Putting on clothing is hard. Not the actual act of placing each leg into the pant hole one at a time, I’ve got that mostly mastered, but rather the act of putting on clothing that looks good with the other clothing I’ve decided to wear simultaneously.
Clothing is a nightmare, when you add in the fact that I’m color blind, dressing to impress becomes a Sisyphean task.
I’ve mostly learned to manage this challenge by only wearing blue jeans, or black pants / shorts, ensuring that I can wear nearly anything up top. But just as my personal life was beginning to turn the corner, my wife and I had our first child.
He’s a wonderful little boy, but dressing him was giving me gray hairs prematurely. I’ve pulled a few out and looked at them closely; in small print they say “first driving lesson, or “first date.” Now to some a few gray hairs may not be to distressing, but when hair is your best physical feature this is cause for alarm. He just has so much clothing, thankfully, few items have been purchased, most of it given generously to us from friends and neighbors.
It’s a blessing and a curse.
He has multiple pairs of shorts and pants of which I have no idea of their true color. I believe many to be some shade of blue, but even if I’m right, I’m still wrong as I have no idea what color shirt to wear with blue sweatpants. White or gray works, I think, but good luck finding a shirt in those colors without a ketchup or blueberry jelly stain.
If the stain matches the pants, does that count?
These thoughts all run through my head as I try to dress him in the morning. I hate those Saturday’s when my wife comes home from work only to utter, “Has he worn that all day, you know it doesn’t match?”
“Umm, yes he’s worn it all day, and no, I have no clue as to weather it matches or not. He yelled upon seeing my first selection, so I grabbed the shirt with the bear, he likes the bear, neither of us knows what color the shirt is.”
Now this next piece of information will really shock all the parents working extra shifts to buy clothes at Baby Gap, or whatever trendy store trendy parents shop at; no one cares what your kid wears. Everyone tells all kids they look cute all the time. Go to any place kids and parents are in proximity to one another and you will hear all kids being labeled as cute and wearing cute outfits. Parents declare “oh thank you, and your little one is adorable, I just love those pants.” It’s all blather and nonsense because everyone says it about everyone.
Once I discovered this, my gray hair production slowed in a linear relationship to my decreasing parental stress. I now open his drawer, pull out the pants on top of the pile, along with the similarly placed shirt and call it a day, as long as my kid is dressed in at least semi-weather appropriate non – costume clothing, its a win for me. Now, I have a sneaking suspicion my wife is wise to my strategy, and is coordinating his outfits as she places them in the drawer. I only suspect this as she hasn’t given any strange looks or negative comments as we descend the stairs lately. Unfortunately for her, I once employed this fail safe technique as a youngster off to camp, everything went perfect until my parents left. I opened the suitcase and promptly spilled all its contents. I spent the rest of the week allowing my 10 year old best friend to dress me, I don’t remember any compliments.
Anyway, the moral of this story is to dress your kids in hand – me – downs, and garage sale treasures, just pick a few pants, and a few shirts and move on, everyone will say your kid looks cute whether they do or not. As parents, you’ll have more time to spend with your child as opposed to shopping, and more money to save, invest, or purchase experiences; your child won’t care what shirt they wore, they’ll remember the fun they had.