In the beginning life was easy.
Jack was small, and he lacked the dexterity to remove hats that were
tied very tightly lovingly placed upon his head.
We thought these days would last forever.
But toddlers eventually decide that they have opinions and at about a year and a half old Toddler Jack’s official opinion became that would never wear a hat ever again. Thus began The War on Hats,
Which has raged,
For more than a year. As you might imagine, this was a bit of a problem, as Toddler Jack had inherited my pearlescent skin-tone and treated sunscreen with an almost equal level of disdain. In vain, we tried other hats
To no avail, and so Toddler Jack’s outside life was a sunny one.
Punctuated by a few sweet breaks behind the Poco’s useful (though very un-photogenic) sun-shade.
But then, the fine folks over at Tilley sent Jack a My First Tilley hat, and for one sweet moment we had a ceasefire,
Which was fleeting at best,
But gave us hope. After much insistence from Momma and Dadda, Toddler Jack’s resolve began to wane. He started trying on hats for a few moments at a time,
Until I had an idea: What if I try wearing his hat and letting his possessive toddler side try to take it from me? I put his tiny hat on top my head and immediately he snatched it repeating “MY HAT, MY HAT, MY HAT,” over and over again as he put it on,
Refusing to take off, even once we got in the car,
Ending The War on Hats.
And to be honest I’m a little sad. Tilley hats have always had a bit of a passing of the torch quality in my family, and as you watch your kids get older it is easy to see a bit more grown-up in them a bit sooner than you’d like. It’s hard to take the fact a kid is now willing to wear hats too seriously, but it is also easy to see the change from obstinance of Toddler-hood to the rule following and recognition of consequence that comes with aging. Toddler Jack is still a toddler, for now anyways, but the future is obvious: Life changes, faster than we thought.
Goodbye, War on Hats, you’ll be missed. Kind of.
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Max Wilson is a graduate student studying ecology at Arizona State University. He writes here at Lesser Places, has occasionally written for Backpacker.com, and even more occasionally written for scientific journals. You can follow him on twitter @maxomillions.