Wednesday, December 16, 2009

black !!! white !!!

There are two things in this world that Genea knows. She knows what is right, and she knows that all the other things in the world are not right. This makes her a bit inflexible but I like to think that it can work for her in a lot of ways. Sometimes changing her ideas can be like trying to pry Dennis Rodman off of a bar stool- just impossible. Not gonna' happen. But the ability to be decisive, to come down solidly on one side or the other, that can be a positive thing. Highly paid lawyers for example, need to be opinionated. Highly paid investment bankers who take care of their old parents (instead of sending them to the sick homes)need to be decisive. Myself, I see layers and layers and layers. I haven't always been that way, I used to have much more strong opinions. Maybe it is that I understand other sides now, not necessarily agreeing with whatever it is, but comprehending the perspective, the full picture. The Husband, he sees minutiae. He sees detail after detail all of which can be hyper-analyzed to death and beyond. Take my word for it...deaaaaaaaaaaaath...and..... beyoooooooooond....

As the weather has become cooler, we have layered up our children in clothes as is the preferred way of handling chill in this part of the country. See up north here, the weather can go from 30 to 60 degrees and back again in a day so you have to be prepared for a wide range. Teachers ask that kids are sent to school with several layers to add or remove as necessary, depending on how temperatures go. So we do. However.

Genea started coming home telling me her teacher said she needs to wear a warmer coat. This was when the weather was in the 40's. I set her clothes out the night before so as to minimize assaults on my brain prior to 9 am (hey! It used to be 10! For that matter, it used to be NOON!). Anyway, I dress my children cute, and temperature appropriate and I would put out a shirt with a hoodie or cardigan for her, jeans usually or sometimes leggings, and a fall coat. I was irritated that the teacher was saying Genea needed to be wearing a warmer coat. First of all, I ask her all the time- are you warm enough? Is that coat going to keep you warm etc? The other thing is, you know, it is 40 degrees and while that is cold, it is going to get 30-50 degrees colder very soon, and is going to stay that way for the next 4 months. So if I send Genea to school in her warmest winter coat in the fall, what the hell is going to keep her warm in the real winter? Am I supposed to send her to school with a chimney?

Suddenly.... swoosh ! Shazam! My brain flickered for a second and I had a flashback.... to last winter.... to Genea last year.... and I remembered. Genea won't wear a hoodie or a cardigan or a pullover or any of it. She wears a shirt. And she wears a coat. And that's it. So, once she has put her shirt on that leaves only 2 possibilities. She is going to:
A. Put on her coat
B. There is no b, see A.
See that there? That is what we call 'black and white thinking'. I am sure there are a dozen other ways to describe this pattern, like rigid or unyielding. It's one of those mysteries. Is it an Attachment Disorder thing? Is it a Bipolar Disorder thing? Is it a Genea thing? I am guessing it is a combination. Once this child gets an idea in her head, well look out.

I started telling her every day, or at least all the days I remember, don't take off your hoodie. Keep your sweater on. You can wear 2 shirts and it will be okay. If I forget, she comes home in a short sleeved t-shirt with a pullover around her waist or stuffed in her backpack and tells me she was hot at school. If I remember to tell her, she will do it and she will point it out to me when she gets home. Seriously, it is that much on her mind all day that she tells me the second she comes in the door! Anyway, I thought that was kind of cute. I mean, it's goofy for sure, but a silly thing too. Cute.


  1. I don't know if it's a RAD thing or not, but both my older daughters HATE to be warm in the winter. Warm in summer is fine, but if I put them in layers they will strip them off as soon as the bus leaves like there is no tomorrow. I made them start wearing undershirts because at least I know the teacher will make them stop stripping when they get to underwear. Knowing that I want them to be warm apparently makes freezing all the more desirable.

  2. 3 hours later I'm finally able to leave a comment. Blogger is doing freaky things lately.

    Concrete thinkers. Some days they crack me up and others just frustrate the heck out of me. Keeping my kids in coats is a lost cause and not the battle worth fighting.

  3. Our B runs hot and hates to be too layered up in the winter. He appears to be neuro-typical. It's just a B thing. In his orphanage, his groupa were all dressed in about 5 layers when we met them -- including tights on the boys under their pants. B was sweating all the time. Ever since we sprang him from the orphanage (at age 3.5), he has insisted on wearing loose lighter-weight clothes. He often strips his mittens and hat off on the walk to/from places (and when I feel his hands they are toasty). I wonder whether it's just a B thing or whether it's some sort of kneejerk reaction to life in the orphanage that he can't articulate. Worried about hypothermia and frostbite, we have counselled him to plan for himself what his outdoor needs will be, and he is finally starting to master this and agree to carrying things along in his back pack for just in case he needs them. But this has been years in the making (he's now newly 8).

    Do they still make those double shirts for girls? Two shirts in one? Genea would think she was only wearing one shirt (there would only be one thing to put on)!

  4. that is really cute, if I did not keep on top of him Fudge would where 5 shirts one day because he say he cold and then the next day when the tempature has not shifted at all he will choose just a tshirt because it is his favourite. Calvin has got the layered thing all figured out be his 9 and only just got there this month.
    Good luck with remembering to tell her to keep it on!
    PS I left you a comment on my blog the other day.

  5. Send her to school with a chimney...ha ha ha I love it. I'm from next door(MN)so yah, I think you could do that and nobody would blink. Ha ha .... a chimney!

  6. I am so much like Genea. I like my basic clothes and a coat. That's it. Layering distresses me. It feels messy and requires remembering things and hanging things up and washing more things, and keeping things like matching gloves TOGETHER....etc. etc. etc.

    Nastya, however, learned her orphanage lessons very, very well. (The first time she was really warm? or am I just making things up?) I do not want to buy this child hoodies because she is obsessed with actually WEARING THE HOODS, which in my mind looks odd. Surely they are not meant to be worn? No one wears them! Except Nastya, who believes in a warm head. Over the hood of the hoodie, she'll but a babushka scarf, securely tied with a long scarf..... And she is the organized one who never loses any of these items of clothing, nor does she misplace her gym clothes, her taekwondo clothes (the school teaches taekwondo, oddly), her basketball uniform, her dress shoes or any other thing she is supposed to have.

    I am awaiting the day when Nastya can organize things for me. And when that day comes I might even be able to extend winter-wear to a hat and mittens. Until then it is fruitless to buy them; they'll be misplaced within the first day.

  7. There was a period of a few years where my daughter refused to wear a coat. NOBODY wears a coat, she said. She'd wear layers, and a lighter jacket even, but I would have to threaten to beat her to get a coat on her. She rides the bus now though, and it's pretty flippin cold at 6:30 am, down by the street with nothing between you and the winter wind but whatever you are smart enough to wear.

  8. Ahhhhhh - both my RADishes would rather freeze than layer. My son and I have compromised, sorta. He wears the jacket in the car, takes it off before he goes into school. Odd I know but otherwise every jacket he owns winds up in "The Locker," and never makes it home.

  9. Right! OK! What the heck is this???

    Annie I cant believe Nastya wears a hood and a babushka scarf. You HAVE to post a pic of that!

    When I was a teenager, we all wore our coats open, no good reason other than that is what everyone did!

    See, the part I don't get is, she has to know I want her to wear layers all day. Why doesn't she fixate and perseverate on that part of it? Why does she get stuck on, it is a shirt or a coat and you can only have 2 things ever?

  10. My sister is a RAD kid and she's JUST like this. Very literal, not flexible and frustrating.

    Good luck!

  11. Simplify, simplify, simplify....

  12. I know exactly what you mean about the whole black and white thing. My son is sooooooo like that sometimes. He argued with me the other day that the number five hundred ninety nine should be written 50099 instead of 599. He was unmoved even when I explained why it was that way. He definitely should be a high priced lawyer because I was totally beginning to see why it should be his way instead of mine!

  13. Forgot to say thanks for stopping by! I think even though I'm awake this morning, my brain is still sleeping!

  14. keep sharing with us, please....I will waiting your up date everyday!! Have a nice and relax day!..................................................

  15. Cal refuses to use the sense God gave him and does not wear a coat. Tonight was sooo cold after basketball and there he was, with the sweat freezing on his face with NO coat insight...ARGHHHHHH

    Do you think our kids make us crazy or were we crazy from the start?????


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