When TB was born we got a lot of hand-me-down clothes, one of the many benefits of showing up late to the adulthood party. (Which, by the way, kind of lame party. I thought there’d be more cocktail weenies.) Besides being a great money saver, hand-me-down baby clothes give you interesting insight into your friends and family. Like, for example, I found out my sister finds baby boy tank tops much less skeevy than I do. I can’t put my finger on why; they just give me the willies. I feel they’re a slippery slope to baby mesh crop tops, which pave the road for this. But that is just me.
Infant fashion preferences aside, it’s amazing to have all these free clothes. We have bins of them, sorted by size, scattered throughout our house. TW is constantly shifting clothes from bins to TB’s drawers and back out to bins to be used for the next round of babies in our family. It’s exhausting to watch. I don’t know how she does it. And yet she still finds the time to remind me I should be helping. What a woman.
So we haven’t consciously picked out too many of the boy’s clothes. Which may be why, when we do buy him an outfit for a special occasion, we get a little too excited.
What with all the screaming and feces involved in a normal dressing session, “outfit” is way too strong a word for what I normally put TB in. I just grab two things in the same general color palette. On a good day one thing will be a shirt and the other, pants. But that doesn’t mean, given the time, I don’t enjoy dressing the kid up for my own amusement.
This weekend we’re flying back East for some general family visiting and a bar mitzvah. And if you don’t think we’ve had TB’s bar mitzvah outfit picked out for weeks, well, you haven’t been reading this post. Which would be odd. Why are you starting in the middle? What’s wrong with you? Commitment problems?
Not only did we buy TB a special outfit weeks ahead of time; we made him model it one afternoon. And as I dressed my 10-month-old son up like Little Lord Fauntleroy, I realized I’m now one step away from being a person who puts a sweater on a dog. And only a half step from that lady who puts a Santa hat on her cat.
The whole baby fashion industry relies on the fact that parents use their kids to amuse themselves. And especially in those first few months when your kid gives you nothing back but blank stares and bodily fluid, maybe that is a great service. Who knows how many baby shakings a well-placed argyle sweater vest has prevented?