Jewish · slice of life · weather

Jewish Mother Sweater Alert

Ari is the kind of kid who likes to pick out his own clothes. Sometimes he misses with his outfit choices, but he makes a good match over 80% of the time. (Not bad for a four-year-old kid!) This morning, I suggested, “You should pick out pants and a short-sleeve tee.”

“I want to wear the shorts you told me I could wear yesterday,” he replied as he grabbed the green and navy stripe shorts from his dresser.

“It’s too cold for shorts today, bud. You can wear them after your nap… or tomorrow. It’s going to be in the 80s tomorrow.”

“But it’s in the 60’s today.”

“No, it isn’t. It’s raining too. You don’t want to wear shorts when you go outside today.”

“Yes, I do,” my son, who could be considered stubborn, declared.

“But your legs will be cold!” I said.

“But it’s iiiiin the 60’s!”

I pulled put my iPhone to show him that it was cooler than what he thought. But when the weather app brought up the Lancaster temperature, it read 66°F!

I turned my phone and showed Ari the proof he desired. “You were right. It’s in the mid-60’s. But it is raining. So, if you’re willing to wear a hoodie, then you’ve got yourself a deal on the shorts.”

“Deal!” he said.


As I recounted a sliver of this story to my parents on the phone, my Dad teased me. “Jewish Mother Sweater Alert!”

It isn’t the first time he’s teased me about overdressing one of my children the way many Jewish moms are known to do. WPLJ, which was my favorite radio station as a kid growing up in the NY Metropolitan Area, used to declare a “Jewish Mother Sweater Alert” anytime there was a bit of a chill in the air on spring or fall mornings. It’s a phrase my Dad and I used to taunt my mom with whenever she’d insist on me adding a layer as a kid. Now, I am a Jewish mother, hence the necessity for an extra layer of clothing on a May morning.

17 thoughts on “Jewish Mother Sweater Alert

  1. Perfect compromise! Don’t you love those moments when the universe is on the child’s side and we have to just give in! Such a sweet boy!

  2. “You need to put on a jacket because I’m cold!” Yup, I totally get that. I chuckle at your capturing his reasoning with you. “But it’s iiiiin the 60’s!” Around here, that would bring out a parka and a hat!

  3. Yup- I gave up the clothing battle when my kids were toddlers. If they were cold they could make adjustments and I realized their body thermometers were just different from mine. Side note- wait until Ari is a teen! My sons wore shorts just about year-round, and that is saying a lot, since most of their teen years were in Berlin, Germany.

  4. We have this conversation a lot! One of my children readily admits when I was right and she’s glad for the extra layer. The other will shiver and freeze while still insisting he was right and didn’t need a sweater! I love the Ari can tell by the temperature what he wants to wear. Did he regret the shorts?

  5. Love the compromise, I had a child who was NEVER cold and wanted to wear shorts to shovel those “spring snows.” When he was young, I could just put away the shorts, but then he got older,,,,,and in true confession, I let him go to middle school in shorts one cold day. He was told he could not go outside during recess and the problem was solved for that winter!

  6. Stacey, this post made me chuckle. What is it about shorts that kids love so much? I can remember many a cool day on the playground watching students run around in their shorts while I pulled my jacket tighter. Honestly, they never seemed to mind so I learned to let it go. I loved listening to Ari negotiate with you about his outfit. He certainly has an art for persuasion. Oh, and I laughed at your added note at the end. I didn’t know about Jewish Mother Sweater Alert. I think my grandmother subscribed to this thinking as well.

    Since our state runs a lot like your state temperature wise, I’m guessing you have a few more of these morning negotiations to come.

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