Sunday, October 25, 2009
Sharks with Freakin' Laser Beams
From the moment I found out the gender of my babies (I found out gender during both pregnancies - I'm not what you would call very patient), I had to find the perfect baby outfit. This outfit wasn't really for the baby, but to help me get through the pregnancy. I felt like it was some kind of insurance policy - that a baby was actually coming. It offered reassurance that all the torturous symptoms of pregnancy would be over eventually and that this baby was actually real, not some psychotic episode or strange pregnancy dream. This outfit would go under my pillow at night, I would cling to it while wanting to vomit, and drape it over my ever-expanding girth throughout those last HUGE months. It was my blanky. This might not make any sense to the non-pregnant person, but man, having an blanky seemed totally obvious to me.
When the Red Baron was due to arrive, I found this supremely cute pink polkadot soft sleeper that fit the bill nicely and it became my constant companion. Then, not long after she was born, we found out about the pending arrival of the Little Man. The first item of business was to find a blanky. But the more I looked at the boys clothes, the more unsatisfied I became. Here's the reason: infant baby boys clothes are absurd. I think the baby boy clothing execs got together and drafted all manly items into 3 categories: ferocious animals, professional sports, and power tools. Then, to decorate every manly item, they would randomly choose one thing from each category and make it into a completely ridiculous montage. Dinosaur playing football while holding a screwdriver - check. Alligator playing basketball next to a power drill - check. Lion playing baseball with a tiger holding a hammer - check. None of these images gave me any comfort. In fact, they're all a little terrifying and a tad bit insulting to my intelligence and the intelligence of my multi-celled fetus. Come on!! Do you really think an animal without opposable thumbs would even really like baseball? Please!
Let me qualify, I am aware that there are many, many child clothing retailers out there, but I do my shopping at Target, Craigslist, and the occasional Costco, and that's what was coming up in those locations. The kind of clothing that did not offer the calming reassurance I was looking for. Where were the unassuming plaids? The quiet stripes? The polite paisleys? Nowhere. Feeling bereft of any retailer support, I caved and picked up some Rottweilers-playing-rugby-while-flying-fighter-jet onesies and gave up the fight. Who am I to take on the infant boy retailers of America? I was just a puky mom who wanted a sweet little reminder that I wouldn't be pregnant forever and that my son would come into this world welcomed by cheer and warmth and not fangs and spark-plugs.
Then the Little Man was born, and some answers were offered in the labyrinth of differences between boys and girls clothes and their inspiration. When the Red Baron learned how to move/crawl/walk she usually did so around the existing furniture/obstructions/obstacles. If an infant can be dainty, she was it. But when the Little Man learned these same things he moved like a tank and usually did so as close to the obstacles as possible, like he needed some kind of challenge. As if simply moving straight and steady for the first time ever wasn't difficult enough, he needed to simultaneously scale the couch or straddle the cat. No obstacle was too great. Especially when it came to chasing his sister. Yes, the Red Baron was (and still is) the Little Man's Everest. She is the perfect moving target, and he's on the clock tower with a sniper rifle. The poor Red Baron, after months of being told to "watch out for the baby," "don't hurt the baby," and "be gentle with the baby," found out that this baby had been studying in utero with his little ninja snapping turtle friends while they dig a moat around a javelin field.
Turns out these retail execs know a thing or two. Little boys, even in their infancy, are so in tune with their primitive primeval selves, they can be strategic in obtaining their goal, as evidenced by their deft maneuvers and sharpened instincts when it comes to the chase. And if that can't be celebrated with a jujitsu sparring rhino in a hard hat, than I don't know anything.
So I'm on the look out for some girls clothes with street-fighting butterflies while building a throwing star factory, just to even the score a bit.
Exhibit A: Little Man's first attempt at a sock monkey half-nelson, 3 months old.