Where Are The Fashion Police When You Need Them?

Okay, maybe this isn’t a fashion police issue. It’s more like the story of someone who lacks basic fashion sense and plain common sense.

Pop Culture Dad is a loving husband and a caring father; but he, like many men, is clueless when it comes to basic, everyday things that normal, functioning adults should know to get through the day. This cluelessness often extends to the care of our daughter.

Pop Culture Toddler attends Montessori school during the day while PCD and I tend to our day jobs. We have an alternating schedule for picking her up in the evenings, but since PCD is the boss (at work, anyway) and needs to be at work often before PCT and I are even awake, and my job is generally über-flexible with arrival times, I am almost always the one who drops her off in the morning. In fact, in the 10 months she has attended this school, he has dropped her off a total of three times. I’m not complaining; this is just a fact.

The first time he dropped her off, PCD’s cluelessness led him to overlook one minor detail: everyone needs to brush their hair in the morning, and this is especially important for little girls — even more important for little girls with curly hair that tends to get tangled if it is not brushed or combed. Although PCD later tried to play it off (as he always does) as he didn’t know how to do her hair, it was obvious from his initial reaction that it never occurred to him to do her hair at all. This is pretty much our actual phone conversation:

PCD: I got her to school okay! She was in a really good mood. I put her in the outfit you left hanging on her closet door. I assume that’s why it was there?

Me: Yup! So what did you do with her hair?

PCD: Her hair?

Me: Yeah, her hair. Did you just brush it and leave it down, or did you attempt to do something with it?

[silence]

Me: Hello?

PCD: I just got her dressed and dropped her off at school….

Me: [sigh]

PCD: Well…. I don’t know how to do all that fancy stuff with her hair! What am I supposed to do? You’re going to have to teach me one weekend.

Me: Fancy? You mean a ponytail? You could have just brushed it, ya know…

Of course, it went on from there with PCD getting more defensive by the minute. Fortunately, that day, PCT’s teachers took pity on her, and she came home well-coifed.

The second time he dropped her off, I believe it was brushing her teeth that he forgot. He remembered to brush his own, but seems to have forgotten that she has teeth, too — not many, but she’s got some.

They say the third time is the charm. Well, it was certainly something.

Yesterday, I had to be at the office early, which meant PCD had to take PCT to school. In order to prevent social embarrassment help him out, I took every necessary precaution: I picked out her outfit, down to the shoes; I put her shirt on, so that I could do her hair before I left; I gave her breakfast; I packed her school bag; and I told PCD not once but twice where to find the pants that matched her outfit (lying on the bed next to her shoes, in plain sight), so he wouldn’t take liberties and pick something that clashed with her flowery purple shirt. I’d done everything. Or so I thought.

When I picked up Pop Culture Toddler from school yesterday, she was wearing the backup outfit I keep in her backpack. Naturally, I assumed she had a potty accident requiring a costume change. Usually, the school only changes her pants, but I figured her teacher didn’t want her tie-dye backup pants to clash with her flowered shirt. Good call, teachers!

Later that night, when I looked in the backpack to fish out the soiled clothes, only the shirt was there. I made a mental note to ask them in the morning for her dirty panties and pants. When PCT and I went upstairs to go to bed, I noticed her purple pants I’d laid out that morning were still lying on the bed. “Great,” I thought, “He went rogue and picked out his own outfit. Doesn’t he know not many things in her closet match PCT’s shirt?”. So I went back downstairs. This was the exchange:

Me: Hey, honey? What pants did you send PCT to school in?

PCD: Pants? None. She was wearing that dress.

Me: [laughing] Nooooo. She had on a shirt. Remember, I told you to put her pants on after she went potty, and I put them on the bed for you?

PCD: What do you mean it wasn’t a dress? It looked like a dress.

Me: Honey! It doesn’t even cover her panties.

PCD: Yes it does! It totally looks like a dress.

Me: [pulling the shirt out of PCT’s backpack and holding it up to her]. See? Goes to her waist.

PCD: Oh…. Well… [and then the random excuses started]

Yes, my darling, loving husband sent our adorable one-year old to school in just her shirt, panties and sandals.

Thankfully, the teachers at my daughter’s school recognized this error and corrected it. Also, thankfully, they know that Mommy isn’t the one who dropped her off half-dressed (nor am I the one who drops her off with bedhead or stinky breath). I think I’m going to be very generous with the teacher presents this year.

I’m cringing thinking about what’s going to happen next weekend when I’m out of town and Pop Culture Dad has to play single parent for the weekend. I hope this week’s embarrassment sticks with him long enough to turn him into Mrs. Doubtfire, at least temporarily.

It has given me a new perspective on life, though: no matter how horrible my day was, at least I have my pants.

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