This is the worst time of year to dress your kids

Ian Mendes dreads the clothing battles that come with unpredictable spring weather.

1iStock_000010677996Medium Photo: iStockphoto

Follow along as Ottawa-based sports radio host Ian Mendes gets candid about raising daughters, Elissa and Lily, with his wife, Sonia.

Right now, our front hall closet is on the verge of exploding.

Late April is that annoying time of the year when an intoxicated Mother Nature spins a roulette wheel to see what the weather will be like on any given day. And, as a result, you have to be prepared for everything from winter to summer in the span of 24 hours. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to see a pair of sandals lying next to a scarf.

And since everybody in our family owns a different coat for every five-degree variance in temperature, our front hall closet is jammed. Our closet currently includes the following items:

• 19 jackets—including everybody’s winter coats


• 6 pairs of running shoes

• 5 pairs of dress shoes

• 3 pairs of rain boots

• 3 pairs of dress boots (none of which are mine)

• 4 umbrellas


• 1 lollipop, a piece of cherry pie, a sausage, one cupcake and a slice of watermelon. (Felt like I had to throw this in there for fans of The Hungry Caterpillar)

We managed to get rid of the winter boots a few days ago, but our closet is still a mess. And each morning, we go through this same routine with the kids, as we try and figure out what they should wear:

Step 1: Check the forecast

Step 2: Stare in disbelief at a forecast that has a morning temperature of -2 Celsius and an afternoon high of +14.

Step 3: Tell your child to wear a spring jacket, with a winter hat and gloves.


Step 4: Listen to your child complain about wearing a spring coat that is accompanied by winter gear.

Step 5: Suggest they wear full winter gear.

Step 6: Listen to your child complain about being the only kid at school who is still wearing a winter parka.

Step 7: Get into a 12-minute fight over what shoes they should wear.

Step 8: Fantasize about moving to a warmer climate.


I love dropping off my kids to school in the morning at this time of year, because I can immediately tell which parents have paid attention to the weather forecast. There are some parents who assume that because it was 21 degrees yesterday, that it will be the same temperature today.

I often see kids running around the school yard wearing shorts, while their friends are bundled up with a toque and scarf. It’s like some parents are reading the wrong weather forecast—or not reading it at all.

Or maybe they are sending their kids to school wearing shorts because they’ve already packed away all their winter gear. But in our house, we’ve still got all of our options in the closet—and I can’t wait for the day when I can put all of the winter stuff in the storage room.


And once that occurs, the only tension with the kids in the front entrance will happen when we’re trying to apply the sunscreen.

This article was originally published on Apr 25, 2014

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