Little Girl In Winter Clothing

(AOtzen/iStockPhoto)

There are some things that are worth fighting for. There are times to stand your ground, fight back, and be an immovable force for justice. There are also times when a slight or inconvenience is not worth getting upset about. Toddler hats are high up on that list.

As the song says, you’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them. But according to the Daily Mail, one U.K. mother has apparently decided that instead of letting a lost toddler hat go, she’s going to stress about it for a whole year and then start some drama with her mother-in-law over it.

Parenting forums are a good place to go to read about drama, and Mumsnet user doomf does not disappoint. She says that her mother-in-law watches her daughter once a week, and a different granddaughter on a different day each week. With a grandmother watching two different but similarly aged toddler girls, it seems pretty natural that clothes and toys and such would get mixed up from time to time.

Last year Doomf bought her daughter a cute hat, and then at the end of last winter it went missing somewhere, as toddler hats do. She looked around for it and asked her mother-in-law if she’d seen it, but the mother-in-law had not. Now, a year later, she brought the hat up again and said she wished she had it, and the mother-in-law was like, “Yeah, that’d be nice.”

Then last week she was out with her daughter and ran into her mother-in-law who was pushing the other toddler girl in a stroller, and the other toddler girl was wearing the missing hat!

“Oh, there’s the hat! Yay!” would have been a perfectly reasonable reaction.

Hats go missing, and if they’re going to turn up again, it’s not weird for one to turn up on the other kid’s head. Maybe last year it accidentally went home with the other girl, and then it just came back this year, and nobody recognized it because nobody cares as much about this hat as Doomf does. But now the hat is found, and Doomf’s kid can have it back next time she goes to grandma’s house. Everything should have been solved there with a minimum of drama.

Doomf, however, seems convinced that her mother-in-law intentionally stole the hat last year and gave it to the other granddaughter, then lied about it in some kind of perverse, year-long, hat-stealing ruse. If that were true, yes, that’d be pretty weird behavior and if it were me, I’d be reconsidering leaving the toddler with that person every week. Doomf did not describe a previous pattern of that kind of behavior and she is not reconsidering her childcare plans, but she did decide the hat was an issue worth fighting for.

Doomf was having none of this other kid wearing her daughter’s hat, so when she saw the hat on the other girl’s head, she drew herself up and snapped: “I see you’ve found DD’s hat. I won’t leave a child out in the cold with no hat, so I”ll pop round tomorrow and pick it up from you. Also, if you find something that belongs to my DD again, please let me know.”

The grandmother was stunned, and Doomf expects her to complain to her son about it later.

A couple commenters thought that was rude, but Doomf just says, “If you think that was rude, you should have heard what I wanted to say.”

Jeez. Let it go, lady. As the parent of a toddler, she’s almost certianly familiar with that phrase. “Let it Go.” But besides being a catchy ear worm, it’s also good advice for a lot of stituations, especially situations involving small, easily-removed accessories like hats or gloves.

Toddlers never really own hats. Toddler-sized hats just belong to the universe, like Barbie shoes. We might bring them into our homes for a brief time, but we do so with the knowledge that they will someday be returned to the place where all lost things wind up eventually, usually by being pitched out of the stroller when we’re not looking.

Toddler hats just go missing. You leave your house with a hat on your kid, and then a couple hours later old ladies are giving you stink-eye and saying, “You need to put a hat on that baby!”

Then you look in at your now-hatless toddler and go, “Where’s your hat!?”

“Where’s your hat!?” repeats the toddler with a gleeful smile, then laughs uproriously. This is now a fun game. You will never keep another hat on that kid again.

Kids’ hats are extremely difficult to keep track of, especially for a person dealing with multiple kids of the same age and sex. If your kid shows up wearing a hat at all, it’s a win. If your kid’s hat winds up on the other kid’s head, that just seems normal. If the missing hat were such an important issue, calling the other kid’s mom a year ago would have been a reasonable thing to do.

“Hey! I was just wondering if my kid’s hat went home with your kid by mistake. Let me know if you see it!”

This whole thing could have been easily solved any number of ways, but now there’s toddler hat drama in multiple branches of this family. If a toddler hat could start drama like this, one shudders to think what will happen when the kids are bigger.