My 2-year-old daughter's New Year's resolution is, apparently, giving up pants.
That's not to say she has given up pants for skirts. She is not acquiescing to the patriarchy, nor has she developed some sort of weird skin rash that prefers skirts to the feeling of pants against her shins. There has been no toddler-sized religious reckoning or pursuit of modesty in ankle-length dresses. In fact, she is moving further from modesty. No pants, most definitely. But also, no skirts. No shorts. No skorts. Nothing on top of her diaper. She is bottom-free. And she has chosen to do this during a tremendous cold spell. Of course.
I blame "Moana." It is frigid across most of the United States, but my daughter demands her daily viewings of the young not-a-princess blissfully sailing around hot Polynesian islands. My daughter has watched the movie so much that it's surprising she hasn't developed a sunburn.
It's so cold outside that we have natural ice bubbles forming on our grass. Have you ever seen an ice bubble? Because I sure hadn't. And now my toddler wants to stamp on those ice bubbles with bare feet because Moana doesn't wear shoes.
Only she doesn't really. After kicking, screaming and crying, insisting that we let her go pants-free, my toddler opens the door to the great outdoors, looks at me and says in a tiny, surprised voice, "Cold." (No shish kebab, Sherlock. That's why I practically have to have you in a headlock to get you to wear more than a diaper. Only I don't actually have her in anything close to a headlock, which is why she wins every battle.) Still, she manages to run gleefully out the front door. But then she turns back to me, a look of betrayal in her eyes, and once again says, "Cold."
Yes, darling. It's cold. And with the cold came a storm with a name that sounds as if it came out of a 1940s comic book. Now get that tushie back in here before the evil bomb cyclone destroys you along with the rest of Gotham City.
I keep waiting for her to do the math, to understand the cause and effect. At some point, surely, she will realize that it is cold outside and even colder when she is not wearing pants. Or socks. Or shoes. She will come back inside and, with syntax far beyond her years and an unexpected English accent, state, "Oh, Mummy, there does seem to be a slight chill in the air. Could I trouble you for a pair of trousers — preferably a pair with a little extra wiggle room, as I have recently defecated in my nappy?"
Perhaps I expect too much from a 2-year-old. I caught approximately one-third of an episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" some years back. Kim claimed she had psoriasis and kept stealing the pumped and stored breast milk from first-time-mom Kourtney to pour the milk on her leg rash. Kourtney, who had suffered through the unique hell that is pumping, was furious. And Kim kept crying about how selfish Kourtney was as she stole another few bags of breast milk and poured the liquid gold down her leg while I turned off the television.
I don't know whether Kim K. had psoriasis; I'm not particularly inclined to believe anything a Kardashian says. It could have just as likely been ankle acne or a shin wart. But whatever leg affliction one has, any adult should be able to understand the concept of cause and effect well enough to know that stealing one's sister's milk will make that sister angry.
My daughter, suffering from her own Disney-induced leg affliction, doesn't seem to understand cause and effect, either. But rather than put milk on her legs, she welcomes frostbite.
I've tried working with her. I bought her Moana pants and new sparkly shoes. But every morning, we are back to the same routine. Frolicking fancy-pants-free until we open the door and, "Cold."
Who knows? Maybe she is onto something. Our places of work have become exceedingly casual in the past half-century. Maybe casual Friday is on its way to becoming pants-free Friday. Maybe she is a pants-free pioneer.
And isn't that all we ever want as parents, to support our children so they can grow to one day change the world?
Well, that and not having those children succumb to pants-free hypothermia.
Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at http://www.creators.com/books/stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.