I’m training for my fourth marathon so it’s no surprise I spend a significant amount of time at the gym. Thankfully, there’s free childcare so it’s easy to just drop Gus off and go do my workout. Today when we walked into Kid’s Club we were greeted by one of Gus’s buddies who was fully clothed except for his pants. He was strutting around in his diaper. I should mention he’s two and a half. Gus immediately ran through the gated area and they were off to play superheros.
My first thought was not that he had some kind of accident. No, I knew immediately what had happened. His mom had lost the battle of getting dressed. Whatever battle had ensued at home over the pants, he had clearly won. Just then his mom walked in the door. She saw me and immediately began explaining, “Ugh…we had such a terrible morning. He refused to wear anything. I finally just gave up.” I nodded and smiled.
I had a brief moment of pride when I realized I’d always been able to get Gus in his pants. But my cockiness quickly faded as I remembered the time he wore his Spiderman costume for 16 days in a row. Probably the only reason Gus had never ended up pantsless in the outside world was because he had never wanted to. Again, I was struck by the seemingly inability to get our children to do anything we want them to do.
When I was a kid, there was no way either of my parents would have let me anywhere near the door without the proper clothing. And I know I must have tried to go without. I was just as stubborn as Gus is when I was a kid. But I did as I was told. If my parents said to get dressed. I got dressed. What is it about our generation of parents that is so different from the ones who went before? What’s wrong with us?
Stay tuned. I’ll be answering this question over the next few days.