Will the jacket thief please stand up?

Here in Houston, we rarely need actual winter coats.  We’re more of a jacket kind of climate.

After school starts, I’m always diligent to inventory the jacket situation for the kids.  I make sure we have several hoodies, some windbreakers, and something polar fleece.  Combined with the mandatory thermal wear for hunting, it’s proven to be enough to keep my kids comfortable in almost any weather condition.

(If it’s below 50 they don’t go outside for recess.  Crazy, but true.)

This year was no exception.  Between the boys, we had a bountiful fourteen jackets in a variety of weights.  That included souvenir sweatshirts from the San Diego Zoo and Yellowstone National Park.  It included North Face all weather jackets.  It included some brand new thermal hoodies in camo.

This morning, I’m down to one all weather jacket and one oversized hand-me-down acrylic sweater.

find the jacket

Apparently, the second grade teacher handed my son’s $30 school spirit hoodie to another student yesterday by mistake, so I’m hopeful it might return.


Is there a jacket thief in the house?

I’ve checked the school lost and found.

I’ve checked all the cars.

I’ve checked various relative’s houses.

I’ve checked the church lost and found.

In short, I’ve checked every place we’ve been for the past three months and I can’t find a single jacket. Not a one.  It’s driving me crazy.

This morning, my sons asked me to buy them new winter coats.

First off, I’m not even sure I could FIND a coat to buy here in Houston.  Stores here tend to stock up on them up until Christmas, but after that they just disappear.  What few were left have been snatched up during the recent cold snap(s).

Last time one of my kids had a January growth spurt, I hit every store in a  ten mile radius trying to find him a jacket that fit.  I even tried all the resale shops and the ski store.  There was one $150 parka at the ski store and one hot pink hoodie at the resale shop.  I ended up wrapping the poor kid up in a blanket.

(Hey, it’s Houston.  There were only three cold days that spring.  Besides, he was three.)

Even if I was inclined to go spend over $50 on jackets for my kids today, there just aren’t any to buy.

Yes, I know I could order them online.  I’m not going to.

I refuse to buy a jacket.

Not because I’m cheap.

Not because it’s Houston and the likelihood of them getting frostbite or hypothermia is nonexistent.

Not because it would be inconvenient or require advance planning on my part.


I refuse to buy a jacket to teach them a lesson.

The last time we had a jacket crisis (about a month ago) I managed to find FOUR jackets in the house.  (After that I quit looking.) They were found in the following locations:

1.  Stuffed under a couch cushion in the man cave.

2.  Hidden in plain view on the playroom floor.

3.  Sandwiched between two bath towels in the linen closet.  I was told that brother A hid it there to keep brother B from using it.  Brother A then forgot where he had hidden it.  (Note that both boys told me the identical story, only each called themselves Brother B.)

4.  Crammed into the underwear drawer.

winter wear

I have no doubt that if I started looking for jackets, I’d find them.  I’m sure they’ve lost a few at school this year (the ones they don’t like were the first ones to disappear.  Hmmm…).

I want them to learn responsibility.

I want them to learn to keep up with their own stuff.

I want them to learn that there are consequences to losing stuff and that they don’t just automatically get a replacement.

I know I sent my kids out into the cold this morning without appropriate winter wear.  (Does it count that they were both wearing hats? Do I get double points for having made the hats?)  

I’m not a bad mom for doing it.

Cold weather mommas – help!  How do y’all do it?

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. I think you get quadruple points for hats! Even in single digit, below zero windchill weather, I can’t make my boys wear hats. I consider it a success if they use the hoods on their coats.
    Jean recently posted..What’s Going On WednesdayMy Profile

  2. I think you should get double points for hats. My kids lose their shoes a lot. They are preschoolers, so their shoes are small, and they take them off in the most random places. 🙂

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