A Step Ahead

Teenage and nearly teenage boys seem to have one mindset: stay unclean. Using my two specimens in an unscientific study, they'll do everything they can to avoid showering or changing clothing.

With GameTeen, he can't get away with the latter because he the duplicates in his wardrobe are slightly different, so we can tell when he's trying to avoid changing clothes. (His sensory issues are such that he has *always* hated to change clothes, something about the circulating air hitting his skin.) There are no duplicates in his shirts, so it's easy to tell when he's trying to pull a fast one. Heck, most mornings, to save time with Mr. Pokeypants, I'll grab clothing for him to change into.

Chef, OTOH, is a tougher nut to crack. This past year, he started middle school and was bestowed with a dress code. School shirts in a color he hates (which makes me wonder what his flavor of color blindness warps burgundy into) and bottoms in black, brown, navy, khaki or denim, like most of the schools in our county.

This year, the PTA and the school administration voted to switch to a more rigid policy of uniform, so the students now can only wear khaki pants, shorts or skirts. The shorts and shirts have to be lower than fingertip length.

The few times I was on that campus last school year, I have to say, there was a lot of variance from the permitted items. Sweatpants, shorty shorts with 'juicy' on the butt (a pet peeve of mine) and gentlemen wearing pants so low I could tell you too much about their underwear selection.

In the past, when it was time to buy school clothes, I'd just stock up in four or five pairs of what fit that either child would like and be done. However, Chef would insist over and over that he was *not* wearing the same shorts as yesterday, yet no dirty clothes were leaving his bedroom. Interesting case, that was.

So, this year, I applied a different tactic. GameTeen's need was shirts and he now has about a dozen completely different solid shirts and a half dozen video game inspired shirts. He definitely can't pull the 'this is clean' game.

I was a little sneakier with Chef. Over the past month, I've tracked down khaki shorts in five different retailers in his size that he says he will wear (he's slightly picky). Eight of those in the past week, ten total-none are duplicates. He has ten unique pairs of school shorts.

Tonight, when Ed got home from work, he asked if I'd been successful in my school clothes mission during our tax holiday. I said yes, I've secured more shorts for Chef. "Different styles, right?" After my affirmative response, he commented that it'll be good that the child does not have any duplicate styles.

Apparently, Chef was a little annoyed at the sneaky tactics employed by the parents and he stuck his tongue out at the back of my head.

Hey, alls fair in love and war-and sending a kid to school in clean clothes.


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