… is not so much worldly influnences, but how to dress these little buggers. In a roundabout way, I guess that does come back to worldly influences, but what can you do about that?
When your little one is a baby, clothing is really no problem. Not only do you have it coming out of your ears via gifts and donations from friends, but it’s all so darn inexpensive and cute that you can’t help but buy a little bit of this and a bit of that. I could honestly say that, when they were between the ages of 0 months and 12 months, my girls could have easily not worn the same outfit twice. That is crazy to say, considering the number of outfit changes that are done due to the ever present threat of the breastfed baby blow out (do formula fed babies blow out like breast fed babies? I mean, I am talking straight out of the diaper, right up the back, to the hair line blow out. I’ll tell you, that was part of the reason I started using cloth diapers… blow outs weren’t as dramatic. But I digress.) Even in toddlerhood, the clothing is still pretty easy to acquire and you aren’t changing outfits as often. For toddlers, the clothing is still fairly inexpensive and pretty plain… basic colors and shapes. I guess that makes it easier to mix and match the tops and bottoms. But now, the Bear is officially out of baby clothes and we are in a whole new world of what?! It seems like, at discount stores, little girls’ clothing is all about sass and ass. (Pardon my saucy language.)
Part of the problem lies with mama here. I’ll admit, I don’t really like shirts with sayings on them. I don’t wear them myself, and if I do, it’s a rare sighting. I am not counting shirts that support your favorite sports team in the sayings category… to me, a shirt that says “Wisconsin Badgers” is completely different from one that says “Diva-In-Training” or “Boys Suck.” So, shirts with sayings are out. And then there are the colors… goodness me. I guess it’s not really the colors, but it’s the colors and the glitter and the sequins and the sparkles and this and that. I just don’t like my daughter looking like a walking disco ball! I am grateful that it’s still pretty cool here and pants are still being worn, but shorts are showing up in the stores and they are enough to make this mama’s eyes pop out. Seriously, a 1.5 inch (or less) inseam on shorts for a little girl??? And itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-yellow (or other color)-polka dot bikinis?? I think not.
Here’s the thing… most of the clothing that I described in the paragraph above can be found at your local discount store. If you want to find something more modest or subdued, you have to fork over the bigger bucks (and we are talking more like $20 for a top as opposed to $5.) When you have kids, that’s hard to justify because they do grow so quickly. We are blessed in that we have the Dragonfly coming up behind the Bear and she will be able to wear her clothing, so clothing is becoming more of an investment piece in that sense of the world, but I still don’t like it. I was fortunate enough to have been given a great tip about a Lands’ End clearance sale this past weekend and I was able to get a few tops (polos, turtlenecks, Long and Short-sleeve Ts in more subdued colors (reds, hunter green, dark blue, purple, soft pink, white, black)) but I can tell you that I am not really looking forward to summer.
It’s funny, when I look at the girls, I do see mini-versions of the way that I dress. In the winter months, I live in turtlenecks, khakis and jeans (and stretchy pants at home. As an aside: ‘Stretchy Pants’ always reminds me of this quote from Nacho Libre: “Chancho. When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room. It’s for fun.” ) I’ll throw in the occasional shirtdress for church or for a La Leche League meeting, but mama uniform consists of a turtleneck (or other crew neck long sleeve shirt), a scarf, trousers, and Danskos. In the summer time, I bust out the dresses, but I can’t see putting the girls in dresses everyday because they are little kids and I want them to conduct themselves as such… running, jumping, crawling, playing, getting dirty! But I guess there is no reason why we couldn’t do the dress/ leggings combo.
I am sure I am making this out to be much harder than it should be. But since I don’t see that changing anytime soon, gift cards to Lands’ End or LL Bean will always be appreciated!