Parenting in Public: Hats

With November comes chillier weather around here, and with chillier weather comes comments from strangers on the bus about how Jesse is bundled up (or, more often, lack thereof).  This is my least favorite part of being a car-free family:  all of my parenting choices are out there for people to comment on, always.

Never mind that it was in the upper 50s (warmer than our house is sometimes in the winter!), Jesse was in a mei tai on his dad’s back, and inside a Kinder Coat.

Never mind that we were just walking from a friend’s house to the grocery store (about 7-8 minute walk) and then we had about two minutes outside the store before the bus came.

Never mind that Jesse *hates* having things on his head these days, and I want to pick my battles and only force the issue when I think it’s actually dangerous for him.

Never mind that he was laughing and happy, and clearly not distressed by his lack of hat.

Jesse does own hats, and can occasionally be bribed to wear them with wooden blocks.

Even if all these things were not the case, where do people get the idea that they can go up to a stranger, poke them repeatedly (yeah, I swear I couldn’t make this stuff up) and tell them their kid needs a hat.  The folks over at Car-Free with Kids have a great post on how being car-free means being more visible.  Most of the time, this isn’t actually a bad thing in my book (stay tuned for tomorrow’s post about the good parts!) but on Saturday, all I wanted was to get home with my husband, son, and groceries without being accosted by a well-meaning-but-clueless stranger (who then got annoyed at me when I thanked her for her concern and said the baby was fine).

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8 thoughts on “Parenting in Public: Hats

  1. I must just look really mean or something because I seldom get comments like that.
    But really, children have different preferences. I’ve known kids who like being a little chilly and some who hate it. But who’s going to know this best? Some stranger, or the parent?

    • Maybe I should cultivate my mean look better :) It’s interesting to me that often children get lumped together in a way adults seldom do — nobody would question that some adults want warmer coats or socks or whatever than another, but children are expected to be bundled pretty uniformly (maybe this is less true once children are more communicative? I don’t think so though, because I definitely remember being expected in elementary school to bundle up exactly to the level of my classmates, even if some of us were too warm).

  2. We haven’t got the hat comment (she usually wears one), but people in the summer would stop us to say “she’s not wearing shoes!!” Yep, and she doesn’t walk and it’s hot out, so there you go.

    I totally get it… it’s hard to parent when everyone wants to get into your business…

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