There’s one piece of unsolicited parenting advice I want very much to give Ruth and Nora, and can’t, so after grousing about it privately I’m opting to write it here. I’d like to start off with the disclaimer that they are being conscientious and loving; I just think they’re goofing up, a bit.

When we visited, it was quite warm—a bright and lovely day. I had worn long sleeves and ended up regretting it—Mr. Book had ¾ sleeves, and we both ended up sweating a bit. Ruth and Nora were cold all day; I was baffled to see Ruth add a wool sweater to her outfit early in the afternoon. When we went to a park, they insisted that we borrow jackets just in case, and I think they were genuinely surprised that we ended up not choosing to wear them. Ruth had mentioned that Cricket has been having a rash problem recently. When they helped him get undressed for his bath, I saw that he was wearing three layers: two long-sleeved onesies and a jacket. Well, that kind of overdressing can easily create and prolong rash problems—I suspected it on my own, then talked to my mom, who’s a primary health care provider. Cricket was flushed all day, and I suspect that his parents’ overdressing is at least one cause of his rash problem. But I can’t say anything. It’s one thing to not feel free to say “Gosh, those lime green and navy thermal pants are shockingly ugly, why ever did you buy them?”—that would just be mean, and I don’t actually want to ask that question, although I do wonder. But the overdressing is really going to bug me. (Throughout the day, he kept signing <hot>. Ruth says that it’s hard to know why, as he seems to know what “hot” means–uses it to indicate the heater, etc.–but then signs it sometimes for no reason that she can see.) Oh, well, in a year or two he’ll be able to complain fluently and pull off jackets himself, so the problem will self-correct.