Just The Notes

Parenting Tip #303 – Just Put A Jacket On!

Why I’ll Gladly Spend The Next Decade Yelling At My Kid To “Put A Jacket On!”

Wheres your jacket? my father would ask constantly. It was his favorite question. He never asked about school, girls or why my eyes were always bloodshot (its a condition) just the geographic location of my coat.

In my bag.
I left it in my locker.
Ummm, I think it’s in my closet because I forgot it.

Most of my friends experimented with drugs around seventh grade. Experimenting on each other sexually around the same time, maybe sooner. I was accessory to more than a few stolen packs of cigarettes, cigars or bottle of booze lifted from unlocked liquor cabinets.

  • I didnt smoke anything until my sophomore year.
  • Liquor didn’t touch my lips until junior year.
  • I didnt touch a female until last Monday.

Going without a jacket was my only real show of rebellion. It felt like the most mother-fucking badass act of revolution in a house were I was honestly scared shitless of my mom. Dad, not so much, laid back guy but my mom could rage. I’d bear arms with bare arms no matter the temp or wind chill. Take your drugs, smoke your weed, touch your vaginas but this kid isnt wearing fleece on a winters morn.

Every morning now involves a war of attrition. Maybe its a war of exhaustion. Wholl get tired of fighting first?

Im a parent. Im in a constant state of tired.

Its an argument over a fucking jacket. A jacket, a sweatshirt, any outer layer to provide warmth.

First, its a battle to get a jacket then which jacket then whys a certain jacket in the wash or gone or in a pile of toys.

Then in the afternoon its wheres your jacket? why arent you wearing it? Where did you leave it? Why is that other kid wearing it?

Hes fast but Im faster. His pumping arms make it impossible to slip on the sweatshirt that looks like the monster from Where The Wild Things Are while both in mid-sprint. Eventually, I win, because Im the parent. Eventually, Ill lose, because Im the parent.

If going coatless is his lone rebellion Ill accept defeat withevery battle. Just solong as he stays away from the things that will cause a war. Or worse.


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Chris Illuminati is a freelance writer and published author. Follow him on Twitter (@chrisilluminati), Instagram (@messagewithabottle) or email him at cilluminati@gmail.com.

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