• kerihoron

Who Wears the Pants in the Family?



Like many people during this pandemic, I've lived in comfy clothes for the past year and a half. You know...leggings, yoga pants, joggers, sweats. My closet houses several pairs, as comfort and versatility has been the priority for my wardrobe.


As the mercury rose this week, I searched for something equally comfy but cooler. I just can't bring myself to put on a pair of shorts yet. Something about living in the Midwest tells my brain it has to be May before shorts can be worn. So I settled on a pair of capri-length leggings.


The particular pair I chose actually covers the knees and stops, leaving the lower legs exposed. All good, right? Wellll, not so good for my son.


He routinely inspects my outfits. I was getting looks but no objections. I thought I was okay! We were out running errands when, all of a sudden, in the middle of the chip aisle at Big Lots, he began pointing.


I thought, for a moment, that my shoe was untied, or that I dropped something. But in one swift move, he bent down and tugged on the capris. He was attempting to turn them into leggings. After all, that's what he had seen me wearing for the last seven months.


I practically threw the bag of chips I was holding onto the shelf and grabbed my waistband.


"Hey, Zach, sweetheart, Mom's pants don't go that far...they are kind of like shorts!"


He pointed to my feet and nodded. He so wanted them to be leggings.


Not wishing to attract attention to this scene, I kept my voice down while explaining why shorts can't become pants. But now, the left "capri" was not even with the right "capri" and that bothered him. So he folded himself in half and began adjusting the length of my capri-style leggings.


I unintentionally upset the apple cart. People with ASD sometimes thrive on routine and familiarity. Small changes that may seem like no big deal can cause anxiety and discomfort. I had no intention of doing so, but one never knows which little detail might cause some upset.


We made it to the check-out. As the cashier rang us up, I suddenly felt my capris lower again. He had squatted down beside me and was tugging and adjusting. I leaned against the counter and pulled one leg up, flamingo style.


The cashier stopped and looked at me. I'm sure she momentarily wondered why this woman was attempting to do a yoga pose at the checkout at Big Lots while her (tall) son sat on the floor next to her.


She leaned over slowly and peered at him. He was moving back and forth in his crouched position, trying to cover my lower legs with material that would not stretch so far. (At least, I could not let them stretch that far, if I wanted to keep my waistband where it needed to be!)


"What...is...he doing?" she asked. Her bedazzled mask almost blinded me as sunlight struck it.


"Well, you see, um, he thinks my leggings need to be... longer; he is trying to make them go to my ankles." I was wondering if anyone anywhere uttered a sentence like that.


"Ohhh...okay....I see that...yes....he sure is!" I pulled my card from the reader and was able to hang onto my waistband again. Between the fear of having more than my shins exposed and the hot sun streaming through the window, I was dripping sweat under my mask.


"Time to go, Zach!" I cheerfully urged. We had another errand to run.


As we left, the cashier yelled, "Hey, he's wearing shorts, Mom! Maybe you should pull them to his ankles!" And she laughed very, very loudly. I was not going to take time to explain why that would be a very, very bad idea.


We made it back to the car, capris intact. Trader Joe's was next, and I'm happy to report that wooden bins of colorful tropical fruit hold far more interest than a pair of capri-style leggings. Phew!