Just settle the fuck down already, it’s just Pyjama Day.

It’s Pyjama Day at the boys’ school today and – this may not seem significant to you, but it IS – Mark is wearing pyjamas!  Not once has Mark ever worn pyjamas on Pyjama Day.  He has always preferred to wear just regular clothes, despite the pyjama clad children everywhere.  His refusal to conform to Pyjama Day bothered me a bit when he was in preschool, then less and less with each year.  I figured, in my chillaxing way, that he as he grew he would become more interested in festively wearing nightwear to class, or if he didn’t, that was okay too.  I was pretty sure that somewhere out there were perfectly functional adults who also opted to wear jeans on Pyjama Day, so I was not too worried.  When he told me he was going to participate, I tried not to make a big deal about it.  This morning he was a bit concerned, telling me that he was worried about what the public would think – his “public”, upon further investigation, was discovered to be our neighbours.  He reassured himself that our neighbours probably would not laugh at his pyjama clad legs, and in any case, he was wearing snowpants.  In the car he fretted that no other children would be wearing pyjamas – what if it was just he and Jake? – but then we saw my friends’ children, all of them in Division Two, and all of them wearing pyjamas, and he was vastly reassured.

I have known parents to get upset if their children choose not to participate in an ostensibly fun activity at school – it’s FUN, we say, why don’t you TRY it?, just TRY IT. – but sometimes kids have reasons of their own, and what’s wrong with that?  Wearing your pyjamas to school is an odd concept, after all, and in any case, certain quirks can be outgrown.

All of which is to say, I really like my friend Nan’s plan for a parenting magazine section entitled “Just Settle The Fuck Down Already“, indicating that we cannot control every single facet of our children’s lives.  Once we all realize this, we will be much more at peace.  Not everything that happens to our children or every part of their personalities is a direct result of our actions.  We can all point to parents who, to all appearances and with all the available information, did everything right and yet their child’s life turned terribly, horribly wrong.  See also: Nancy Spungen.  We also can point to parents who adopted the “Feral Child” method of childrearing and yet produced functional adults who contribute to society.  See also: Jeannette Walls.  I’m not saying parenting doesn’t matter: of course it does.  This is not license to guzzle whiskey and smoke while pregnant or allow your toddler to watch TV for twelve hours a day or to feed your children nothing whatsoever other than Coke, Chicken McNuggets, and Pop Rocks.  I mean, that’s really going to fuck shit up.  Obviously we need to do the best job we can and use our brains and our instincts and reliable, researched information, and YET, we still cannot control and shape our children exactly to our specfications.  Nor should we want to.  They are little people, in their own right. 

I have a post on my mind right now that I want to write – not that Pyjama Day is not important stuff – but I’m just not ready.  I realize this is kind of like one of those vague Facebook statuses that people probably mean to be enigmatic but instead turn out kind of flaky.  You know what I mean.  Today was the worst (or, alternately, best) day ever!!!!! with no explanation to what happened, spurring questions and concern from all fronts.  Or an inspirational quote to show that there is drama going on in your life right now, but you are making peace with it.  Or – and this is my favourite – I’m going through my Facebook and deleting everyone who is not a true friend.  If you are NOT a true friend, GOODBYE.  Those always make me feel uncomfortable.  If you are going to unfriend me, I guess I would rather not it be part of your Facebook status, you know?  Not that I should talk.  I mean, my Facebook status today had to do with the fact that I’m wearing compression stockings and jeggings at the same time.  I’m melding the part of myself that wants to be stylish and hip with the part of myself that is next door to drinking hot water and lemon on a summer day.  WORLDS COLLIDING, OMG.  

I also really, really want to talk about the New York Times article about yoga and all the fallout from the yoga world and all that and throw Jim Fix and running into the mixture, but I have run out of time talking about PYJAMA DAY and so I will have to save that topic for next time.  In the meantime, I came across this “Shit Nobody Says” video over at Hilarity in Shoes’ blog, and I love it even more than the “Shit Vegans Say” one (is there HONEY in your bread?).  Maybe I should make my own video.  But I’m not sure what it would say.  My hands are cold.  Barkley is the cutest dog EVER, you should totally get a Labradoodle.  Please don’t fart at the dinner table.  The secret ingredient is love.  Mmm, cheese.  Please don’t talk about your penis at the dinner table.  I used to have a nice rack, now I’m totally deflated.  Chickpeas are awesome!  NO FARTING AT THE DINNER TABLE.  Inhale, exhale.  You have to use your breath.  Do not talk about poop at the dinner table.  Barkley want to go for a walk?  Walk?  Walk?  I think I’m going to have a glass of wine.  STOP TALKING AND FINISH YOUR DINNER.  NO.  NO MORE FARTING.  I made this kick ass stirfry.  Do you want to go to Costco with me?  I have a phobia about it.  Okay, just clear your plate and get started on your home reading.  Yes, it’s okay if you have to poop first.  Wash your hands.  Asana is only one PART of yoga.

There’s the foreshadowing – for the next post!  No, not the farting and pooping part.


  1. Great post!

    Ugh — enigmatic Facebook updates. They drive me crazy. I read your status update this morning, and I knew EXACTLY what you were implying. You are an excellent writer. Which is why I’m sure that you’ll do a good job at your very, mysterious, doomed to make someone post about their hurt feeeeeeeeeeeeeelings post. And thanks for the mention.

    Stay warm!

  2. I agree with Nan and you about the settling the fuck down part of parenting. In terms of clothes my kids do or do not want to wear, I’ve never been able to muster much enthusiasm. Eh. There are other issues that concern me more than if my kid insists on wearing his shirts backwards or whatever. Also, as someone who tends to shun costumes, I fully support my son’s confusion on why dressing up IS FUN! Sometimes it is. Sometimes not.

    I’m looking forward to The Big Post whenever it may come.

  3. I like to call that Vaguebooking. I see it all the time and it makes me want to unfriend without ceremony. Once my husband did it & I was horrified and ashamed to be married to him to the first time ever. And we have seen some hard shit together.

    As for PJs – yes! Two of my three boys have rejected PJ day all together. Henry is absolutely phobic of anyone having any cause to make fun of him. I realize he often feels different enough so, like you, I have let it be.

    I am a big fan of Bea’s theory of benign neglect. I am quite sure not everything needs to be fun, not everything needs to be managed, not every moment needs to be filtered through my lens for them.

  4. oh facebook.
    It’s a friendship killer.
    Sometimes even a sister in law killer…well not literally…I wished that it did…wait…did this get weird.
    My husband gets embarrassed when I wear my PJ’s out in public. yes, it has happened.
    I’d gladly wear them to school if I was in school.
    Yes, as you can gather, I am lazy

  5. see, i got to “this is not license to promote whiskey-guzzling” and then i got bitter.

    where is my license?!?!

    oh wait. i don’t like whiskey. still.

    i am trying to learn to chill the fuck out, and settle the fuck down. i have a hard time with it, in the most unexpected of places.

    the vague FB stuff makes me seethe. yet in a superior, above-it-all kind of way. it is my way of settling the fuck down about it.

  6. I have one friend in particular who Vaguebooks incessantly and I always chicken out of calling her on it – because I’m a GUTLESS PUSSY!!!

    I’ve had that EXACT conversation with Eve about whether anyone else will be wearing pajamas, or sportswear or Hawaiian luau stuff. And I hate dressing up, it makes me feel like a dork.

    You actually feed your kids chickpeas and then forbid farting? You’re mean. Hmph.

  7. I wish everyday was pajama day and then maybe I would be mellow enough to care about vague facebook statuses and those who have time to delete people from facebook. Maybe beat them to the punch and delete people who say they will delete people who are not true friends. Kinda rude to announce it, don’t you think?

  8. My entire parenting philosophy is encapsulated by “Settle the Fuck Down Already”. I use it in the dayhome too, except I call it “fostering independence and self-esteem through play”.


  9. You all need my husband on your friend’s pages. His sister is the worst vaguebooker ever.

    I’m so scared for my doctor’s appointment.

    I just want to die.

    Why are people so cruel?


    And it’s not because it’s his sister, it’s because that’s how he is.

    I wuv him.

    Anyway, I have 1 kid that’s WAY OUTGOING & needs to be in some year-long drama camp (guess which one. Hint: He dressed as Charlie Chaplin.) & one child that would rather just stay home altogether on PJ day.

    1 dances with me in the streets of Disneyland, 1 says “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” when I do so.

    Anyway, they’re both remarkable. I do try to press my girl outside of her comfort zone from time to time, to show her that 1: not everyone is looking at you & 2: being goofy is fun sometimes. But if you tried to force it on her? Ugh.

    God, I write more on your guys’ blogs than I do on my own. I gotta go.


  1. […] January was a banner month in that Mark wore pajamas to school for Pajama Day for the first time ever, I realized that, just like back in the day when I was […]

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