As his little sisters grew up and subsequent shock and awareness came into play, I was eventually able to move Sean from the entryway to the hallway and finally, to his room.

Bitter cold winters and even the furnace going out has done little to deter his intent on being underdressed for the weather.

His reasoning? 

“Mom…it’s 72 in the house.”

Seriously??  Using logic at this tender young age?  Don’t you dare….

I’m the mom.  If I’m cold then he’s cold.  Enough said.

Nowadays, Sean is growing into quite the young man.  He’s got the hair and the teen-age funk to prove it.

I was hoping that with age, wisdom would come…or, at the very least, common sense. 

However, none of those have been bestowed upon the Lehning legacy.

Sean is his own man with his own very unique style.  And for him, less is more.  He’d live in a nudist colony if he could. 

However, with its climate, I can hardly imagine Chicago as being a mecca for nudists.

But then again, Sean isn’t naked.  He’s simply wearing a t-shirt and shorts….

Outside of Chicago…

In November…

Complaining that he’s cold….

And sitting on a heating vent.

Now who can find anything unusual with that?

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