A few days ago I was leaving to take Will to daycare when I ran into a woman on the street who stopped and took a gander at Will. Instead of saying “Oh how cute” or “That’s one adorable little boy you have there,” she came out with this gem:
“Oh my. I see daddy dressed you today huh little guy?”
I was genuinely confused so I asked her what she meant by that. She promptly (and pompously) told me that stripes and plaids don’t go together. After resisting the urge to punch her in the face and urinate on her unconscious, decaying old corpse, I curtly said “Well, he’s a baby not a fashion model so it doesn’t matter.”
But then I visited one of my Internet parenting message boards and lo and behold, they were discussing this exact topic. One of the moms on there complained about her husband dressing the baby in mismatched outfits and claiming it drove her crazy. Here are some of the comments in that thread:
“My husband sent my daughter to school one day in pink camoflauge pants paired with a bold striped shirt in pink, black, blue and purple. His logic was “there was pink in the shirt!” needless to say, i got a ton of guff from my friends (her teachers) and now I choose ALL outfits before they go out.”
“When my husband dresses the girls, he just grabs anything and throws it on them. the other day he had my 3 year old in a brightly colored polka dot shirt and earth tone plaid shorts! lol i think either he really just doesn’t care of he does it to get a reaction from me. i let it go because i wasn’t going out with them, but if I’m out with them and he dresses them badly i change them because then people look at me thinking what did you dress them in but if people see the girls dressed like that and just with my husband, they probably understand he’s clueless about it.
OMG! My boyfriend dressed my daughter this morning and it was the hidious outfit anyone could put together! And other times when I wrk at 6 am and he has to take her to daycare she is dressed like a clown!
As you can plainly see, some women have a huge problem with how their husbands dress their kids. But I think any parent who gets this upset over clothes is being very bitchy and completely superficial.
First of all, I see nothing wrong with the outfit I put on Will. I think it’s cute. I also see nothing wrong with plaids and stripes. Granted, I do not have fashion sense but I pride myself on that. I’m a t-shirt and jeans guy. I own one suit, two ties and a handful of dress shirts. Sure if I need to go to an event I’ll dress up in something appropriate, but I’m an adult. Will is an 18-month-old kid and it doesn’t matter what he’s dressed in as long as it’s appropriate for the weather and put on correctly.
Yet these moms — whether they want to admit it or not — feel the need to dress up their kids in cute matching outfits because they think it reflects on them. Not to mention the unspoken competition of who has the cuter baby when you go to church, the grocery store, daycare, etc. And that, quite frankly, disgusts me when it comes to kids this young.
I should add right now that MJ tends to fall into the category of women I’m talking about and that drives me nuts. But MJ, by her own admission, is materialistic and very much into appearances. I, on the other hand, am the polar opposite. While MJ is dressed in carefully selected outfits from New York & Co. and Express, I get my clothes from Bob’s Discount Store, Wal-mart and anywhere else that doesn’t sell jeans for $50 each. I dress in a collared shirt and nice jeans for work so I look presentable, but unless I’m going to a special event or a job interview or something, I don’t dress to impress because I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. If they judge me based on my t-shirt then I don’t want to know them anyways.
And when it comes to Will, MJ lays out clothes the night before. Sometimes I use them, but other times I don’t. For example, she would’ve never suggested the outfit shown above, but I liked it. And honestly, sometimes I just grab whatever clothes are closest to me in the drawer. Because let’s face it people, it’s a little kid and he’s going to daycare. And even if we’re just going out on the town, who cares?? If someone actually judges a baby for what the kid is wearing (again assuming it’s appropriate for the weather and not put on backwards), that person should be beaten to death with a wrench.
It also relates back to my recent post about how moms can help create more involved dads. If a father is taking the initiative to dress the kid, the last thing he needs is an overbearing and judgmental mom telling him what an awful job he did and then changing the outfit. Do you really think he’s going to try again after he was berated for no good reason? Ladies, you have to pick your battles and mismatched outfits is not a battle worth fighting. So let him dress the kids, even if it does look a little odd. It’s not hurting anyone, so what’s the big deal?
But to be fair, I will admit that sometimes I do go out of my way to pick an outfit I know will irritate MJ!