Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dad: Buttons, zippers and snaps, oh my.

Thanks to Adam and Eve, we’re no longer allowed to strut around buck naked in the Garden of Eden. Instead we have to spend lots of time and money outfitting ourselves and, by extension, our babies. For whatever reason, a grown man running around naked in public is considered obscene, but when a baby does it, it’s hilarious. Of course if it goes on too long, the cuteness wears off and the calls to Social Services begin.

Nope, doesn't count.

Rather than let our kid walk around free and easy like Elizabeth Berkley post-Saved by the Bell, we make an effort to keep Susan clothed. She has quite a wardrobe and has already outgrown half her closet. We sometimes put her in 4 outfits a day just to make sure she wears everything at least once. There is already a “Things Susan Can’t Wear Anymore” bin.

In a terrible sign of things to come, Susan gets new outfits every week despite having a closet and two dressers full of clothes. We can’t help ourselves. Baby clothes are like crack. We walk into Babies R Us, and there are hundreds of outfits that would just look so damn cute on Susan. We’re powerless. They put the clothes front and center as soon as you walk in. You may have entered looking for bottles, but before you know it you’re trying to decide between the monkey dress and smiley flower onesie because you only have enough money to buy seven of the 12 outfits you’ve thrown into your shopping cart. We’re not to the point of pawning our television for footie pajamas (yet), but we’ve spent our fair share of cash on clothes for Susan. 

We'll take one of everything.

I didn’t think I’d actually enjoy it before we had our baby, but shopping for baby clothes is fun. For baby girls, the clothing features three main groups: cute animals (elephants, giraffes, ducks, etc.), cute insects (butterflies, bumblebees, ladybugs, etc.) and cute vegetation (flowers, strawberries, etc.). Boy and girl clothes are distinctly separated in baby stores, and even though I think Susan would look great in a monster truck onesie, I dare not venture away from the smocked, pink-tinted land of baby girl clothes. Heaven forbid that I cross the center aisle in Babies R Us and accidentally pick up something that was meant for a boy. I wouldn’t want THIS IDIOT knocking on my door. For what it’s worth Sean Harris, we have a Steve Smith Panthers jersey that I’m going to put my daughter in every Sunday once football starts.

Baby clothes are great when they’re on the rack and when they’re on your kid. Putting them on is the problem. My question for the baby clothes makers around the world is WHY DO THE BUTTONS HAVE TO BE SO DAMN SMALL???? Susan isn’t dressing herself. The adults are. So why do they put buttons that only an infant could handle onto baby clothes? Were they outsourced to The Shire? Do you know how hard it is to squeeze a quarter-inch button into a slot that’s half the size of my pinky nail? Maybe it’s not that bad if you’re a representative of the Lollipop Guild, but for those of us NOT from Oz, it’s near impossible...especially when you’re trying to button up a squirming infant who’s been on the changing table way too long because her bumbling father can’t fasten three buttons on the back of her pretty pink dress. It seriously would be easier to use a stapler and some duct tape, but again there’s the whole Social Services thing. I’m becoming more and more tempted to just let Susan wear her clothes like one of those drafty hospital gowns.

That’s why I’m a huge proponent of zippers. They should put them on everything baby wears. Gowns, pajamas, diapers, socks, swaddlers, whatever. Any chance I get to put Susan in something that zips, I take it, especially her pajamas. That way when I stumble into her nursery at 5 a.m. to change her, I don’t have to fumble with buttons designed for an Ewok or a crazy maze of snaps that only the guy from A Beautiful Mind can decipher.

It's a little known fact that John Nash designed baby clothes for Carter's
between stints as a math professor and code cracker for the CIA.

The clothes, at least for now, are relatively cheap since there isn’t much material needed to fashion a dress for a 12-pounder. We also have the benefit of not asking any input from Susan since, well, she can’t talk. Once she starts developing her own tastes though, I think we’re in trouble. I can’t wait to go look for a prom dress. I’d actually prefer that to have buttons. LOTS of buttons.

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