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What’s really important: Christmas pajamas

Submitted by on Monday, 8 December 2008 No Comment

Once in a while, I flat miss it.

I’m so tin-earred about what’s really important in the guys’ world that I blow past something crucial.

And that’s why Boots and I spent Sunday afternoon going from one crowded store to another in search of Christmas pajamas with zippers and feet. The last part was crucial to Big Guy, but I had no idea how much so until Saturday.

We’d bought Christmas pajamas months ago — matching red flannel pairs with dogs decked out in Santa hats and jackets and reindeer antlers. Boots loved them, but Big Guy grumbled. “I want ones with feets.”

Big Guy always grumbles at wardrobe changes, though, so I ignored it.

The day after Thanksgiving, Boot cheered when I proclaimed it time to wear the pajamas. He cheerfully put them on, his delight escalating when he discovered that they had pockets. He zipped around the house looking like a 3-year-old, little old man in his button-up top.

Big Guy stood naked and stubborn in the bedroom. “I want ones with feets.”

He’s had ones with feets all his life. The first set he remembers was when he was 2 and Boots was 5 months. He rejected them until I billed them as “just like the baby has.”

Bingo! He could be warm, snuggly and red-clad, just like his brother. It was a chance to regain some of that good baby love lost when that other kid moved in.

The next year, matching green velour with an embroidered reindeer replaced the red sets. Big Guy grumbled at first — because that’s what he does — but when he realized the new set had convertible feet, he fell in love with the novelty. He gave them up in early May.

Last year, he grumbled about the candy-cane Dr. Dentons before deciding he would wear those until May, too.

Which is why I figured the two-piece footless set eventually would gain acceptance. When a week had passed and Big Guy continued to gripe, I realized something else was going on.

Saturday, Big Guy let it out.

“They’re not snuggly and cozy,” he cried softly. “They don’t zip up and keep my belly covered. They’re not like I’ve had since I was a baby.”

Bingo! “They’re not like I’ve had since I was a baby.”

Somewhere deep in the recesses of the kid who tries to wiggle out of a hug before he jets off to class, who bristles at being called “little man,” there lives a creature who still needs that good baby love.

The next day, while Big Guy was at his grandparents, Boots and I went shopping.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate shopping? That I’d rather be forced to listen to endless loops of “The Barney Song” than venture out on a Sunday this close to Christmas?

I was ready to give up when we failed at three stores. “Let’s just go to Target and get the other things we need,” I told Boots.

I hadn’t even planned on looking at Target — that’s where we bought the unacceptable two-piece pairs months ago. As we rounded a corner toward vitamins, though, Boots started pointing. “Feet pajamas! Feet pajamas!”

And there they were, at the end of an aisle in the toddler section. My diminutive darling is the smallest 5-year-old on Earth and still can squeeze his scrawny butt into a 5T. Christmas was saved.

I called Big Guy and told him. “I’m coming home right now!

He laid on the floor and tried to count to 1,800 — he’d asked how many minutes until they would be ready — while he waited for the dryer to finish. The second it shut off, he grabbed the PJs and put them on.

It might be a bit of spoiling. It might be unnecessary spending.

In my mind, though, it was hanging on to a tradition that was more important to Big Guy than I’d realized.

I can’t give him everything he wants this year, but as long as part of him still wants to be my warm snuggly baby, I’m happy to provide that.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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