His Boots Are FINE Dammit

We’re having a little bit of a chilly week here. Not bitter cold. If you hear in the news that the temperature has “plummeted,” that the city is shut down, or that there is no end in sight, just repeat after me: the job of the media is not to inform but to sell.   It’s only a few degrees below zero Celsius. Warm clothing is required.

But not eighty dollar Sorel boots good to minus sixty folks. Or even fifty dollar ones good to minus forty. Overkill, folks. If you have the money to spend, or can spend a day driving from second hand store to second hand store to find them at fifteen bucks, good on ya.

I have Joe boots for Cameron. They’re better than what I wear myself (I’m wearing shoes today by the way). He was out in -15C last year in them, and his little tootsies stayed warm. They were oversized back then – now they’re snug. Snug boots don’t work as well as loose ones, I do understand that.  But we’re not talking painful type cold, not in ten minutes at least.  He has brand new winter boots waiting for him just two days away.

So this morning we missed the last bus of our trip. I know that when this happens it’s faster to walk than to wait,  even walking at Cameron’s pace, but Cameron doesn’t like this option. It’s not the walking, it’s the missing of the bus. He’ll sob like his heart is broken if a bus pulls away before we can get on it, or if we’re waiting and the bus that arrives is full. He’ll scream that he wanted on that bus, even if another is pulling up right infront of us. So this meant six blocks of screaming.

We got to daycare, and his daycare provider asked him what was wrong as she helped get him out of his winter clothes. “I wanted to take the bus,” Cameron sobbed. I explained, and she clearly understood. All good, right? Well, last night she had commented on Cameron’s boots, and I had told her that these were fine,  I wasn’t going to buy a new pair for a few days here when there’s a pair waiting for him in Ottawa. Today she took his boots off, felt his toes, and announced that THIS was why he was screaming. His toes were cold. Now yes, they weren’t warm. But painful screaming or even uncomfortable cold? NO. Of course the instant his toes were brought to his attention, Cameron started crying that they were cold.

Now, I know that other families must find money tight too. So I reminded Lori that he does have a new pair waiting for him in Ottawa, and that therefore he won’t need these ones when we’re back. If one of the littler kids needs boots, this would save money for another family. I was curtly informed that these boots weren’t good enough, they were maybe good for fall weather, and nobody would want them.  Apparently other parents have commented about Cameron’s cheap boots. Greeeaaaaaat. Nevermind that I bought them in OTTAWA where they know cold weather as WINTER BOOTS and he was FINE IN FUCKING COLD WEATHER. Basically she’s accusing me of neglect and indicating that the other parents agree.

If it was truly cold here of course I would keep Cameron’s feet warm. I wouldn’t think twice about doing whatever it took, even if it was only for a few days.

I also recognize that this woman is from a much warmer climate, where she likely didn’t see snow ever. I understand that people who move here from warm locations find winters difficult, and over react to them. My wonderful next door neighbours have a down snowsuit for their son. Down. In Vancouver. I get it though. I also understand that this is an ESL situation; she isn’t comfortable in English and may say things she doesn’t quite mean. But she made it plain that she thinks my care of Cameron is substandard.

I know I shouldn’t let other people’s opinions piss me off so much. It’s hard though when it’s the person who looks after Cameron, when she’s making others believe there’s a problem (and they won’t talk to me to find out the truth), and when it’s concerning my care of my son.


9 responses to “His Boots Are FINE Dammit

  1. That is so wrong. It makes me want to scream when I hear that. I’m glad you’re on a waiting list. You need to be elsewhere. She’s being incredibly unreasonable.

  2. (((MEl)))

    I’m so sorry Mel. But I do want to say that I know for a fact that Lori doesn’t think you are a neglectful mom. You are NOT a neglectful mother. Just take a look at Cameron and you KNOW he is well-cared for.

    I hate that Lori brings other parents into it. I would bet $$$ that it isn’t true, that it’s her way of shifting responsibility when she wants to say something. I think you hit the nail on the head with the “being from a warmer climate” thing. My Japanese students are shivering is 20 degree classrooms and try to crank he heat to 32!!!

    Also, FWIW, when Grace first started there, we were told Grace needed a warmer jacket and rain/snow pants- so it’s not just you who gets the wardrobe “talk”.

    I really think you need to have a talk with Lori. Ask her direct questions, because I think you are doing a lot of interpreting. At least find out if your interpretations are accurate or a cultural “misread”.

    You’re a kick-ass mommy, Mel. And anyone who knows you and sees you with your son knows it.

  3. I’m really trying to tell myself that I’m over reacting here. I’m sure that it’s a combination of me already being stressed – the tantrums started at the coffee shop when I wouldn’t buy Cameron a slice of cheesecake (like I ever do) and an employee telling me that if I were more consistent with Cameron this wouldn’t happen – and the language issue, and leftovers from last week. I also know that cold is one of this woman’s trigger issues. And that due to the ESL thing tact isn’t a strong point. But YEEEESH.

  4. Tell everyone to fuck off. You’re doing the best you can AND the most important thing that you can give cameron is time and attention. Monkey is wearing freaking rubber boots. thats it. His feet are cold when we come in, but not deathly cold (mind I am going to purchase better boots, but only b/c we’re heading to the mountains). You are a great mom. You make me feel guilty b/c of how much you do with cameron. Tell them to screw off.

  5. OK. Take a long slow deep breath.
    I like the FO comment, or try FOAD . . .

    Think of other blogs you have written re self assessment, what gets to you, etc. You know you are an awesome Mom. Period.

    You have your priorities right on. Sometimes I look back and what you accomplish makes me feel abashed. Huge Hug.

  6. I’ve calmed down a bit, but not enough. You rock as a mom. You do so much for cameron, so much love and attention. He’s such a lucky little kid. You are an amazing strong mom. Such an excellent role model.

  7. i’m all on board with you being a good mom. i step foot in your house, i know you got your sh*t together (am i allowed to swear here?)

    the boots thing – it’s a weird thing to suddenly have to deal with, right?

    We live in mission, so i knew snow would be in our future, plus i have glowy dreams of snowboarding and whatnot and bringing Lolo, so i had new boots already for her (but i wanted to give them as xmas presents – boo).

    But honestly, I would have sent to her to daycare in rubber boots if I didn’t think they were going to go out and play directly in the snow for hours (which they were).

    and Joe better damn well be a great brand for my kid, cuz she’s wearing it head to toe (thank you Superstore!)

    your daycare lady sounds like she’s a status whore. too bad options are so slim – i’d say fire her. but since you can’t, torment her by gifting her with ridiculously faux brand-name GUCCCCI knockoff sunglasses for xmas!


    *hugs* for you. can we hang out soon?

  8. Thanks for all the support, everyone!

    I’ve calmed down a lot. It’s trivial, really. Or at least I’m still telling myself that. I’m reminding myself that Joanne is right – Lori does get fussy about cold. A big part of it was probably that she’s concerned about Cameron and wants him to stay warm and doesn’t ‘get’ the whole cold weather thing, and that I interpret her tone and language as being nasty and opinionated.

    Oh – and the Sorel boot thing was more noticing other parents on the bus and in stores, not just the other parents. I doubt Lori can afford Sorels for her kids unless she finds them second hand or the kid’s grandfather gives them. All the same, Carly, love the idea! We’ll have to get together soon after I’m back, but we’re off to Ottawa in the morning for almost three weeks!

  9. I’m responding late, I know. But I would be LIVID if someone even hinted that I gave substandard care. Unacceptable! Clearly, this woman is a whore…

    ~Lisa (glad that she lives in California, where snow is unheard of. I am a flip flop kind of mom)

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