Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Underwear (by Jennifer Van Santvoord)

For this year's A-Z Challenge, I am organising my writing group's participation for the first time. So I am posting each entry here as well as on the website, Write On, Mamas! who are a writing group based in the San Francisco North Bay area. We will have 25 Mamas and one Papa writing on a different letter of the alphabet during the A-Z Blog Challenge. Comments are always so appreciated here or it would also be lovely if you would comment on the Write On, Mamas! blog. Thanks and look forward to reading your blog.
Photography by Mary Allison Tierney

My son thinks that wearing underwear is optional.  He is four, so for him most articles of clothing are optional.  But in my house underwear is non-negotiable:  Unless you are taking a bath or a dump, your Fruit of the Looms must stay glued to your bottom.
But let’s face it, as hard as we try to institute rules with our children, they are trying equally hard to break them.

On a typical morning, I will hand my son everything he needs to get ready for the day:  shirt, pants, underwear, socks, shoes.  I then calmly ask, “Sweetheart, can you please get dressed while I get your sister ready?”

And the usual response to my request sounds something like an animal dying in the wild:  “Noooooo!  I don’t want to get dressed!  I want to plaaaayyyy!”  After much dramatic display, he finally starts removing his pajamas.

I return to dressing my daughter, and just moments later, I find my son totally naked with his day-old underwear stretched over his head, covering one eye.  He is running around yelling, “Mommy, look at me, I’m a pirate! Arrr!!”

I am already nauseated by this spectacle - his hair marinating in yesterday’s butt grossness- when he plops his bare butt onto the rocking chair, wiggling it wildly into the fabric:  “Mommy, Mommy, this feels cool!”

The day ends with a similar scene:  My two-year-old daughter declares it a clothing-optional dinner, stripping down to her diaper.  “Dahpuh off, dahpuh off!” she demands.  My son follows suit, and as he starts to pull down his underwear, I yell, “Underwear is non-negotiable!!  You can take off the rest of your clothes, but underwear stays on!!”

Sometimes I wonder who’s in charge in my house.  I’m pretty sure it’s not me.

Originally from the Northeast, Jennifer  now lives in Marin County, California with her husband and two children.  She writes a blog, Miles From Perfect, about her search for the perfect town to raise her children, and realizing how imperfect she is as a parent along the way.  She has also written articles as a guest blogger for various parenting blogs.


  1. LOL but undies are so constricting

  2. Tell him when he's older underwear will be optional.

  3. Ha ha, just keep taking pics so you can show them to his girlfriends when he is older!