"Oh, look," she said, pointing to his bare feet. "That's how you know spring is coming. I can't wait until I'm not adjusting the car seats every single day from Jacket Straps to No Jacket Straps to Jacket Straps again." I gave my half-smile to the Good Mom Clerk at the supermarket and hurried away as quickly as possible.
The best thing about spring is that I am less inclined to receive the frightened looks from parents, grandparents, non-parents or pretty much anyone because The Baby never wears shoes.
This is the time of the year when we make those fatal errors associating sunlight with warmth. Just the other day I took the boys out for a walk and because the sun was out for the first time in seemingly weeks, I just handed them thin jackets. We were gone all of ten minutes when that fickle sun disappeared behind what appeared to be not just a cloud but an entire army of clouds as far as the eye could see.
Nate was cold. Nate is ALWAYS cold. Nate is also stubborn. He only wants to wear THIS jacket. "But you'll be cold," is my familiar (and somewhat useless) refrain. Sure I am the mom and sure I should just make him wear a heavy coat but I don't (cue the "then it's YOUR fault"). This time it was my fault. Just because the sun is out and the snow is finally melting does not mean that it is warm. Sure it is 50 degrees but 50 degrees is no 70 degrees.
It is moments like this that I often run into my older, responsible neighbor as I am on my way across the house carrying the baby who is wearing a onesie and a pair of sweats. My responsible neighbor is wearing a snorkel parka, a wool hat and I'm pretty sure her face is hidden back there behind that incredibly long scarf wrapped repeatedly around her head.
She didn't gasp but she did pull her coat closer to her chest. I didn't even remember the baby was wearing practically nothing because I had him strapped to my back. We were crossing the street. He'll be FINE.
"He is SO cute. Look at him."
The only part I can see of him when he is back there is his feet. His little bare feet. His feet that have no socks or shoes protecting him from this 50 degree weather. I stammered my excuse and The Baby started heckling her. I like to think it was because he wanted her to know he didn't want shoes but it was probably because she hadn't spoken directly to him yet.
I started with my long-winded explanation of how he rubs his feet together to get socks off but she doesn't seem to care. We comment about how lovely it is that spring is finally coming and isn't it great to see the sun again. I'm started to get a little cold because I was only planning on this being a 30 second run across the street and I begin to look longingly at her winter coat. My children run past me with red cheeks.
I tell myself yet again. "Just because the sun is out does NOT mean it is warm."
But spring is coming. And when winter goes, I'm hoping the chilly "you're a bad mother" looks go with them. We'll see.