Another old-school random recommendation from me: boys’ pyjamas!
Years ago I bought Sam some of these brilliant PJs from Marks and Spencer – the really great thing about them being that the shorts double up as the best hot weather shorts for boys ever.
And in subsequent years I couldn’t find them, so when I noted that they were back in stock I fell on them like Kim Kardashian on a beige lippy – and bought two pairs. Each pair is a multipack so I now have four pairs of these pyjamas – and I am considering buying more.
Why are they so good? Because they are just so soft and light and breezy with a pattern that works – like a beige lippy – in a smart or casual setting.
I find the offering for little boys in terms of summer shorts a bit uninspiring. There are either sort of smart chino things, which are just too tight with fiddly buttons or zips for Sam to deal with, or flappy cargo things, which are too hot when it’s really hot, or jersey baggies, which are alright but look a bit sloppy.
These natty checked shorts can be worn without pants, (unthinkable at the moment, but it really does get hot sometimes), and a t-shirt during the day, at night with a polo shirt for dinner and, of course, to bed.
The loose fit and elasticated waist means that even young Sam can put them on and take them off by himself, (although he will claim not to be able to, I’m sure, as he so enjoys watching me slave around after him). Finally, the cotton means it won’t interfere with his sensitive skin, which is prone to breaking out into strange rashes and eczema at the drop of a hat.
I am thinking about hot weather now especially because we are going to Oman for February half term – but I get a bit neurotic about things selling out, so like to secure essential summer-wear items now. Just in case.
Here again for your convenience is the link.
They do so enjoy us doing everything for them. I’ve just spooned porridge into my 4 year old because he gets kind of fed up half way through and says ‘mummy, will you help me?’ And I never say no. Similarly changing shoes, bike helmets on and off, getting dressed. Or the other night he asked for my last piece of pasta even though his little bowl was still half full, like a test of my love, and I gave it to him. Extra annoying because my portions of pasta are as small as theirs. Smaller? Anyway, these pyjamas look excellent, I’m off to order some. I bought my eldest a stock of shortie pyjamas from M&S the summer he was 1 1/2, size 2-3 and he still wears them now, because he’s tall but skinny, they have washed so well. Elaine x
May I ask you a question that I REALLY hope doesn’t come off as rude? I don’t want to offend anyone or trigger a horrible debate on this lovely blog- this is complete and utter non judgemental curiousity from someone who doesn’t have kids but likes them, delivers them for a living, and does want them someday. Could you explain why you *don’t* say no to things like the porridge thing and the pasta thing?
(If that’s not a polite question to ask a parent, tell me and I’ll never mention it again. I truly don’t know these things as a non parent!!!)
*Every parent reads this and then stares out of the window into middle distance for an hour*
Because it’s more effort in the short term.
Kittie, it’s a really good question. I just did the staring thing Esther said.
I think I just really want my daughter to be…happy? And that feels kind of hardwired. So I do stuff for her I wouldn’t dream of doing for any other human being.
HOWEVER, I am pretty firm on boundaries even if they make her unhappy in the short-term, though, on the grounds that in the long term she’d be very unhappy if she was a horribe person no one wanted to play with.
Does that make sense? The insane love doesn’t extend to just getting everything she wants.
Dee that is a really lovely insightful comment and thank you. Elena, that makes total sense I am all for less effort in life in general xx
Hello, not rude, certainly not compared to lots of people, including my mother and siblings who say things like ‘you’re spoiling that boy’ ‘you’re a soft touch’ or roll their eyes or tut at my parenting. I should be clear that I say no to my children loads, all the time. No you can’t have another biscuit, no you can’t go out in the rain with no jacket on, no you can’t snatch that toy from your brother, no you can’t stay off nursery just because you don’t fancy it, no you can’t throw sand, no you are not finished your dinner, eat up, no you can’t idly kick me with your restless legs during story time etc etc times a million. I am very strict in lots of ways. Lots of boundaries. But if my child wants me to help him eat his food, help him with his shoes or clothes, or lots of other things I almost always say yes. I think it’s age appropriate that even with tasks he is physically capable of he still sometimes wants a bit of a hand, or to be taken care of or just doesn’t want to do it by himself in that moment for whatever reason. Sometimes he very obviously wants to be babied and I indulge that. I do teach him how to do things for himself and I do encourage his independence and he often wants to do things for himself but when he asks for help I give it. He will grow up in his own good time. He is growing up perfectly well, a little bit of being cared for will not do him any harm. He has just turned 4 and there has been a noticeable reduction recently in the amount of times he asks for help with eating, for example. I think it’s nice to be nice to your children and I genuinely don’t mind doing these things for him. BUT as with all parenting and in fact most things in life, everyone must do what they think best. I know myself and I know my children and this is how our relationship works. If anyone reads this and thinks I’ve got it all wrong then don’t you do it this way with your kids, but please don’t try and convince me to be harder on my children. I don’t want to be. I’m sure lots of people take the opposite approach and are wonderful parents, but I am who I am. Hope that answers your question? Elaine xx
Ps. It took me ages to answer this as I had to have a big think about why.
Elaine this is such an accurate description of being a parent. It made me cry reading it, I feel exactly as you do but couldn’t have expressed it so well.
Just to clarify, the thought process between Selfish Teenager Me and Sensible Adult Me was thus:
“Blimey if ANYONE asked for my last bit of pasta when s/he still had half a bowl, I’d tell them to fuck right OFF.”
“Don’t be so judgemental, it’s her child! It’s OK! She clearly doesn’t mind. ”
“… But it’s mine!”
“But she loves her child more than her pasta and that’s sweet. It’s how it should be. ”
“… But my pasta!!!”
“Stop being superficial. You have no idea what you’d do if you were a mother and it was your child.”
“I’d tell them it’s MY FUCKING PASTA.
“Now just stop it you fucking fat bitch. How many mothers do you meet who say they’d never ever do XYZ and now they do?”
“… All of them.”
“So what happens there then? What changes? How does it feel to go from a selfish child free innocent to a full on devoted mother? I feel like I need this information if I’m serious about wanting my own kids one day. Can you ever prepare for it?”
“Why don’t you ask? We should all be honest and friendly with each other after all. Make nice with these awesome mothers. It’ll be you one day and you’ll be grateful for the foresight.”
“Hmph brrrr fine.” *eats Doritos*
“You know you’ll be the exact same one day. You’ll fucking adore your and (Other Half’s) babies.”
*pause* “Yes I know.”
“AND you gave the cats the rest of your chicken poppers the other day. Without being asked.”
*pause* “Yeah but it was cute.”
“I rest my case.”
Thank you so much everyone for enlightening the grumpy arsey teenager in my head. The sensible broody adult is unspeakably grateful. Particularly to you Elaine, you sound like the kind of mother we should all be emulating. Thank you so much xxx
… giving the cats the chicken poppers – that’s it right there…
Ohhh Oman for half term. Went last year. Loved so going back, but at Easter this time.
I don’t even have a son / any small boy-child in my life and such is the power of your conviction that you’re making ME seriously wonder whether I should be buying these!
I do find it incredibly satisfying knowing that I’ve got the right items in the right size in advance of the event/ season. Certainly does not always happen (last year it was school shoes the day before school. No sandals during the heat wave etc) but when I do get it sorted, man, I feel like Uber Mum.
Not pyjama’s but in past years I’ve bought my boys some excellent checked shorts with elasticated waistband from Tu, might be worth checking out later in the year.
Agree on the Tu shorts!
Does anyone know the sizing of the M&S pj’s – I got my 6 yo the right “aged” winter pj’s and while the top is spot on, the elasticated trousers are huge on him (kinda average sized, slim hips not skinny) 🤔
Fantastic! Thanks Esther. Planning our first trip to Oman in Autumn with our 10 and 7 yr old boys. Any must- sees or advice please?
We went straight to the Zighy Bay resort and sat there! Very shamefully we did nothing more adventurous than that…
Oh, on the subject of winter sun, what do you do about sandals? We’re off next week and have no suitable footwear (for the kids)
Kitty refuses to wear shoes and Sam wears shitty old crocs. We cut quite the dash
Next do good leather and cork sandals for children. They only list them in the boys section (don’t get me started on that) but they come in great colours. My daughter’s worn them exclusively for the last three summers and they last well enough to be handed down to her little brother (lucky fellow). They are the only footwear I can convince her to wear other than crocs.
Great spot Flopsy