Pajama game / by Susie Lubell

I just spent the last two hours dealing with unparalleled irrationality. I had the audacity to suggest to my son that he might wear short pajamas tonight instead of his usual fleece feety pajamas or his long sleeve/long pants combo with socks (never without socks). It is 85 degrees outside tonight. The sun has been down for two hours and the heat is still radiating. It is freaking hot by all accounts so why, in the name of GEORGE JESUS, does my son insist on wearing FLEECE PAJAMAS. I don't get it. It makes no sense. Most of what he does makes no sense but I have come to deal with most of it because most of his nonsense will not cause heat stroke. But when I go in there at night and he's literally roasting in his own sweat, I have to wonder if it's healthy to indulge this, yet another, completely irrational behavior.

So I put my foot down. I said, you want to wear longs, you have to put them on yourself. If you want to wear shorts, I'll put them on right now. So for the next hour he just cried and cried. I finally couldn't take it anymore so I went in there and slapped my fist down on the floor next to his head to scare him and growled, "you will wear these shorts!" Then I sat on him and put those red shorts on while he screamed and kicked. I turned off the light, closed the door and walked away. He continued to shriek.

Five minutes later he walks out wearing his long sleeve shirt tucked into his long pants. He actually did it himself. Then, through his snuffly tears, he asked me to sing him his songs for bedtime. So we went to my bed and we talked about what all had went down and I explained that I just want him to be cool at night. And I apologized for yelling at him. Then I sang him his song and after he said, "Mommy, I think I just want to sleep in my underwear on the bottom." Like it was his idea. Then five minutes later while I'm tucking him in, he says, "Mommy, I think I don't want to wear my shirt. I just want to sleep in my underwear."

WHY DOES HE HAVE TO FIGHT IT!?!? Please tell me there is some evolutionary benefit to him for going through this process. Because I'll tell you straight up I see no benefit for me. In fact, I see major detriment. It's a nightmare to deal with this stuff. And we do it EVERY NIGHT. Every single night there is some kind of mental breakdown over pajamas, or socks, or stories, or teeth or songs. I mean he is lying next to me with sweat pouring down his head and he's telling me he wants to wear his long pajamas. WHY? I don't get it. I guess it's not for me to get. Just for me to navigate. We'll see where we end up tomorrow. Who am I kidding? The minute I fall asleep tonight, he'll be in my room sobbing to have his fleece pajamas back on. And the space heater.