"Where is the hat?" (vent) - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 53 Old 02-13-2010, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
MittensKittens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In the winter, I hear this time and time again. We live in Eastern Europe. It's snowing, but not really all that cold. They bundle up their kids excessively, in my opinion. At the slightest hint of anything cold, it is ski coats, hats and gloves. We went out for a quick stroll tonight, and once again, a random stranger felt the need to ask why my three and a half year old DD, with lots of hair, was not wearing a hat.

It happens all the time. On a daily basis. I've tried being nice about it. Normally, I reply "We're fine, thanks!". If I am feeling crabby I'll say "Please mind your own business" or "Sorry, I don't understand your language". If I am feeling talkative, I'll explain that where I am from, people don't put hats on kids when the weather is like that, and we're all fine .

I have tried seeing this comment in a positive light. After all, it shows they really care, right? I have tried putting a hat on my DD (who doesn't like it) to shut them up.

Tonight, I was already angry and took the kids out for a quick stroll so we could all relax and get some fresh air. Then came the hat comment. Again. I couldn't be bothered to explain to this random stranger that we were only out for a couple of minutes, that it was not even below zero, and that we were truly fine. I am not accountable to someone I never met before and will never meet again. So I snapped. "Perhaps that's what you do, but where I come from, we don't. We're fine".

"Oh yes, so where are you from then, if I may ask?" he replied. I answered. He then accused me of being racist, and asked me why I didn't go back to where I came from, then. That never happened to me before. I told him that, in fact, I really love this country, that it is a beautiful place, but that I just wished that people could accept that different people have different habits, and that there are all OK. That there is not one way of doing things that is right, and all the other ways are wrong.

"No, it is cold, your children are small. They need a hat."



This is so petty, isn't it? I really felt the need to come here and rant about this. I know that I should accept the local culture and so on, rather than moan about stupid little things like that, but for some reason this one really annoys me.

Anyone else? Any suggestions?

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
MittensKittens is offline  
#2 of 53 Old 02-13-2010, 04:23 PM
 
Eclipsepearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ugh! How rude!!

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...

Here in this part of France, they are paranoid of open windows. Our ped supports me in the view that a little fresh air is GOOD for kids. I've actually had arguments with other parents over this in the waiting room. "No" I'll insist, "Stale air is BAD for your child. Cold air is not necessarily bad for him. Stale air is WORSE for them than 5 minutes of cold air..." One woman said "...for my baby..." and I answered "this IS for the health of your baby. There are germs in this room which need to get out..." The ped just laughs. He's not originally from here and I'll hear the lecture on "these people" again...

What I do now is as soon as I enter now, before anyone can say anything, I'll comment loudly "It stinks here!" in French and immediately open the window before anyone can move. No one dares say anything now because they're too embarrassed to be the source of the stink

Another annoyance is that they'll blame sicknesses on cold weather or weather changes. I'll say something immediately because this is just so wrong and I come from a medical family so it'll go something like this; "Look, if my nurse mother and my doctor father heard someone say that, they would lecture them for an hour about how viruses and bacteria cause illness, NOT temperature..." totally true. If that doesn't shut them up I add; "I'm from California. It's hot there. We get sick just as much as you all do here in France. Trust me, when I get sick, I'd rather have a temperature when it's cold out. Do you know what it's like to have a temp of 102 and it's 102 outside??" Again, totally true! Then I'll go to describe what it's like to have all your nasal passages dry up... and they're really regretting having mentioned the weather by then!

What I don't like is when I see babies under rain covers when it isn't really that cold out. Tiny babies wrapped up like Frosty the Snowman and they're breathing in the carbon monoxide... I'll even say something. "Oh no, don't forget to lift up that plastic. Not good for baby..." A bit of coldish air is definitely better than too much carbon monoxide!!

What makes this worse is that my kids are really hot-blooded. They never get cold. They refuse to wear their jackets once it's above freezing. They are always complaining they're too hot. I'll even say to them "Put on your jacket or everyone will think I'm a bad mother!" "Boil because this is your country and you're supposed to wear all this heavy stuff when it's not even that cold out..."

The problem is really the cultural norms. Here in Europe, they're much lower. When I'm in N.America, I can get rid of someone or shut them up with a "It's fine" or "I know". Doesn't work here. You have to go for the jugular.

I'll never forget a Swedish friend who found us Californians so annoying. "You're so cagey! I never know what you're thinking..." Here in Europe, the appreciate frankness. What would be totally rude and unthinkable back home is standard here (says someone who just argued with a French police officer today-hey, he WAS blocking traffic...)

In the same vein, he might have not meant to be as rude as he came across to you! True? Not? You decide!

So, how do you be frank and honest without coming across rude? Well, be frank and earnest but don't insult or belittle. Just spit out the facts. "Oh no, you're NOT going to tell me to put hat on my children. We're only out for ONE MINUTE. They never get sick and every time we step out the door and they don't have their hats on for a second, I get comments..." The Europeans don't think having an opinion is necessarily a Bad Thing, as it can be back home where we're all supposed to be cozy and friendly to each other every minute of our lives...

Or you can do the opposite. "Oh no, I forgot the hats again. They'll probably freeze. Thanks for pointing it out..." A little more wimpy but I've done it... But I'd take it in the same vein as "Your child should be wearing an apron while doing that art project" "You're right. Now he's a mess and I'll have to wash his shirt. I'll probably need a good soak. Too late now..." Sometimes they are right. I just confirm it and move on...

Then there's the simple not-understanding technique. Proceed with care with that one because my children speak French between them so they bust my cover. I'll actually not bother with it at all. Someone will be in process of saying something to me (or trying to) and I'll just turn around and say to one of the kids "What are you doing?!? Get down from there!" or similar. It's really, really hard to talk to someone in the middle of scolding or speaking intensely to a child... I'm not ignoring them. I'm shutting them out completely!

Also, don't answer stranger's personal questions unless they have a reason to ask you. They have no right to know where you're from. I'll even ask why. Or if I'm being more generous, I'll make them guess. First country they say, wins

I don't agree that different ways are necessarily all the same. In many cases, there are better ways than others. When I see the way they strap their children into cars, it makes my blood boil. Just because they're French, or European, or whatever doesn't justify their disregard for their childrens' safety. Sorry.

Every old wives' tale has a grain of truth. The cold can lower your immune system but usually this is a result of prolonged exposure. Another lecture topic if they mention the Evil Wind again...

I'd love to tell you that you'll get used to it but that wouldn't be fair. The truth is that you'll learn to handle it but while there are things you love about the country where you live, make peace with what you don't love and never will.

I lived in France before I had children and I thought I had these people all figured out and then I had kids, and I found myself drowning in various cultural pitfalls all over again...

Bonne courage, as they say here!
Eclipsepearl is offline  
#3 of 53 Old 02-13-2010, 04:24 PM
 
stormborn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Oh that drives me insane, and I live in the same town/culture I was born into! It can be 60 degrees out and I'm 'freezing the baby to death'. Both of mine hate hats and socks so I hear it a lot!
I try to just nod and smile but it gets old.
stormborn is offline  
#4 of 53 Old 02-13-2010, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
MittensKittens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
"Boil because this is your country and you're supposed to wear all this heavy stuff when it's not even that cold out..."
That cracked me up!

Thank you so much for that long reply, Eclipsepearl, that really made me feel a lot better. I know I won't get used to it, and I know it won't get better. I have been here for nearly five years now . Still, these are the times that I feel homesick, as well as just annoyed.

I totally agree with you about not answering personal questions as well. People have no business poking into your lives just because you have a funny accent . Sometimes, I do what you do and let them think whatever they want to say. Sometimes I answer. Sometimes give totally silly answers.

The thing that worries me is, if they are so militant about small things like hats, then what happens when I have to enrol my kids in school and face the debate about not vaccinating, and similar issues?

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all just respect each other and each others' choices?

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
MittensKittens is offline  
#5 of 53 Old 02-13-2010, 07:02 PM
 
outlier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: far from average
Posts: 529
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If I'm in a situation where a stranger is being rude and I don't feel like taking the time to set them straight, I don't hesitate to pretend I'm deaf or say "I don't speak your language" in a heavy accent and then get out of there without giving them another glance. I don't know if this would work if you have children in tow, especially if they were chattering in the stranger's language!

I like the PP's idea of just confirming what they say so you don't give them any room to argue. "Yes, they clearly need hats. Thank you."

9/2011 items decluttered
outlier is offline  
#6 of 53 Old 02-13-2010, 11:11 PM
 
mami to 3 :)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: WY
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm one of those people that bundless their kids excessively as you put it. We're at -12C right now and I see kids wearing thin sweaters or shorts I'm thinking OMG what the heck is wrong with Americans?? And my poor kids are all bundled up with mittens, gloves, big jackets, etc. And I grew up in Norway so people assume I must be used to it.
But honestly the cold wind feels different from the one back home but that's another subject.

Usually I keep comments to myself here, becuase then people find me extremly rude. But saying that you should go back to your country is stupid. Us Europeans should relax a bit

I find myself asking personal questions to strangers here and they've been nice enough to answer, but I don't mean wrong when I ask them. I just curious and want to know

Leo(5), Cata(4), Tiago(1/9/09), stepmama to Addie(14) wife to Alec
mami to 3 :) is offline  
#7 of 53 Old 02-14-2010, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
MittensKittens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mami to 3 :) View Post
I'm one of those people that bundless their kids excessively as you put it. We're at -12C right now and I see kids wearing thin sweaters or shorts I'm thinking OMG what the heck is wrong with Americans??
Yes, that would be a bit over the top for me as well. I mean, shorts in -12? Do people actually do that? I'm shocked at the thought, but then, these people were shocked because my kids were not wearing hats. Genuinely shocked . FWIW, it was about -1C and my kids were wearing winter coats, good shoes, jeans and socks, just no hats or no gloves.

The comment this guy made about me being a racist (!) probably had something to do with me making a reference to not being from there and not doing what they do because of that. Then, he felt offended and like I was dismissing his whole culture because of the no-hats thing. Or alternatively, the guy was angry because NATO bombed his country 10 years back.

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
MittensKittens is offline  
#8 of 53 Old 02-14-2010, 07:57 AM
 
Bad Mama Jama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Locale so Secret that I Don't Know
Posts: 4,977
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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...
This is just too funny. I love The Evil Wind. I can appreciate it with the snow that we got hit with!

Former dreads.gifwearing, treehugger.gifing, pole dancing, read.gifpushing, ribbonpurple.gifsurvivor & single mama extraordinaire to energy.gif.  

Now that's a mouthful!!! computergeek2.gif & follow it!   

 

Bad Mama Jama is offline  
#9 of 53 Old 02-14-2010, 02:54 PM
 
grumpybear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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
grumpybear is online now  
#10 of 53 Old 02-14-2010, 03:10 PM
 
mommy2maya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: SE PA
Posts: 1,377
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Cold enough for snow=cold enough that hat and mittens/gloves are necessary.
mommy2maya is offline  
#11 of 53 Old 02-15-2010, 06:33 AM
 
Eclipsepearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wanted to add something; do any of your kids play soccer or rugby??

Those kids will be out there in thin clothes, even shorts in freezing weather for hours and no one says a word. Outdoor sports seem to be exempt from the Evil Wind idea here in Europe. I can't really figure it out. Is it because they know that as long as you keep moving, you'll be okay? Are team-sport parents less gullible to the Evil Wind Theory? Are they just hardier souls who know that a bit of fresh air can't do their children any real harm?

It's funny how they make an exception for sports.
Eclipsepearl is offline  
#12 of 53 Old 02-15-2010, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
MittensKittens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
I wanted to add something; do any of your kids play soccer or rugby??

Those kids will be out there in thin clothes, even shorts in freezing weather for hours and no one says a word. Outdoor sports seem to be exempt from the Evil Wind idea here in Europe. I can't really figure it out. Is it because they know that as long as you keep moving, you'll be okay? Are team-sport parents less gullible to the Evil Wind Theory? Are they just hardier souls who know that a bit of fresh air can't do their children any real harm?

It's funny how they make an exception for sports.
You are absolutely right about that. My kid does judo and they have to wear fluffy warm slippers while they are not on the mat, because their feet would obviously freeze without them. On the mats, they have bare feet though, and then their feet won't freeze .

Hardier souls, hahaha... One of my friends keeps calling me "Protestant" and says the no-hat thing is all about hardening the soul

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
MittensKittens is offline  
#13 of 53 Old 02-16-2010, 05:27 AM
 
Eclipsepearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Too funny! My son just started judo and what did I do?!? Go out and buy him slippers for going between the locker room and the mat room without getting his feet cold. Then he takes them off when he does his class...

They're corrupted me! Oh no!!

For the record, I'm Jewish so they can't pull the "hardier soul" routine on me
Eclipsepearl is offline  
#14 of 53 Old 02-16-2010, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
MittensKittens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just came across this while looking for links between sugar and hyperactivity. Scientific evidence that most body heat does not, in fact, leave the body through the head.

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
MittensKittens is offline  
#15 of 53 Old 02-16-2010, 09:27 AM
 
Geist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
LOL! I noticed this when I was visiting my host family in Germany over the summer. I brought a hat for DS because I knew they would freak out if he didn't have one. Of course, he didn't want to wear it, so they decided he needed a hat that tied on so he couldn't take it off. *sigh* So, we bought one of those. He still took it off. Then, once when we were out, we encountered a little girl the same age as he and she was wearing long sleeves, long pants, a jacket...and a hat. In June. In the middle of the day. I've often wondered if European kids ever get heat stroke from all those layers!

Mother to one (8/08) with another on the way (04/11)
Geist is offline  
#16 of 53 Old 02-16-2010, 09:52 AM
 
earthmommy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We have had abnormally intense storms here in Maryland where I live, the last time they got storms like this was in 1922. My children are so over wearing thier huge coats and hats that we have negotiated, wear a sweatshirt from here to the car, and here to the store. Its what 2-5 seconds? A woman said something to us yesterday in the parking lot and I looked at her and said, "Thanks for your concern, but we are fine." but what I wanted to say, "Get your nose out of our business, we firstly aren't from here and haven't had a need for ski gear, secondly we are outside for seconds...not hours!" I feel you...people love to give thier opinion, oh how I would love to give mine half as much!!!

~Marla~
CoSleeping, BabyWearing, Breastfeeding, PT Cding

🐢🐢A new little turtle is about to join our crazy part of the ocean!!!🐢🐢
lactivist.gif
earthmommy2 is offline  
#17 of 53 Old 02-16-2010, 09:52 AM
 
PretzelMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 237
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I get that a lot too, mostly from MIL. If it's not the hat then it's the socks. Never mind that DD feels toasty warm and will only be outside for the 10 seconds it takes to get from the car into the house.

My baby is 2 years old! How did that happen?!
PretzelMama is offline  
#18 of 53 Old 02-16-2010, 03:03 PM
 
texmati's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,865
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I live in *Texas* of all places and I get it a lot. I think it might be a nosy neighbor thing, not a Eastern Europe thing. How hard is it to keep your opinion to yourself?

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

texmati is offline  
#19 of 53 Old 02-16-2010, 03:14 PM
 
Kirsten's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Washington state
Posts: 5,463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
"No, it is cold, your children are small. They need a hat."
Honestly, I agree with him. But I would have just thought it instead of saying it out loud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2maya View Post
Cold enough for snow=cold enough that hat and mittens/gloves are necessary.
100% agreed. I admit that I would (silently) judge a mom who had kids out in snow without hats/gloves/coats. But no vaxxing is fine with me!

Bottom line is that each of us gets to decide how to parent. I think if we go "against the grain", we shouldn't be surprised to hear comments though. I had a homebirth, and lots of people had comments about that.
Kirsten is offline  
#20 of 53 Old 02-16-2010, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
MittensKittens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post
I had a homebirth, and lots of people had comments about that.
Yes, me too - two, and one UC. Fortunately, that's not something people can see when looking at you, unlike the hat thing . Sure we all have different opinions, and that is fine. When I see a kid in a snowsuit in September, I might think that is crazy, but I would never comment. It is safe to assume that the parents have thought their choice through, I think.

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
MittensKittens is offline  
#21 of 53 Old 02-16-2010, 10:07 PM
 
missmich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Montreal
Posts: 979
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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!
missmich is offline  
#22 of 53 Old 02-16-2010, 10:38 PM
 
lolar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6,584
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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?
lolar2 is offline  
#23 of 53 Old 02-16-2010, 10:49 PM
 
stormborn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
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?!?
stormborn is offline  
#24 of 53 Old 02-17-2010, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
MittensKittens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
MittensKittens is offline  
#25 of 53 Old 02-17-2010, 05:18 AM
 
mntnmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,835
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

Mom of 4 aspiring midwife "Friend"ly seeker
mntnmom is offline  
#26 of 53 Old 02-17-2010, 09:18 AM
 
expatmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,040
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

Mom of 5: dd (10), ds (8) & dd2 (4), my sweet baby son born still 3/2/09, and celebrating the arrival of our dd 5/7/10.
expatmommy is offline  
#27 of 53 Old 02-17-2010, 10:27 AM
 
pear-shaped's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 556
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
pear-shaped is offline  
#28 of 53 Old 02-17-2010, 02:42 PM
 
kcstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: nowhere near Kansas
Posts: 756
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

Unitarian Universalist Pagan
kcstar is offline  
#29 of 53 Old 02-17-2010, 03:16 PM
 
Cetan Luta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Montana
Posts: 88
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

Homeschooling, homebirthing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, APing, UC, super crunchy mom to Ezra(9), Adrian(5), and Lily(May 15) : Non-vaxed mom and babes
Cetan Luta is offline  
#30 of 53 Old 02-17-2010, 04:31 PM
 
pear-shaped's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 556
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
pear-shaped is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off