December 09, 2011

It’s a Girl Thing

Lately, I’ve had to come to terms with an unfortunate truth about parenthood, which is: I have absolutely no idea how to properly dress a baby girl.

Our first child, Aiden, was, and remains, a boy. The cold hard fact is, you can dress a boy in anything. Cut head and arm holes into a garbage bag, and you have a perfect rainy day poncho for a boy. Try that with a girl and people will likely think you’re trying to throw her away, at worst, or punishing her, at best.

The thing is, I mistook the ease by which I could dress our boy as some sort of talent on my part. The fact I could put jeans and a tee-shirt on Aiden and have him look presentable was something I viewed as a great parenting accomplishment.

But then our daughter came along and totally torpedoed my inflated opinion of myself as an accomplished dresser of young humans. This torpedoing didn’t happen right away, mind you, because for the first several months our daughter’s wardrobe consisted almost entirely of onesie outfits.

Unless you have a deeply ingrained fear of zippers or buttons, you’d have to be a colossal idiot to mess up dressing a child in a onesie. So, my inflated opinion of myself as a brilliant dresser of infants remained intact until our daughter went and grew big enough to require “outfits.” Girl outfits are astronomically more difficult to coordinate than boy outfits. A boy outfit is like a hammer and a nail, while a girl outfit is like an array of dental tools you have absolutely no idea how to use.

Girl outfits have stripes and polka dots and frilly, poofy stuff that serves absolutely no purpose other than to designate a girl is a girl rather than a boy. Personally, I would have no problem dressing my daughter like a boy—in fact, I’d probably actually prefer it, if for no other reason that it would save a whole lot of time.

Unfortunately, my wife insists on dressing our girl like a girl, which is admittedly annoying, but I’ve learned from experience I’ll never win these kinds of arguments, so my daughter’s closet is packed with all sorts of girlie outfits that have to be coordinated “just so.” And I have exactly zero talent at determining what constitutes “just so.”

With my lack of girl dressing skills thus established, allow me to illustrate a typical daughter dressing experience:

ME: Let’s see. . . I’ll try putting these multi-color polka dot pants on her along with this striped pink shirt. There, that looks cute. I’ll go show my wife.

WIFE: What is she wearing?

ME: Uh, clothes?

WIFE: She looks ridiculous. Why not put her on a street corner with a cardboard sign that says “Homeless. Please help. God bless.”

ME: Well, that’s a little harsh, I think.

WIFE: Stripes and polka dots?

ME: It looks festive.

WIFE: I don’t want her to look festive. I want her to look cute. She’s not auditioning for clown school.

ME: Wait, why are we barring her from a clown school audition? She should be able to do whatever she wants with her life.

WIFE: Do you realize how much a top quality, four year clown degree costs? We could never afford it.

ME: You never know. She could maybe secure a clown school scholarship.

WIFE: She’s not going to get a scholarship for anything dressed like that!

ME: Can’t we just dress her in onesies until she’s 18?

WIFE: Just because you did that doesn’t mean she has to.

The frustrating thing is, my wife's last barb isn't even remotely true. I actually wore bleached jeans, Zubaz and Members Only jackets, which is admittedly far more embarrassing than wearing a onesie.

Posted by Ryan at December 9, 2011 12:22 PM | TrackBack

Never mix patterns unless you know what you're doing.

Posted by: Keith at December 12, 2011 12:28 PM
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