Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: PJ’s aren’t formal wear? Says who?

So if there is one area where Tracy and I really get into it, argument wise, it’s the way I dress.  For some of you familiar with my manner of dress that might seem like a press release from Mayor Obvious, but for the uninitiated there is a relevant backstory.  Well maybe not relevant, but here it is anyway.

I went to St. Vincent De Paul grade school in Mays Landing N.J.  Yeah, Catholic School.  I did 8 years, and to this date no one can tell me what crime I was charged with and apparently found guilty of to receive that sentence. Anyway, the 8 years comes with clothing.  It wasn’t an orange jump suit, made fashionable by some of the local chain gangs here in the south, but it was close.  The school colors had changed by the time I started.  They mercifully went from green/yellow to blue/grey plaid type patterns.  All the same it was 8 years of ties, white shirts and corduroy pants.  Every time I hear the tell tale swishing of corduroy pant legs rubbing together I get flashbacks and break into a cold sweat.  Tracy has to shake me and remind me I was never in Vietnam and Charlie is not in the bushes.

I got a small reprieve of 4 years at a public high-school.  They I went to work for Sears & Roebuck.  Ties and white shirts.  That was on and off for 15 years as I split some time between sales floor and stockroom/warehouse duties.  In that time I joined the military.  Proud to serve for 22 years, felt privileged to pledge my life for other’s freedom, but that’s 22 years of uniforms.  Now the Battle Dress Uniform or BDU camouflage, is as close to wearing casual clothes and still be working as you can get but still, it’s 22 years of the same clothes.  I should point out there are some benefits to the military clothing.  I got married in my USAF Mess Dress uniform which is the military version of the tuxedo.  A jot and tittle reading of the regulation probably suggests I should not have but, we got to wear swords so it was absolutely worth risking Leavenworth time.

Once I retired I naturally reverted back to the armor of my youth.  T-shirts, shorts, and socks.  I’ll put on sweat pants if it’s cold; which it is on an increasingly regular basis in the South these days.  Curse you Al Gore!  Although with out Big Al we would not have the internets.  So it’s a push.  Anyway, changing diapers and burpin babies didn’t seem like it was going to call for any kind of “outfit” or specialized “garb” as my buddy Chris would say.  He wears outfits and garb, and wears them well, I don’t do “garb”.  I just think I deserve, after all that time in a uni, to dress in the most comfortable manner possible.

I did add a little to my wardrobe.  I started wearing these pajama bottoms.  They look like pajama bottoms, only a hipper version of the kind our fathers wore.  My particular favorite is the pair with Philadelphia Flyers logo on them.  They’re very smart looking; almost nice enough to wear to church.  Certainly nice enough to wear to The Kroger gas station, on midnight runs to Walgreens or Weigles (southern version of 7-11), or to pick up Chinese take out.  Needless to say Tracy’s not a big fan.

Well, when Frank first started sleeping through the night, around the 12 week mark, he really started sleeping through the night.   I mean he wasn’t rolling out of his crib till 10 – 10:30.  Consequently there were days when neither one of us made much of an effort to get into our Sunday best, if you know what I’m saying.  I’m sure you can imagine the look of dismay on Tracy’s face when she would come home around 4:30 or 5:00 and see us snoozing in the big lounge chair, still in our jammies, with the Golf Channel on TV.

I’m getting a lot of “sell out” and “have you just given up completely” comments.  Unwarranted all!  My friend Robb even cautioned me not to become Mr Mom.  Robb worries about a particular scene where Michael Keaton offers his wife’s boss a beer.  The boss replies, “it’s 8:00 in the morning” to which Keaton replies “Scotch?”  I must admit I was on that train for a while, not with the beer or scotch, as I’m more of a diet coke man myself.  It can be pretty easy to slide into a sedentary routine as a stay-at-home, but I’ve not cashed in yet.

I just don’t see where the jammies even enter into the discussion.  I mean what’s wrong with being comfortable?  It’s not like jammies keep me from getting work done.  Exhibit A to the right. There is no reason I couldn’t just get up from what appears to be me cleaning up some of Pumpkin’s cat puke, lose the rubber gloves, throw on some shoes and hit The Kroger for some much needed sundries.

In the end they saying goes the clothes make the man.  Well I’m a stay-at-home, and I wear the clothes of a stay-at-home.  At least as far as I’m concerned anyway.

Pajama Pants – they’re not just for bedtime anymore.

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