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If They Could Just Stay Little May 2, 2011

Posted by J. in Domesticity.

Today I have to throw away Emmy-Bo’s favorite skort.  For starters, it’s a size 6 and she is an 8.  It’s getting fairly ratty and it’s reached the point of hoochiness on her, even though it has the built in shorts and she wears it with tights.

She had the damn thing on for church yesterday (I didn’t dress her!) and that was the last straw. Here’s hoping she doesn’t miss it, though “I don’t know where it is, Emma” will probably take care of it.  She’ll pick a new favorite to glom onto, I’m sure.

Dressing kids is harder than I thought it would be.  Dressing my dolls was so simple.  Why aren’t babies the same way?  It starts out easily enough.  Then one day you go to put a sleeper on your baby and you realize his toes are curled and he can’t straighten his legs.  Which is weird, since you put that same sleeper on him a few nights earlier and it fit just fine.

How does that happen?  How do they grow out of their clothes overnight?  And why is there no advanced warning?  “Gee, this sleeper is getting to be a bit short on you…”  Nope.  None of that.  One minute it fits fine, the next time he wears it he looks like an overripe tick about to burst.   One day his diapers are fitting fine, the next day there’s a serious amount of cheek hanging out.  One morning his shirts look cute on him, the next day he’s Baby Huey.


It gets harder as they get bigger.  Not the fitting into and growing out of aspect of it, but the refusing to part with something they loooooove because it no longer fits.  “Emma!  That’s my sweatshirt!  Take it off!”

(Me):  “Mary!  The sleeves are three inches too short on you!  It’s hers now!”

Then the foot-stomping, eye-rolling, and exasperated, put-upon, dramatic exhalations ensue.  Good times, good times.

Emma is the queen of re-wearing.  She would wear the same outfit every day if I let her, and will wear said item until it is in tatters.  At least twice a week I have to order her back to the bathroom to pick a different pair of pants because “We’ve been over it a hundred times–you CANNOT wear jeans with holes in both knees to school!  You just CAN’T!”  Maybe she thinks I’m that stupid I won’t notice.  Wouldn’t surprise me.

I think the greatest invention of the 20th century has to be the adjustable elastic-button waistband.   If you’re handy with a sewing machine you can do it yourself, but I don’t have the patience for that.  Basically, the waistband of the pants has a length of buttonhole elastic threaded through it, with a button on the inside of the band.  You pull the elastic as tight as you need it and hook it over the button and you’ve snugged in a too-big waist.  The kid gets bigger, you let it out some.  Pass it on to a younger sibling and snug it in again.

Genius, man.

However, I’m with Jenn in RI in my agreement that fly buttons do not belong on pants designed for children under 6.  Sure, lots of kids have the manual dexterity to work a button.  But that’s an age where getting out of your pants in a timely fashion is key, and when your kindergartener is doing the pee-pee dance and can’t get his button open, well that’s just an accident looking for a place to happen.  Is it so hard to put a snap there?

And why is it that the ugliest clothes my kids own are also their favorites?  Trust me: if Nana found a shirt on clearance that’s a size too small and ugly as sin, the child will adore it and wear it at every opportunity.  It never fails.  Not the sweet top from OshKosh that goes with everything.  Not the hand-knit sweater.  Nope.  Not my kids.

I used to have the energy to get upset at some of the clothing I saw marketed to kids.   One year I tried to school shop for Mary at Kohl’s and I swear it was like shopping for a hooker convention.  I vowed I’d never buy clothes in their girls’ section again, and I haven’t though it’s less a principle thing and more that I personally just don’t like their clothes.

Hindsight being 20/20, I realize that a lot of the pieces they had on display that looked so whore-y only seemed that way because of how they were arranged.  If someone with a lick of taste and/or common sense had paired them in different ways it would have made a huge difference, so I’m forced to wonder if the person putting the displays together was even aware that these were supposed to be for kids. Maybe he/she was confused about who was going to be wearing said ensembles.

I figured out the problem with the clothing choices they were offering a couple of years later.  I guess I was looking at the clothing as individual pieces, or grouped the way the store displayed them, and not thinking outside the box on how to make them work in an age-appropriate way.  Then one day I was watching iCarly and I saw Miranda Cosgrove’s character wearing a camisole over a fitted long-sleeved shirt, and a short pleated skirt over a pair of leggings with high-top sneakers.

If I saw the camisole and the leggings and the skirt featured separately, I’d wonder who’d put those on a child.  But the way they were assembled was a little quirky but fun and certainly appropriate, even for younger girls who want to have the “iCarly look”.

They should hire those stylists to do the displays at Kohls.  Seriously.

I’m really getting to the point that if they’re more or less clean and there’s not too much skin hanging out, I don’t care if they look like rigs.  Is it wrong that I feel like I’m fighting yet another losing battle?  One does get tired of fighting after awhile, and there are so many battles to wage daily.  It’s exhausting.  Honestly, I don’t have the time or the energy or the patience to debate the morality of putting my kids in Disney brand clothing and allowing them to be “walking billboards for corporate America.”

Fuck that.  Dave’s Buzz Lightyear t-shirt is more or less clean and his gut isn’t hanging out of it.  That’s a goddamn WIN in my book.  Advertise away, little man.  I don’t give a sweet shit.



1. Jenn in RI - May 2, 2011

I’m famous!!!!! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

2. Karen - May 2, 2011

First, as a Pixar-oriented person, Thank You, Dave, for advertising Buzz for us.

Second — re: the elastic/button waist. Some absolute genius has come up with a fabulous idea for prom/wedding dresses. The backs are similar to a corset and laced! with an insert so flesh does not show. Makes them far more wearable by several people. No longer do you have to find a size 6 that you like — now it can be a 4, 6, 8, or even a 10. I keep thinking of how wonderful this would be for costumes — no more taking in a waist an inch or two. Just cinch it tighter like you do a corset. Gain a few pounds? Cinch a little looser. Genius!!

3. Pippa Posey Peanut Butter Pants - May 2, 2011

I can’t wait til I’m old and dingy enough that you’ll roll your eyes and say I look just like a “rig” (behind my back) Saaaayyy, wait just a minute – is that happening already?

4. bezzie - May 3, 2011

Shit I must be uber evil mom because I let my kids go to school in two hole knee jeans. Meh. Who cares.
Of course I also had to make an emergency run to school last week b/c Chunky REFUSES to throw away this pair of tennis shoes he loves. He was on the playground, tripped and literally ripped one of them in half. Sigh. But on the plus side, I got a lunch hour.

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