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Put a Hat on 'Em 

This week's letter comes from the Viking Mama who reminds - no, implores - parents to bundle up their youngsters as they themselves bundle. I like it if for no other reason than she reminds me of me own mum who never met a scarf she didn't like. Thanks for the letter Viking Mama. You can pick up your spoils, a pound of Strictly Organic coffee at our office, 704 NW Georgia.

It is not yet summer here in Central Oregon and one might feel that as one goes back inside to get one's hat. Well, get one for your kid as well!

As a mom with two small children it aches in my bones when I see these little beings in thin cotton pants with their bare legs showing as they are hanging in swings, in BabyBjorns or on the back of baby-carriers. In the old country they would say that when the mother is cold, the child is wearing a turtleneck. Well not here, not at the boat park, not at lighting of the Christmas tree downtown, not at WinterFest.

How can it be that the parents are in their down jackets, wool hats and triple soled Danskos, UGG's and winter Merrells when their kid is in a SINGLE layer outfit and flip flops?

Kids are always hot? Not so. They cannot observe before the age of four that they are getting colder until they are FREEZING, and then it is kind of too late...the body temperature has sunk, the whole park thing was a miserable experience, and the opportune winter bugs sets in.

Wonder why your kids get sick "all the time?" Well, put on a hat. Put some gloves on. Put a layer underneath those cotton pants - like good-old long johns, or a pair of tights-they are not just to dress up a skirt. And boys can use a pair of tights under their jeans as well.

The two best observations this week were:

"Are you cold yet?"

"Oh my god, your hands and cheeks are freezing. I better take you home before you get sicker." (Again a father at the park in his down jacket, a hat pulled down over his ears and triple soled boots. The kid? A single layer of loose cotton layer with thin pants, an open neckline, summer slip ons... and no hat!)

I like to put a base layer of non-itch wool (Try first on my two little ones, or a tighter cotton outfit before the fleece. Then I get their windbreaker out on a windy day, or if my little one is going to sit still.

You might respond back that the kid does not want to get dressed this way. But who is the boss in your house, you or the kid? And is preventing an ear infection worth a fight?

The second observation was a baby about four or five months old hanging in the front of a parent who was having a brisk walk in the rain and feeding the baby a bottle. Can you say indigestion? But there is nothing like eating on the run.

Forget the cozy armpit and the slow drifting off after a relaxing meal. But hey, that kid had his hood on. This will be addressed in more detail in my next letter.

With sincere concern,

The Viking Mamma

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