Death, taxes and a red pocket T

July 21,2008
Skaddadle
Todd Lieman( )
We all know the mantra that the only givens in life are death and taxes. But, K-Man has his own take on this cliché. In his world, the only true given is a red pocket T-shirt. It’s the shirt he wears every day. Every. Day. Not parts of the day. All day. Every day. (That is, until he puts on his firefighter pajamas.) Whatever you do, don’t try to get him into another shirt.

There was a time when the kid would wear whatever we put him in. Long sleeves. Short sleeves. Pockets. No pockets. Red, blue, grey, green, yellow. Didn’t matter. We’d sling the shirt over his head and he’d wear it. Then, he discovered the joy of the pocket T-shirt. This may very well be my fault, as I think I once pointed out to him that we were both wearing shirts with pockets. He seemed to like that idea.

But then, as his firefighter obsession sparked and started burning out of control, his pocket T needed to have red in it. Red stripes were okay…as long as there was a pocket. Last week, however, the red pocket T gained control of K-Man’s mind. One less decision to make each day, I guess. We know what he’ll be wearing to school.

I should point out that we have multiple red pocket T-shirts. He’s not wearing the exact same one each and every day. Just the same style. And, I should also point out that we do try to get him into a different shirt, but he literally tries to rip it from his body like the Incredible Hulk (only a red Incredible Hulk, of course – no green for the K-Man). Anytime we can avoid a meaningless meltdown, we try to avoid it at all costs. If he wants to wear a red shirt every day, who are we to say otherwise? That being said – I do hope he grows out of it…someday.

We do get little comments from other parents from time to time: “Oh, there’s K-Man in his red shirt, red Crocs and jeans. What a surprise.” Yes, it’s a bit of a dig. Honestly, it doesn’t really bother me. I actually kind of feel as though I’m walking the talk – as if his need to wear this particular style of shirt is a test of sorts. After all, if I really force him to wear some shirt that he doesn’t want to wear, can I really say that I’ll be able to support his (bigger) dreams? This is good, easy training for when he comes home and tells us that he’s decided to follow his dreams and live in a cave in the Andes. Good for you, son! Don’t forget your red shirt!

We’ve all got our favorite articles of clothing that we wear over and over. I have a closet full of shirts, pants and other stuff that never sees the light of day. They simply aren’t in the rotation. And, like K-Man, I’d be happy just wearing jeans and a T-shirt every day. Wait. I do pretty much wear jeans and a T-shirt every day. But, the point is that we want to be comfortable. K-Man is all about fire trucks and firefighters, and wearing red makes him feel more like “Firefighter K-Man.” Go nuts, kiddo.

In a strange way, I’ll be kind of bummed when he allows us to put him into a different shirt. It’ll be another of those events that mark the passing of time. A maturing milestone of sorts. As he nears three years old, I find that I’m hating those milestones more and more.

Stay in the red pocket T, kid. It looks good on you.