Yesterday, when we left the house for school, it was 22 degrees with a brisk north wind. I suggested that the boys might want to wear their winter coats, which we almost never do because it’s almost never that cold here. The coat Charlie is wearing is one I bought Henry last winter — he outgrew it before we even took the tags off.
Henry’s coat, on the other hand, is brand new. I bought it a month ago and he tried it on then and said it fit. I did a little happy dance because the whole thing was so easy.
I should have known better.
Yesterday, as we were leaving the house, Henry put the coat on and announced, “This coat is too small.”
“Ok,” I said, a little skeptical, “can you wear it just for today?”
“Sure,” he said.
In the car on the way to school, he started to flip out. “It’s TOO SMALL! I can’t wear it!”
“It’s not a big deal,” I told him. “Just wear your sweatshirts today. You’re not doing to have recess if it’s this cold. You don’t really need a coat.”
“Stop talking,” Henry said. Because clearly, the talking was making it worse. For all of us.
This is a fairly typical morning at my house. Henry’s anxiety means that little things — like clothes that don’t fit exactly right or his backpack not holding everything he needs or a contact lens not going in perfectly the first time — seem overwhelming and horrible. His day, he will tell anyone within earshot, is ruined, already. And he hasn’t even gotten to school yet!
Yesterday was, on the scale of things, not a particularly bad morning. On the best days, I feel edgy and anxious; on the worst days, I wind up crying on the drive home from school. Either way, I usually wind up texting one of my other quirky mom friends with a joke about how it’s 8:00 am and I really need a drink. Already.
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