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"Where is the hat?" (vent) - Page 2

post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post
FWIW, I live in the United States and I get the same comments from Americans too. I'm not sure it's a cultural issue. Maybe a nosiness issue. LOL
I'm a Canadian in Canada and I'm one of those people who would see a child with no hat and wonder where the heck it was and may even say something about it...if I was having a crabby day especially!
post #22 of 53
How on earth does one keep a hat on a child and still remain GD? It seems like it would require some pretty extreme harsh restraint to keep it on. When DS was a small baby he would thrash his head around to get the hat off if he was swaddled. Later I got him one with a chin strap and he again thrashed his head around to where it completely covered his face and he would have suffocated if I had left the hat on. Do parents who insist on hats, keep the baby's head in some kind of vise or what? Is that what everyone who told me he needed a hat, wanted me to do? Do they even make baby vises? I literally can't conceive of any way I could have kept a hat on him as a baby and young toddler (he'll wear one now as a preschooler, finally) without literally abusing him. When I was little and we lived in Europe, my mother used to not force me to wear a hat as well, because the only way to keep a hat on me would have been to terrorize me to the point where I was afraid not to. Is it just more socially acceptable to terrorize one's child than to let them go hat-less?
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
How on earth does one keep a hat on a child and still remain GD? It seems like it would require some pretty extreme harsh restraint to keep it on. When DS was a small baby he would thrash his head around to get the hat off if he was swaddled. Later I got him one with a chin strap and he again thrashed his head around to where it completely covered his face and he would have suffocated if I had left the hat on. Do parents who insist on hats, keep the baby's head in some kind of vise or what? Is that what everyone who told me he needed a hat, wanted me to do? Do they even make baby vises? I literally can't conceive of any way I could have kept a hat on him as a baby and young toddler (he'll wear one now as a preschooler, finally) without literally abusing him. When I was little and we lived in Europe, my mother used to not force me to wear a hat as well, because the only way to keep a hat on me would have been to terrorize me to the point where I was afraid not to. Is it just more socially acceptable to terrorize one's child than to let them go hat-less?
EXACTLY!!! I couldn't keep hats of socks on either of mine and I can't say I blame them. Hats make me feel trapped, too. What exactly do randompeople expect you to do, staple them on?!?
post #24 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
How on earth does one keep a hat on a child and still remain GD? It seems like it would require some pretty extreme harsh restraint to keep it on. When DS was a small baby he would thrash his head around to get the hat off if he was swaddled. Later I got him one with a chin strap and he again thrashed his head around to where it completely covered his face and he would have suffocated if I had left the hat on. Do parents who insist on hats, keep the baby's head in some kind of vise or what? Is that what everyone who told me he needed a hat, wanted me to do? Do they even make baby vises? I literally can't conceive of any way I could have kept a hat on him as a baby and young toddler (he'll wear one now as a preschooler, finally) without literally abusing him. When I was little and we lived in Europe, my mother used to not force me to wear a hat as well, because the only way to keep a hat on me would have been to terrorize me to the point where I was afraid not to. Is it just more socially acceptable to terrorize one's child than to let them go hat-less?

That, combined with my opinion that if I am not cold without a hat, neither is my DD with more hair than I have, is my main reason for not making her wear hats. Of course, -15C is a different story, but in -1C or 0C, no thank you. I am tired of the no-hat chorus though. I am sure people make comments about anything they can think of wherever you go, but it is extremely universal here. As in, every time we go out, we can at least one comment. I don't think the overall population cares about GD very much. Spanking in public is acceptable, and I am sure that it would be acceptable for me to do it to my kids because they refuse to wear a hat.
post #25 of 53
Tell them it "thickens the blood". Sounds silly and culturally motivated enough to stop some of them at least. Germans usually put hats on their kids too, but at least here they are very fond of fresh air all year. You have to get your kids out even in the winter, and I can't imagine random strangers actually commenting about whether or not they wore a hat. It's assumed that as long as it's not windy, cold air is good for you.
But I tend to wear sandals until it starts snowing, and I did have a man ask if my feet were cold.
post #26 of 53
We lived in Eastern Europe for 5 years, thru 2 of my kids' infancies/toddlerhoods. I've been chased down streets by old ladies reprimanding me for not dressing my kids warmly enough. My ds had bright red ringlets for his first year of life, which made him quite the object of discussion to start with & then when I didn't cover his head with a hat...!! I remember seeing kids in snowsuits at the park on days that I took my ds there in a t-shirt and sweatpants. We measured the seasons by when the old ladies stopped nattering about a hat & instead tried to force my babies (breastfed & nothing else) to drink their bottled water because apparently they could tell they were 'thirsty' from the sunny weather.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
This is really common here in Europe and a really common complaint us N.American expats have who live here so don't feel alone!!! On another forum years ago, they asked what was annoying where everyone lived. This came up about 10,000 times in different forms. It was finally dubbed "The Evil Wind Syndrome" meaning that the wind carries everything bad and we should shield ourselves from even the smallest breeze at every moment...
Evil Wind Sydrome, I like that. Here in southern Italy it's called "colpo d'aria," and it's particularly nefarious, lasting throughout the year and causing all sorts of things from headaches and backaches, to colds, fevers, and death. (Well, I'm not 100% certain about the last one, but from the way the air is feared here you'd think that it did!)

Children here wear heavy coats, hats, gloves, and often boots (even if it's not raining or snowing) once the temperature hits 10 C/50 F or so. Today the temp is 12 C, and dd was the only child out without a hat. I saw quite a few toddlers wearing heavy parkas (is that what those puffy coats are called?) with their hoods up over hats, gloves, and woolen blankets! (They were in strollers.) Based on what I've observed with the children of friends and family, those kids were probably wearing bodysuits, t-shirts, and wool sweaters under their coats too. I guess they get used to being hot!

I remember one morning last spring dd and I went to the market with a friend and her ds, who is three months older than dd. I had dressed dd in a long-sleeved t-shirt, a sweatshirt and jeans. I was similarly dressed...my friend's son was wearing a wool sweater with a long sleeve shirt under it, heavy corduroy trousers, a wool coat and a scarf! My friend was looking for slippers for her son and was disappointed to find that all the styles available were either made of cotton or open in some way. She felt it was still too cold for anything like that. She made some comment like, "What, children aren't supposed to walk between now and the summer!?" Seriously! In the meantime, dd had taken off her shoes and was barefoot. The contrast was priceless.

I live in a small town, so most people who don't like that my daughter often doesn't have a hat have already figured out that their comments aren't going to change my mind, so they've given up on telling me. For those who persist, or people who comment when we're out of town, I just tell them that dd gets hot and sweats very easily, which is true, or that where I come from we don't bundle children up when it's not cold. If I know someone well enough to feel comfortable joking, I might even add that dd is heartier because she's part American and doesn't need a hat. Obviously I only say that to people who can tell I'm making a joke or that would be offensive. I find that mentioning that dd sweats when she's too hot works the best because sweating is considered unhealthy and dangerous here. That used to drive me nuts until I realized I could use it to my advantage wrt to not overdressing dd.
post #28 of 53
I spent a week in northern Indiana in December, just me and DS visiting my family. I had more than one occasion where DS refused to put a coat on to go in/out of the car.

The first time it was so bitterly cold that I finally decided that we were taking longer arguing over it than it would take for me to just carry him into the hotel.

But the next time, the weather was actually halfway warm (perhaps 32 F or a little better?). So rather than argue with him, when the trips from:
hotel to car
car to store
store to car, and
car to Grandma's house

were so very short (I even took the closest parking space I could get), I let him feel the natural consequences of not wearing his coat.

So we were almost at the car from the store, when a stranger calls out at me "Where's his coat?"
"In the car!"
"He should be wearing it!"

I didn't feel like telling her that it's not windy, the car is heated and enclosed, it was a very short trip.

Point being, it happens in the U.S. too.
post #29 of 53
It never ceases to amaze me how rude and nosey people can be! So many people seem to think they know everything about childrearing better than everyone else, and have a duty to "educate" all of us poor ignorant souls before we kill our children! LOL I am surprised to hear that so many European countries still hold on to some of the superstitions from the Dark Ages about fresh air and soap. It all sounds rather funny living here in Montana where, in winter, any temp above +20 F is nice warm weather. You will often see a range in this weather from locals wearing shorts and T-shirts (crazy to me as I am from the south) all the way to full snow gear. My kids have acclimated faster than me, so they refuse to wear full winter gear unless it's colder than that. We always have to wear layers, and take extra with us, since the temps can be 20's and 30's when you leave home, and drop to -10's and lower as the sun sinks at the end of the day. It seems crazy to me to assume that you know better than someone else how well their body deals with the temperature, or how well their kids do. Some here think it's cold at 36F, while others don't think it's really cold until -20 or lower. LOL I can't imagine going around telling people to dress themselves or their family differently based on my opinions. Wow! I don't think that would go over well here at all. Kudos to all of you for responding so politely to these busibodies.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcstar View Post
Point being, it happens in the U.S. too.
Not wearing a coat isn't quite the same as not wearing a hat but being otherwise appropriately dressed for the cold.

But actually, the point isn't about people making comments. It's that in some countries people have very different expectations of how children should be dressed in what they perceive as cold weather. To most North Americans, children in many European countries would seem overdressed, even in the summer. (My SIL puts undershirts under her sons' t-shirts in the summer here. We live in southern Italy...it gets really hot! And then she blows their hair dry and changes their clothes if they sweat.) In many cases, the overdressing results from superstitions or outdated ideas about how people get sick. If you're from a culture in which people dress to be comfortable for the weather, and in which people tend to believe in germ theory, this is real cultural difference, and it can be very frustrating. It can be hard to deal with comments that question choices you make based on your own culture when you find yourself in a different culture.
post #31 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntnmom View Post
Tell them it "thickens the blood".


Quote:
Originally Posted by expatmommy View Post
We measured the seasons by when the old ladies stopped nattering about a hat & instead tried to force my babies (breastfed & nothing else) to drink their bottled water because apparently they could tell they were 'thirsty' from the sunny weather.
Yes! Babies need water! Breastmilk never quenches their thirst when the weather is hot! They say that over here too, and are almost as militant about it as they are about the hat thing. I read on a local internet forum that the lactation consultant in a local hospital was lecturing newly post partum moms. "The WHO recommends exclusively breastfeeding for six months, and not to give anything else. But of course you will give your babies water in a bottle, because they need it!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by pear-shaped View Post
My SIL puts undershirts under her sons' t-shirts in the summer here. We live in southern Italy...it gets really hot! And then she blows their hair dry and changes their clothes if they sweat.

In many cases, the overdressing results from superstitions or outdated ideas about how people get sick. If you're from a culture in which people dress to be comfortable for the weather, and in which people tend to believe in germ theory, this is real cultural difference, and it can be very frustrating. It can be hard to deal with comments that question choices you make based on your own culture when you find yourself in a different culture.
Undershirts AND socks are obligatory all year round here, too! When the no-hat comments stop, the no-sock comments start

Also, going outside with wet hair will make you get a cold, even when it is the middle of summer.

You are totally right about the cultural differences. Unfortunately, when you are a foreigner living in a culture that does all these things and you refuse to conform, not only are you judged immensely (which is annoying, but I can live with that, most of the time) but it is also seen as a sign you dismiss their culture altogether. That is such a shame, really.
post #32 of 53
This is funny.
I actually keep hats around just to assuage the hat lovers. I'll put the hat on when they say something, then let the kiddos remove it and just smile.
post #33 of 53
Thread Starter 

Update

My kids and I went for ice creams at a local fast food joint this afternoon. When we had sat down and were enjoying our ice creams, the same guy who made the hate comment that made me post this topic walked in with two kids in tow. Around 7 and 5 years old. They were not wearing any hats. When he saw me, he started cursing for about a minute straight. Then, I smiled at him and asked him why his kids were not wearing any hats. He then continued cursing (in front of his kids) for a while longer.
post #34 of 53
Poetic justice!!!

DD's coats both have hoods & I put them up when we go outside, so I never get the hat comment. We do get a lot of socks & shoes comments, though. DD likes shoes okay, but I do not usually make her wear them in the summer. She never complains. We got so many "Where are your shoes?" comments last summer & we live in the US! I barely wear shoes in the summer, you think I'm making my kid do it?
post #35 of 53
I was raised in Europe even though I'm an American so my parents are very anal about being bundled up, always having babies in an undershirt even in the house etc! I'm not as particular but I still think its weird to see children not bundled all the way always. People should keep their opinions to yourself though, sorry people are being rude.
post #36 of 53
It's rude what that person said to you.... I do know though that there are differences... When I first came to the US I felt everyone was wearing too little clothes! Back in Munich we always were able to spot American tourists, cause they would wear shorts and t-shirts when all Germans wore coats and long pants...
It's either genetic or socialization, but Americans DO wear less clothes than Europeans. I freeze my heiny off all the time - the AC in office buildings is always way too low, I wore heavy sweaters in summer in CA for work because it was well below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is my threshold of freezing. My coworkers were wearing shorts and sandals while I had a space heater below my desk (internet company, so no dress code!).

I agree with the Wyoming-Norwegian: Just last weekend we had temps around 16 degrees Fahrenheit and people wore t-shirts! REALLY? I was wearing thermal underwear, heavy jeans, mittens, hat, scarf, NorthFace coat, BearPaw boots and I still was frigging cold.
post #37 of 53
I once asked my college roomate if she had seen where my mascara was. Her answer was simple, priceless, stopped me dead in my tracks, and is something I use at random 20 years later.

"Where is the hat?"

"I ate it." Smile and just keep on going. By the time they register what you've just said you'll already be down the road.
post #38 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineJ View Post
I once asked my college roomate if she had seen where my mascara was. Her answer was simple, priceless, stopped me dead in my tracks, and is something I use at random 20 years later.

"Where is the hat?"

"I ate it." Smile and just keep on going. By the time they register what you've just said you'll already be down the road.
Love that! I also like

"Where is the hat?"
"In the same place where you left your manners, I imagine!"
post #39 of 53
"I ate it" is a standard answer to "where is X?" in this house. I can't remember who started it, but I think it was ds1.

I'm surprised to hear this is considered a European thing. I've been chided for my child lacking a hat more times than I can count. I don't get it so much, anymore...I think people see the older siblings and give me "elder" status or something. But, I've been out-and-out hassled over the lack of a hat, gloves or whatever more times than I can count. I'm not sure why people see a mom with a happy baby/child and their first reaction is horror over a missing article of clothing, but I don't let it get to me, anymore.

I also wonder how anyone keeps a hat on a child at all. DS1 flat refused to wear one - ever. DD1 did, too (she likes them now, as a fashion thing - rarely). DS2 didn't mind them, but didn't really like them. I don't think I've ever tried to put one on dd2. I just don't find them necessary most of the time...even when it's cold. Mind you, Vancouver has had an insanely mild winter this year, so it hasn't really come up...
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
Love that! I also like

"Where is the hat?"
"In the same place where you left your manners, I imagine!"
That wouldn't make you much better than the rude person asking you where the hat was. You'd get right down on that level.

I must agree with Nia82 (just because I'm German too ) I feel like Americans are dressing their kids in WAY too little clothes. We live in TX and it's mostly warm here but hte winter has been loong and colder than I remembered from the last years, yet there are moms dressing their girls in cutsie little leggins and short dresses while it's 40 degrees (yes...in TX that's cold ) outside. Mom's wearing winterboots and a coat but their girls have to wear summerclothes and keep all the other kids from going and playing outside cause mom didn't pack anything thicker than what they are wearing.

My DH is American and people at my parent's village were talking about us cause he went to Christmas mass in a t-shirt and crocks while we had a wintersnowstorm going on outside.
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