winter dressing, teenage style…

At the risk of boring you all to death with another wintery-themed post, here’s one about clothing. Or rather, a lack of clothing.

Or, even more specifically, my daughter’s lack of clothing. (Oh please. Stop it.)

Thing is, I think we’re all pretty much in agreement that it’s bastard freezing out there, and that such bastard freezing weather calls for bastard thick clothing – unless you live in Newcastle, obviously, in which case it still calls for bare shoulders and skirts that barely prevent one’s lady-garden from icing over.
But for the rest of us such cold weather means wool, wool, and more wool, in as many layers as it takes to avoid any possibility of having sex for the duration of the freeze and renders us unable to walk without looking like a constipated penguin.

And so it came to pass that yesterday, the first day of school since Snow Fell For A Little Bit, I gave my (very very almost) teenage daughter a thick, knee-length winter coat and fur-lined boots to wear to school.  I’d like to add at this point that the coat was not ‘minging’ and the boots were not ‘rank’. They were both black, fashionable, slightly ‘sick’ and even bordering on ‘peng’. (Stay with me here, OK…? Those with Yoof-ful kids know what I mean.)

So off she went to school, warm, snuggly and now considerably less likely to come down with pneumonia before first break, leaving me patting  myself smugly on the back for the best part of the morning, for my most excellent parenting skills.

Seven hours later my daughter returned from school, coat slung over arm and furry boots in a ripped Tesco carrier bag, wearing nothing but wafer-thin tights, a short-sleeved polo shirt, a cotton sweatshirt (though how one might sweat in cotton in these temperatures is beyond me), the de-rigeur cheap, nasty polyester school skirt, ballet pumps (BALLET PUMPS?!) and a look of imminent death-by-freezing-of-internal-organs.

There followed what might generously be called a conversation, but it’d be closer to the truth to say it was a shouting match. Which I lost. Completely.

The jist of the rant from my daughter was that the coat is “DISGUSTING!” and the boots are “GROSS!” and anyway, boots are not allowed at school, and she almost got sent to the Isolation Room for breaking the schooliform code, and it’s all MY fault and she TOLD me boots weren’t allowed but I wouldn’t listen, and nobody else was forced against their will and HUMAN RIGHTS to wear a stupid, itchy, hideous coat so why the bloody hell did she? And where’s her lawyer??

My counter-rant went along the lines that the coat is NOT disgusting, it’s lovely and warm and suitable for the sub-zero temperatures, and that I don’t CARE what other people are wearing because she is MY daughter and I only care about looking after her, and what the hell is an Isolation on Room if you don’t mind and since when did she go to school in Guantanamo Bay High, why ON EARTH are boots not allowed when it’s snowing and who can I write an angry letter to about this, and don’t be so bloody rude about the things I buy for you and don’t swear, even though I just did.

So you know…just very normal afternoon-tea chat in a house chock full of hormones and forceful females.

The conclusion of our civilised debate was that warm coats and furry boots, while essential for survival in the cold, spell social death in the school yard, and she’s ‘totally not up for that and you can’t make me’ , while I’d choose social death over massive discomfort and hypothermia every time.

And I guess that’s pretty much what makes me a boring old motherly fart, and her a very normal (very very almost) teenager.

I’ve not given up yet. I’ll let it go for today but if she so much as sneezes those furry boots are going straight back on.

In the mean time I have a letter to write. An isolation room, in a secondary school?? No thank you.

Keep warm and snuggly, people. 🙂

3 thoughts on “winter dressing, teenage style…

  1. Meghan

    From what I remember, it all sounds like normal behaviour in the pre-teen, teenage years. What I can’t get over is the fact the school does not allow boots. WTF?? Ok, I could see not allowing the style of boots that Julia Roberts sported in Pretty Woman (does that date me?), but winter boots when it is snowing seems pretty reasonable.
    I hope you are writing a letter to the school. By the way, what a nice mum you are to buy your daughter a brand new coat and boots in black. I used to get hand-me-downs, sometimes from my older boy cousins, not very cool at all.

    1. lizfraser Post author

      Hi Meghan. Yes, no boots in Winter – crazy, huh??! I remember this cropping up before in the primary school, and thankfully the new Head has seen the light and now ‘sensible’ warm boots are allowed (ie no Julia Roberts boots….I remember those very well too!) Now to make the same happen for the Secondary school.
      Sadly, I’m not quite as nice as you make out though….the coat is an old winter one of mine (the only advantage of having a daughter who is the same size as you….) which I bought at one of those cheapo shops on Tott’m Ct Road that have no name and sell fakes and random weird stuff, and the boots were about £10 from Primark, and are surprisingly really, really good. Super bargain = happy mum. They do them for little ones too, so we’re all kitted out in snugglies. Just have to convince the eldest to wear hers now…
      I lived in hand-me-downs from my brother too – mostly criminally unfashionable stuff from what was then Czechoslovakia. No prizes for guessing who wasn’t in the ‘cool gang’ at school….; -) Thanks for dropping by & reading the blog.

  2. Freddie

    I have had the boot debate with school as well. And I was asked by my daughter to please not talk to the teacher. And if I did to please not say “oh really?! And then go in to a rant about the lunacy of school uniform and tell her teacher that frankly if the children have a standard they have dress to why doesn’t she? And does she think she is appropriately dress?
    But hey that’s continental parents for you 🙂


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