The very real danger of buying pajamas too small…
It was one of those nights you’re just glad no one can see what happens inside your house when the blinds are closed and you and your sweet family lose your dang minds. My nine year-old certifiably flipped her lid. It began with whining. It escalated to yelling. She then stepped it up to screaming with tears as every staple, stitch, and cell that held her together shot out like lethal ammunition at high rates of speed, many of them intentionally aimed in my direction. She completely disassembled before my eyes over footie pajamas.
It all began innocently enough. The next day was Pajama Day at school. Well, since we wear our pj’s until they are capris with well ventilated wrists and forearms, we cannot participate in the recent trend of wearing them to the mall. While I feel like I am supposed to be galled by the imprudence of folks wearing their fuzzy smiley face pajama pants in public, I tend to – in the inmost parts of my soul – call it a stroke of brilliance. We had to make a purchase. My Campbell is not a shopper, so I braced myself for the frustration of pushing my big red shopping cart through the narrow maze of girls’ clothing at Target. To my immediate delight, Sweet Stuff found three pairs of pajamas she liked right away. One of those being a onesie with feet. SHE LOVED THEM! When we arrived at home, she gladly bathed and washed her hair – without any coaxing – so she could put on her new most favorite pajamas. She was tickled. She came out to twirl around for me; at which point I noticed that the sleeves were three-quarter length sleeves and the neckline was pulled taut.
They were clearly too small.
She has the waist of a six year-old, the height of an eight-year old and she’s almost ten. My size guessing had been off, and she did not have the elasticity that night to handle a verdict of, “I’ll exchange them tomorrow.”
Pink fuzzy cheetah print never looked so vicious. Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued. My insistence that we were not keeping too small pajamas elicited, “You’re just being mean!”
She groveled, “Please let me keep them!”
Then she began to bargain…”Can I just sleep in them tonight before you return them.”
She got creative, “I’ll pay you for them, so I can keep them.”
And then she whined desperately, “Can I pay you to just let me sleep in them tonight before you exchange them?”
NO! NO! NO! YOU ARE NOT KEEPING PAJAMAS THAT ARE TOO SMALL! YOU ARE NOT SLEEPING IN THEM TONIGHT! YOU CAN WAIT ONE DAY FOR ME TO EXCHANGE THEM!
I yelled. I reciprocated her insanity and totally lost it.
As we piled in the truck to collect her sister from church, I asked her not to speak to me. To give me a break. We rode in silence and after about ten minutes we quietly began to discuss the unfinished homework that needed completing. We both handled each other with care as our anger was now tempered by regret and breathing room. We finished out the night without additional fireworks and were even able to poke fun at the hysterics of each other as we recounted the festivities to sister.
After the girls were in bed, I moved slowly about the kitchen – readying breakfast, packing lunches, filling water bottles, washing a few remaining dishes, and I saw myself in her. I saw how determined I can be to have my way. Despite reason. Despite what is best for me. I whine; I get angry. I pout; I bargain. I scream. I yell, “You’re just being mean!” Yet God is undeterred by my tantrums. He will not compromise what is best to pacify. He is a good, good father. The best. And I am so grateful he doesn’t allow me to settle for too small pajamas.