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.