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“Here’s your sweater.”
“I don’t want a sweater.”
“It’s cold outside.”
“No it’s not.”
“You’ll wish you had it.”
“No I won’t.”
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had this conversation with one or the other of my daughters, I’d be writing this post from the sunny deck of my 150-foot yacht. Here’s how the exchange typically ends:
“Mom, I’m freezing.”
“I told you so. Here’s your sweater.” [Pulls sweater from purse.]
This, of course, would not in any way be newsworthy unless I was Katie Holmes. The poor Mrs. Cruise keeps getting dissed for allowing five-year-old daughter Suri to traipse about town in sleeveless sundresses even as temperatures dip into the frigid upper sixties. Can you imagine? Photo evidence of this neglectful parenting started cropping up around the web, with the finger-waggers routinely getting whipped into a judgmental frenzy. Suri should have on a coat! Violet Affleck was wearing tights and a coat the same day! Suri is spoiled and everyone is clearly afraid to say no to her.
Or maybe Katie is just trying to teach her daughter a lesson. Maybe she didn’t feel like having the same flipping fight one more time. Maybe she knew -- as most of us veteran moms do -- that when her child did get cold, she’d let her know. Maybe Katie understands the fundamental truth that a child’s job is to test assumptions and push limits, and a parent’s job is to foster learning and set limits. Maybe the famous mom decided she’d rather the world see photos of her bare-armed babe than pictures of the two of them in a knock-down, drag-out, put-your-damn-coat-on-now-or-else battle. Just a thought.