Monday, November 10, 2008

Famous Blue Raincoat

In downtown Chicago today, we're waiting to see which extreme the predicted wintery mix will bring.

If snow, Thing 1 will send the revolving hotel door spinning, running out with mouth open, tongue out, sucking in every flake. I'll ask her if Chicago snow tastes better than what we have in the New England suburbs and I'm sure she'll yes. Everything tastes better when you're outdoors in the city. Air pollution must be urban MSG.

If freezing rain, she'll whine and claim the only thing that can save her is room service mac-n-cheese at $12 a plate. Me, I'll be worrying about whether her new pink-and-green marshmallow of a winter coat is water resistant in any degree.

This gets me thinking of her blue Snoopy slicker.

I saw it on the rack at Super Target some eight years ago, and tossed it into the cart without a blink. Of course, she was still in Huggies and attached to My Love's breast at the time of purchase, so a vinyl World War I Flying Ace rain jacket in size "youth small" was not an immediate need.

But it seemed like the right one.

As a child, a certain goggle-and-scarf-clad beagle saved me from many hours of boredom. The bookshelf in my room was packed with every "Peanuts" paperback on the market. A stuffed Snoopy and Woodstock sat on my bedspread, guarding it when I wasn't around. And hanging down from the ceiling was a mobile of a dog on top of his red doghouse, his paws grasping an invisible yoke as he circled around and around, going nowhere.

Thing 1 eventually grew into the raincoat. It served her well throughout pre-school and beyond. Then a few months ago, when the summer sky turned dark and threatening, I told her to grab it before we headed out.

"I think I need a new raincoat," I heard her say behind me.

The yellow-banded sleeves were up to the middle of her forearms.

"You can get by with it for an hour, let's go."

"I don't think so."

"Then wait here," I said.

I returned with my camera.

"Why are you taking my picture," she asked. "Are you going to sell it on the computer?"

"Maybe. Or I'm going post this photo on Craigslist and see if I can trade you in for a smaller kid who fits the jacket."

"Noooo, Daddy! ... Really?"

"Nah," I said, "sometimes parents just need to take photos."

Three months have past. Snoopy still hangs in the basement locker back home, overseeing a mess of other crumpled clothing, stray Sippy lids, outgrown tap shoes and forgotten Crayola masterpieces piled upon each other.

He'll leave us someday to help another kid who needs shelter from the storm. Just not today.


  1. Based on the photo, I'd say they both are keepers.

  2. Same tale here, just a different cartoon dog. The Scooby Doo raincoat with the much loved, much wanted, now far too small umbrella has been retired to the closet. I miss it every morning I look out and see it's starting to sprinkle.

    You made my eyes rain...

  3. I'm a tosser, mostly, but my daughter is not. She had a blue raincoat that she kept for a long time and it no longer fit her and never wore until I stole it from her and sent it to her cousin.

    But I love the story!

  4. that was a great story! My attic is FILLED with crap that needs to go. Will you get on that for me??

  5. Also, hope things go well in Chicago.

  6. I have a box I keep just for items like that. The sentimental ones are tucked away inside more for me than for my son, I think. At 25 is he really going to care that he chewed that crinkly cloth chicken like there was no tomorrow? No, but I will.

  7. I have 3 boxes of crayola master peices in the attic adn keep swearing that I will make a scrapbook out of them. Than I forget about them until the next time.
    Until the time you actually do something you will think of all the good memories.

  8. The snoopy raincoats from my kids' early years are the things I can't seem to part with.

  9. I think that raincoat is special enough to keep in the basement for many years to come. Besides anyone who buys it from CL is just going to be a freak that doesn't deserve the Snoopy raincoat anyway.

  10. Came across your blog, and I am so glad I did.

    I watched The Great Pumpkin the other night with my kids, and my heart broke a little bit, because they Just. Don't. Get. It.


  11. Wait, we can trade for smaller kids? WHY DOESN'T ANYBODY TELL ME THESE THINGS?

  12. Everyone has a blue slicker that is too small for them , tucked somewhere in their memory.

    Keep it forever.

  13. Lol. You should keep it for as long as possible. Or until you get yelled at.

  14. Wow, how did you get in my house? I mean seriously, those dinosaurs all over the floor? The only difference is we don't have carpet.

  15. First, a note: I've started replying to most people's comment directly by email. The ones I reply to here are those I don't have e-mail addresses for. Is this OK with all you?

    Mom o' 2 - Eh, I'll let her stick around another few years. And the doc appt in Chicago when very well. Waiting on blood results. Thanks for asking.

    Chas - I've got a similar box. I'm hoping the kids become famous so I can sell the artifacts to make up for my plummeting IRA.

    MaryO - Very true.

    Seriously - I'd say only about 30 percent of my Craigslist buyers/contact have been freaks. That's about average for my county. PS - stunning new avatar!

    3under2 - Please refer to your warranty manual, page 374.

    Kalia - See what happens when you forget to lock the side door?

  16. You're not the only one throwing things in carts that will sit in a closet for years. Our kids have shoes lined up for the next 3 years, and that's not all.

    And though I like to be a step ahead of the game, I still hate it when the kids outgrow otherwise perfectly good clothes. I say you sew a couple sleeve extensions on that raincoat and tell the whiner to stop whining!

  17. How cute! I bought my niece her fist Halloween costume while my sister was barely 2 months pregnant.

    I was inside a house for the majority of the day/evening but I don't think it snowed or rained, right? I was in the SOU'SIGH! of Chicago playing baby shower games.

  18. Sometime we just need to take pictures. True dat.

  19. My clothing attachment is a little crochet hat that one of the nurses' mothers made for The Girl when she was still in the NICU after her premature birth.

    I just remember being so freaked out by all of the wires and monitors and beeping and sterile environment. And I came in one day and someone had knit her this little, pink and white hat with a point and a pompon on top. It made me feel like someone actually saw her as a human being, not just a medical case.

    I will never, ever, get rid of that hat.

  20. I have 2 important questions to ask you:

    1) Can you send me some of that $12 mac n cheese? Must be laced with real gold for that price.
    2) Why don't they make Snoopy raincoats for adults? We're freaking robbed!

  21. I had a snoopy raincaot when I was little too!

  22. Could you possibly talk her into the notion that 3/4 sleeve raincoats are all the rage? I'm trying to convince my son that his flood sweat pants are He-capris. He's not buying it though. I don't blame him, I wouldn't trust me either.

    Hey thanks for stopping by! You're a big-time blogger! I'm blushing and squeeling too!

  23. Keep the raincoat and have it on hand for eventual grandchildren. It'll be vintage by then, and all the rage.

  24. Oh, I loved this post. We have our version of the raincoat, of course, and while we are sometimes tempted to post the kids on eBay, we're waaay too sentimental to let those certain pieces of clothing go forever...


    :^) Anna

  25. Cath - Too late. I melted down the mac and cheese and made a stunning ring for My Love with it.

    Tricia - I'm not sure Target clothing is made to last THAT long.

    Anna - eBay charges too much for commission. Try an Amazon seller's account.

  26. My kids had a green fleece jacket with little felt animals on it. It was so cute. The best part? The hood was pointy and had little bits of felt sticking out. When you put the hood up they looked little elves! And that fact that their ears stick out like car doors made it that much better. I saved it in the "I miss when kids couldn't talk back" box.

    And, since I know how much you love these, I tagged you. Stop by and grab it!

  27. My oldest has a little red jacket that he wears zipped up with the hood on, regardless of the weather. He'd rather sweat than take it off, most of the time. It's gonna be a sad day when he outgrows it.

  28. Yep, you're site definitely contains traces of nut...

    Love it :)

  29. Hello Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?


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