My children are creatures of habit. Every morning, we come downstairs, and they have breakfast while I make OK’s lunch and LK’s snack. They get start getting dressed 15 minutes before we leave the house, and jackets are the last thing we tackle before heading out the door.
It’s been cold enough in the mornings that I’ve needed gloves and hats for the boys in addition to their jackets. I finally broke out the long sleeved shirts that I’d set aside for cold weather (dresser drawers are only so big), too.
LK picked out a bright red long sleeved shirt, not much of a different color from the red hoodie that he loves with all his heart. Seriously. Most little kids don’t like jackets, but it has to be at least 80 degrees for him to consider taking the jacket off. Half the time he doesn’t even want to take it off when we’re at home.
We dropped off his brother at school and drove to his preschool where I gave him an unfortunate case of hat hair (if anyone can offer tips for avoiding static hair, I’d appreciate it) and put away his hat and gloves in his backpack. I went off on my merry way, and came back just before noon.
There was my son, sitting at a table with his backpack and hat… but no jacket. Everyone swore he’d worn it, so I went outside to the yard where the little kids play. We looked under the boxes he was playing with.
I should explain the boxes. He goes to a great preschool with three separate play yards so that all the age groups can play appropriately. His yard is right by the kitchen, so if they get a delivery of plates or napkins in a big box, they’ll fold it flat and let the little kids turn it into houses. In my son’s case, I was told that he slid down the steps of the jungle gym (all three) on the box, and they hadn’t an idea where he might have learned this. His teacher asked if his uncles (she knows we all live in one house) showed him that. I said no, that it was probably from Home Alone. He really loves that movie and has it memorized. The teacher’s assistant said “I knew it!” loudly enough that she startled the two year olds having lunch next to her.
At any rate, the jacket wasn’t out there. We looked under a tarp that was out there, behind the little playhouse in the yard… and it was clear. It just wasn’t there. We searched all through the classroom, in every single cubby, and even in the bathroom.
By now, the Little Kidlet was in tears. He didn’t want to leave without his hoodie. But he did, and I thought things were fine.
But this morning, he didn’t want to go to school. He didn’t want to wear the other jacket we have in his size. He sobbed.
We dropped off his brother, and walked into the preschool classroom. Since he leaves in the middle of the day, often there’s artwork in his cubby that they put in at the end of the day. I checked, and there was his jacket! He dropped all his things, pulled off the blue jacket and begged to have his hoodie on.
All it took was his favorite jacket and the funk that had been following him everywhere this morning was gone. Being a little kid has perks like that.