Like most families, I’m the partner responsible for the typical Autumn duties, such as covering the air conditioning unit and winterizing the house. But I’m also responsible for other duties that most fathers typically don’t cover. You could call these "winterizing the kids" since they pertain to clothing and other issues and they’re as common in our household as checking the smoke detector batteries when the clocks change.
Winterizing the Kids
- Pull all of the winter coats and assure that each child has a winter coat – with hood if possible. I wait on this until October since coats tend to be more expensive and my concern is that a sudden Autumn growth spurt will render a coat unwearable if it’s bought too early.
- Pull the winter boots and assure that each child has a pair that fits. Because most stores only buy a set amount of boots, you don’t want to wait too long into the season; waiting too long might mean a harder time trying to find a decent pair later on. If you do buy boots for one or more of the kids, be sure to make it a bit larger than the actual shoe size, by perhaps half of a size.
- Pull the hat and glove bin to assure that they have what they need and whether too-small items can go to Goodwill. I’ll also wash the items for the season.
- Think about the Christmas pictures, if you have them taken. Most studios are starting to fill the appointment books and you should be prepared. Making the appointment also means that you have to arrange for haircuts in advance of the photos and assure that the kids have appropriate clothing to wear. In our case, I’ll be making the hair appointments for a week in advance of the photos and will ascertain whether I need to get clothing.
- Pay attention to the summer clothing since some stores will have clearance sales on remaining summer clothing. Consider whether you can get a good deal on summer clothing in the next size up and store it for the winter.
- If you haven’t done so, pursue the flu vaccinations for the kids so that their bodies have had an opportunity to build immunity when the seasonal flu arrives in December and January.
And after all of that is finished, sit down with a hot cider and enjoy the change of seasons.