Why I Hate Pajama Day at School

Yesterday, it happened.  We were only on the 11th day of the new school year when my most despised day of the year popped up already … pajama day.  My nemesis.

You’d think I had some sort of traumatic childhood experience that makes me dislike public wearing of sleepwear, but I didn’t.  I just don’t believe in it, plain and simple.

The funny thing is, my sister’s middle child went through a long phase where he’d only wear pajamas — all day, all the time, no matter where he was going — and I thought it was cute.  Granted, he was only 4 years old at the time and I only had one child at that point in my life so my opinions and feelings on topics such as this were still developing.  But nonetheless, I thought Michael was adorable.  [Added bonus:  Thanks to my sister’s generosity with hand-me-downs, I never had to buy my own kids pajamas when they turned that age.]

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How cute is my nephew (far left) in his winter-themed jammies during his “pj’s only” phase at age 4?

Even now, I’m okay with little kids wearing their pj’s outdoors.  Kids are quirky and stubborn and go through phases.  Plus, it’s cute at a young age, which is why I’m okay with the younger school-aged kids having a pajama day.  Preschoolers, kindergarteners, even first graders … Don those princess nightgowns and Superman cape-attached jammies with pride.  Second grader, proceed with caution.  This is a gray area for me because some of the kids seem too old for it.  And once children reach third grade, I think pajama days should be retired.  It just doesn’t seem right anymore.

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Back in the day when the boys wore pajama sets, c. 2010

Why my contempt for pajama day at school?

  1. It looks sloppy.  I’ve stated before that I do not dress my boys, which means they are often mismatched.  And I’m okay with that, for the most part.  But there’s something about mismatched pajamas in public that disturbs me.  It just looks sloppy.  And dirty.  And wrong.  This is just my opinion.
  2. It’s dirty.  I’m not a germaphobe, but kids are germ magnets.  Wearing pajamas to school — running around getting hot and sweaty, spilling paint and milk and all sorts of things on themselves — then coming home to sleep in those same filthy clothes … Eww!  I guess if your child has to wear nightwear to school, you could at least have them change into a fresh outfit for bedtime.  Compromise.
  3. It’s borderline inappropriate.  Once kids hit a certain age, around third grade or so, they stop wearing those coordinating character-themed sets.  Sleepwear becomes more haphazard and it’s just not cute anymore.  Many boys start wearing only boxer shorts to bed — not exactly school dress code approved.  And many girls now need a training bra, something that makes wearing pajamas out in public uncomfortable and a bit awkward.  In other words, after about second grade, kids are just too old.
  4. It looks ridiculous.  With my Fashion Police badge firmly in place, I declare that wearing sneakers with pajamas looks horrendous.  Yes, I know it’s a practical option, but it still looks ridiculous (as bad as men’s dress shoes with sweatpants or high heels with yoga pants) and furthers my case for no more sleepwear days.

So did my third-grader participate in the first of what is probably not the last school pajama day?  Sort of.  Despite my better judgement, I allowed him to wear boxer shorts (that looked like gym shorts) as long as he also wore underpants and an oversized t-shirt.  And sneakers, of course.  As I said, compromise.

I can only pray this is the last public pajama battle, but I think I know better.

– LJDT
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