The One Item of Clothing I Won’t Let My Kids Wear In Public

A couple of years before I started a family of my own I lived with an ex-girlfriend six nights a week for about eight months. She had two young boys of her own which funny enough are very much like my own two boys. Living with her and her boys was like going to a training camp to learn how to live with a woman and two young boys. So I guess I am more than lucky to have picked the right Kinder Surprise to discover what was inside was in fact the same family dynamic that I had trained for.

One thing that I remember her telling me that upset her about the father of her boys (who was still very active in their lives, mind you), was that he had a few hard and steadfast rules when it came to his kids, and ones that he would never break. The one that perplexed me most was this one; he would never be seen out with his kids if they wanted to dress in their superhero costumes. Really now? They’re kids. That’s how they love to dress.

I have friends and family with daughters and their daughters will only dress in their Disney Princess outfit for the majority of the time. I have a friend whose daughter recently acquired a Batgirl costume and she needs to be wearing that, and only that, even on the coldest day of the year. No jacket. No coat. No stockings or big warm boots. Just the Batgirl costume. And I know of little girls who must live in their ballet or other dancing costumes even on the non-dancing days.

If I had a daughter, she could dress like a princess 24/7 for all I care. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
If I had a daughter, she could dress like a princess 24/7 for all I care. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Recently. after becoming big time Star Wars fanatics, my boys begged me to get them each a toy lightsaber (Obi Wan’s and Anakin’s respectively) while we were at the shops one Saturday. We had so much fun playing with these at the park across the road from our house that afternoon that my eldest begged for us to go back to the shops the following day and pick up the red lightsaber (Darth Vader’s) so that we could all play at the same time without sharing. Fair enough, I thought. And so we did.

The boys decided that they needed to wear their lightsabers everywhere they went from that point. And of course, when my eldest son suggested that I also wear mine, who am I to argue with a young Jedi Knight? And so I did. Yes… Out. In. Public.

I’m sure that if you’re on social media you would have seen this photo from Reddit user resgestae who shared the photo with the caption “I know a good dad when I see one.”

I know a good dad when I see one. Via Reddit user resgestae
I know a good dad when I see one. Via Reddit user resgestae

Did you know that this photo actually made it into an article on Huffington Post? The things that pass of as news these days… Still, you do gotta love it.

But I DO Have a Rule About Public Clothing

I have a rule. Track pants, also known as tracky dacks or trackie dacks, are for going to the gym or wearing around the house. That’s it.

If per chance you are going to be wearing them to the shops, you better be on your way to the gym or coming home from the gym. I will even accept them being worn on sports day. If you are on your way to or from netball, soccer or any of the other football codes, then go ahead, wear them, but just for general wear, I can’t stand them.

Unless your kids are going fancy dress as Run DMC, don't dress them like this. Photo courtesy of some knock off Adidas online store.
Unless your kids are going fancy dress as Run DMC, don’t dress them like this. Photo courtesy of some knock off Adidas online store.

As a child I spent many a winter’s day in track pants as I wasn’t bought my first pair of jeans until I was well past the age of ten. I can’t remember for sure, but it might have been when I started high school. But before that, if it was cold, I wore track pants.

I never felt comfortable in them. They just don’t seem to be as comfortable as a good pair of jeans in my book.

So I’m bias. I’m the sort of person who could wear jeans all day at work and then get home and slip into another pair of jeans, if I *had* to slip into something more comfortable. I just really like wearing jeans.

And not just jeans. Chinos. Or cotton twill pants. I just trust them and their button up front and their belt loop tops more that I do track pants and their rope that’s bound to get lost in one side tying up method.

Oh sure, I’ll wear track pants occasionally, especially if travelling to an extremely cold part of the world where I might have to sleep in them because it is just so freaking freezing. You can’t sleep in jeans or other cotton twill pants like them. Not unless you’re passed out drunk in a gutter. (That’s speaking from experience).

So when my boys, and especially the oldest one decides that they’ll be putting track pants on for the day or the afternoon after school, basically what I am seeing is a big red stop sign.

“YOU ARE NOT GOING OUT DRESSED LIKE THAT.”

No siree Bob. There is no way in Hell I am taking you anywhere in public if you’re wearing track pants. I just can’t do it.

So strip me of my Father of the Year nomination if you will, but I will not be seen in public with my boys dressed in track pants. I just can’t do it.

Besides, as I have told my first born son, the belt on your jeans or the sturdy pockets are much better for hanging your lightsaber on. And that’s why, at the very least, my first born agrees with me…

wearing the lightsaber all the time
Even when doing house chores, that lightsaber hangs off of his jeans. ‘Coz, you never know, you just never know…

Do you have any restrictions on what your kids can wear in public? Are you a bit of a fashionista (or fashion police) when it comes to dressing your kids?

4 thoughts on “The One Item of Clothing I Won’t Let My Kids Wear In Public

  1. Weather and environment appropriate is my only rule – more than a t-shirt if cold, no fleece if hot, etc. She can wear the ballet tutu to the shops, but not the playground as it’s not made for the rough & tumble. But sorry fella, no rules like that. Even princess costumes are allowed, despite how much I hate them…

  2. I won’t let my son leave the house if he’s wearing the same clothes for three days straight. Sometimes, he gets away with 2 days in a row if we’re not paying close enough attention.

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