Tuesday, 3 April 2012


It's an age-old threat used by parents the world over.

"If you don't hurry up and get dressed, you'll be going to school in your pyjamas."

I've used that threat before, numerous times. This morning was one such occasion. The boys were up extra early - X had eaten his breakfast before 7am. I wandered downstairs at 6.45am, and got breakfast for T. X continued his morning routine - had a shower, got dressed, brushed his teeth etc. He even made his bed. When he'd finished he sat down to watch TV (which I allow if they've finished everything). T ate his breakfast then sat down to watch TV. I asked him several times over the course of the morning to get dressed, and eventually pulled out the threat, and switched off the TV.

He got as far as getting clothes out.

I figured, at the age of seven, he's past the point now where I should dress him, so I gave him a five minute timer - if he wasn't dressed by the time the microwave beeped, I would take him to school as he was. (By this time X had gotten bored and went to school on his own. Living across the road certainly has its advantages).

So as you can imagine, the timer beeped, and T wasn't dressed. I proceeded to pack his clothes into his bag along with his favourite pair of shoes. I asked if there was anything he wished to tell me (eg: are you sick? Is there a reason why you don't want to go to school, etc etc). With nothing forthcoming, a final "do you want to get dressed now?" and subsequent negative reply, we were off.

He clung like a burr, and cried the whole way to his classroom. There was much questioning and a bit of negotiation (on my part) over the next 15 minutes, but he still refused to get dressed. The bell rang, and all the children filed into class. I carried him in, extracted myself from his death-like grip and handed him to the (amazingly good-natured) teacher, and walked away.

I wonder if he'll still be in his pyjamas when I pick him up this afternoon?

Edited to add: Yes he was. With shoes.


  1. Brava! As a former teacher, I applaud you. Many is the time a parent has 'threatened' something and never followed through. No wonder children today don't pay attention to their parents...they've learned that there are no consequences. Yeah, you!!!

  2. Thanks Sally :-) I feel a lot better about it now. I felt awful this morning, but knowing that he went through the day quite happily clad in his pyjamas and shoes, and reading your comment, I don't feel quite so much like the evil parent hell-bent on embarrassing the life out of their child any more!

  3. OMG! What a funny child! Well, it never hurt to go to school in one's pyjamas (even if a little eccentric) and I think you did absolutely the right thing by going through with your word. I bet he'll never not get dressed again in time (unless he wants to go to school in his pyjamas..!)

  4. Loved this story. Something oft threatened here but I havent yet had to carry through. We have the same rule, TV only if EVERYONE is ready to go. Loved that he spent all day in his pjs!