Every morning is the same rushed routine. My wife and I divide and conquer, hoping to get out of the house on time for school drop-off.
I coax one kid out of bed, she gets the other. She dresses the boy, brushes his teeth and makes sure the girl is moving on her own at a reasonable pace. All the while, I stumble downstairs, still in my own fog, and take the dog out for a walk. I come back, pour some cereal in a bowl for the kids, tell ‘em to eat up, and then I make then lunch. (Artisanal sandwiches of fine jams and pulverized peanuts, all on whole wheat potato bread, delicately de-crusted by hand. PB&J. Every day.) I help my daughter brush her hair and my wife makes sure all the books are packed and papers are signed. We scramble out the door, shouting at the kids that we’re going to be late, knowing that we’re on time. Barely.
Oh, yeah. At some point, my wife and I both PUT ON PANTS.
This is because we’re going out in public, specifically, where our children’s teachers, friends and friends’ parents will see us.
Actually, my wife is going to work, where proper attire is a must. Hell, she even showers most days! I am a stay-at-home dad. If I shower (highly questionable), it’s later, on my time. But, somehow, every morning, I find the time to get dressed.
It really seems like the least I can do. The least any of us can do.
But, for some parents, it’s just too darn much.
Parents wearing pajamas to walk their kids to the bus stop.
Parents wearing pajamas to walk their kids to school.
A principal in England not long ago recently wrote a letter to mums and dads at her school requesting they put something bloody proper over those knickers, aye! (I’m paraphrasing in a horrible British accent. “Shine ya shoes, guvna?”)
I will be the first to admit that if I got that letter, I might start being one of those parents wearing pajamas to school drop-off. Because I fight authority, authority always wins.
However, I understand her frustration. It is neither very difficult nor very time-consuming to put on a pair of jeans. If jeans aren’t comfy cozy enough, there are a lot of other options. Yoga or track pants, perhaps. Even sweats look like you’re wearing something that (maybe) you didn’t sleep in though you may notice more people asking if you’re “doing OK” or looking at you like you might not be.
Exceptions can be made. Everyone will understand if you have a day where it just ain’t happening. You’re sick as a dog, but still have to get the kids to school. Or that 45 seconds really will keep your kid from getting a late pass. But as a regular habit? No.
You are part of society. A highly functioning member, as a matter of fact. As such, you are expected to follow certain implicit expectations of proper behavior. Foremost among these: YOU MUST WEAR PANTS (unless it’s No Pants Day on the New York subways).
So slip off your flannel footies and put on your big-boy pants. Show your kids you have a little pride in yourself and respect for them and their institution of learning. Really, it’s the least you can do.