Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Children Wearing Pajamas Out and About: Is This A Thing?

I am almost ready, depending on what y'all say, to declare this a trend: Children in the early evening, like between six and seven o'clock, out in public wearing their pajamas. And I don't mean toddlers, but rather 5-8 year olds, and I don't mean quick, obviously unplanned trips into the convenience store, but rather hanging out in places like Borders, or Michael's. Tonight we were at Chick-Fil-A about seven o'clock (Tuesday is kids eat free with an adult meal purchase, yo), and there was a little girl, probably seven years old, in her very cute flannel jammies with hearts all over them. She was eating, and then waiting in line for a balloon animal while her mom and dad ate.

Not that there's anything wrong with it. But are we doing this now? I just think I would have noticed before if this had been a common practice, and the fact that it's coming to my attention makes me think there's been an uptick in child public pajama wearing. Remember how, like ten years ago, college students were into wearing their PJ's to class? Maybe that trend has finally trickled down to the elementary set. I am not super duper fastidious about how my kids are turned out in public, certainly not by local standards, but I don't think I'm going to start bringing them out in their PJ's. It's just not my jam. For one thing, I don't understand the timeline of that evening for that family. I am willing to be persuaded that it is a great innovation in lifestyle engineering, though, if you know something I don't know.

Also at the Chick-Fil-A, Laura had two pickle slices that she'd peeled off her sandwich. (She never eats the pickles.) In the after-dinner lull, I said I'd pay her a dollar if she ate one. She refused, vehemently. Then she said she wouldn't do it for less than five. Matt jumped in and offered her three bucks to eat both, and she agreed. He tacked on the condition that she had to say, "That was a delicious pickle!" after the first one, and "That pickle was scrumdiddlyumptious!" after the second. We are such naturals at the parenting stuff.

And oh! Oh man. Oh man, the look on her face. The look on that little face as she chewed up that first pickle, pronounced it delicious, and then steeled herself for the second round, dreading the terrible pickle but enjoying the attention, and wanting the three dollars. . .I want to remember that look forever. If we had video of it, we could put it on a golden disk and send it out on a deep space probe. In the dim, far future, when our earth has gone still, and we have long ceased to be, I want alien civilizations to know that this, this was human life.

20 comments:

Mad Woman said...

PJs in public eh? I remember the teenagers wearing PJ pants all the time, but I've never seen the little ones doing it. Mind you, here in NZ they're more interested in running around barefoot with as little clothing on as possible...especially with summer coming.

Maybe it was almost bedtime and they were staying at a friends place? Or, like me many times, they just couldn't be bothered fighting?

I dunno but my kids won't be doing it outside of our own backyard :)

Lisa Lilienthal said...

i'm all for kids showing up at breakfast places (chick fil a in particular, on weekends especially) in their PJs, but if MY kids wore their jammies out to dinner (at chick fil a, in particular) they'd come home greasy and grimy and need to start all over again. i say we're not doing it.

Mental Momma said...

And we humans are a crazy bunch, no?

Carrie said...

Funny you should post this today because my 5 year old had a "slumber party" at school as a reward for something or other and she not only wore her footies to school but wore them to her ice skating lesson too. It was pretty funny, though not as funny as it must have been to watch Laura eat those pickles.
I haven't noticed any kids that age out and about in jammies; then again I'm not even out much in the evenings these days, alas. But the high school kids here in the Chicago area are still going to school in pj bottoms. It trickled that far.

Carrie said...

Also: When we lived in China 11 years ago it was quite common in Beijing for adults to hang around in their pjs outdoors in the evenings. We were totally floored by this but they obviously felt quite comfortable shooting the breeze down by the popcorn selling guy or wherever in all manner of jammies and even slippers.

Becky said...

Carrie, China sounds like one big college dorm. Kind of nice, actually. And you know, our school does that pajama day too, for the lower grades, only they do it in December as some kind of Polar Express party day. I forgot about that. Maybe jammies are just coming out of the darkness.

Amy said...

So funny about Laura! I think I've seen that look on Ava's face several times recently. Good on her for doing it, though!

I usually only see little kids in their jammies out in public--like 3 and under. And for us, I'd have to agree with Lisa. The kids would get them all messy and then couldn't sleep in them anyway. Maybe the girl you saw just liked her jammies?

The Dental Maven said...

I'm still trying to come to grips with the mommies who show up at the bus stop in jammies.

Michele said...

The only time my kids wore pjs in public was when we were going to the drive-in. Since those are not around much any more it's a sure bet she was going there. Maybe she insisted?

Hootie said...

So, let's say my wonderful Mother-in-law (and I say that without a trace of irony. Seriously.) decides to make some pants for my son. She makes one pair out of heavy navy blue flannel, and another out of heavy flannel with a brightly colored "Transformers 3: The Revenge of The Edsel" pattern. Same design, different aesthetic. One looks like pants, one looks like pajamas. What is our stance on this?

Along similar lines, I did refuse to take my son to school the other morning wearing his Harry Potter robe as a non-costume article of clothing. He was wearing it for warmth... I told him we could do better.

Ultimately, I say wear the PJs in public. It is not a sign of the fall of civilization (Western or otherwise)... we survived leg warmers, parachute pants, and Cyndi Lauper. We shall persevere through pajamas.

Jenni said...

I come down firmly against wearing PJs in public, unless your kid is a baby, toddler, or at the airport going on an overnight flight. Or, obviously, in an emergency. I'm also vehemently opposed to adults wearing sweats in public unless they are actively working out or on the way to/from a work out, or pregnant (pregos always get a pass.) You gotta have standards.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

I haven't noticed a PJ trend around here. But I sure wish I could go everywhere in my flannels.

Steve said...

That last paragraph was beautiful!

Veronica said...

What do you mean, "Remember how, like ten years ago, college students were into wearing their PJ's to class?" -- my students do that all the time. The worst was the quarter I taught a section of the freshman core course at 8am--they would all stumble in with like, a banana and a bathrobe and their hair all unbrushed and a copy of Angels in America, and I'd be all, wait, are you here to discuss the play, or do you think you are acting in the play today?

I haven't seen much of the kids-in-jammies-in-public thing around here, though I do have a problem with grownups in sweatpants in public in places that are not the gym. Especially men in sweat pants. I had a bad experience on a public bus one time. I will not go into details here.

gretchen said...

I don't think I'm down with this jammie thing. Jude has one little friend who likes to wear his pajamas around during the day. But it's just kind of odd. His mother is always apologizing for him. He also likes to dress up in a Cat Woman costume, but I'm thinking that's a different issue.

Becky said...

Thank you, Steve!

And Hoot, you raise a good question. Honestly I don't think I'd even notice if it were only PJ pants. It's the full-body pj look that I'm wondering about. And I like your response, "We can do better."

V, it's the banana that kills me dead. But at least it isn't cereal and milk. You know my feelings about college students having full meals in class!

Gretchen, funny you should mention this, because half the time Hank is saying that he wants to be Catwoman for next Halloween! We have a Lego xbox Batman game, and Catwoman is a really cute character. We all want to be her.

Michele Renee said...

I may be an old fuddy duddy but I say no to pajamas out. Unless it was Dr. Seuss book reading day at pre-K.
Or if I attend a party at the Playboy mansion.
Didn't Michael Jackson used to go out in pajamas?

Becky said...

Michele, in the unlikely event that Hugh Hefner hosts a party for bloggers at the Playboy Mansion, and we are invited, let's show up in our flannel PJ's. Or maybe those Lanz nightgowns. That would be high-larious.

Keely said...

Is there a reason for this? Like, is it prelim bedtime stuff in order to buy the parents a few more evening minutes 'out' of the house?

Gina said...

I'm not a huge fan of PJs in public, but there are worse alternatives...today, my toddler went outside to play in the still-melting snow and proceeded to strip down to her diaper. I wrestled her back inside before the neighbors had a chance to call child protective services.