Rebecca Eckler: Why I Care What My Son Wears

I hate my son wearing anything with little animals. The animals are cute, I guess. But not on my kid, thank you very much


 

“Who gives a shit what you put him in? He’s just a sack of beans. He’s a baby!” my friend yelled.

I’m not sure why I care so much about what my son, 8 months, wears. (And, no, he’s more now than a sack of beans. He likes to play with keys now!) When I first found out I was having a boy, one of my thoughts was, “Well, I’ll save a lot of money on clothes.” The general understanding is that there are way more baby girl clothing choices than boys and this still, somewhat, holds true.

When I shop for Holt, I can’t help looking at all the pretty dresses and skirts for baby girls. My friend yelled at me after I mentioned that my mother-in-law had bought Holt an outfit. The outfit was a one piece overall thing, in pale green, with a smiling, goofy, whale on the front. I looked at it and said, “Um, no. I can’t put him in that.” My mother-in-law and I have a very good relationship and she laughed and said “No problem. I’ll exchange it.”

Basically, I hate my son wearing anything with “cute” little animals. The animals are cute, I guess. But not on my kid, thank you very much. Thank god, the choice in boy’s baby wear HAS improved drastically. For example, Holt has a great shoe collection, even though he can’t walk. He has Converse, Tretorns, Uggs and Puma sneakers.

My friend, who is raising a son, doesn’t understand why I care. “My son walks around in a cape and a Spider-Man shirt almost every day,” she said. “Yes, but he can dress himself! He’s four. When Holt is four, I won’t care as much,” I told her.

It’s true. My daughter, when she was three or four, wore a princess costume with a Band-Aid on her forehead (because she thought it was cool) for an entire year. It was like Halloween every day. But because Holt is still a baby, and can’t make any decisions about his outfits (or anything for that matter,) I find that, like thinking about what I’m going to wear, I do the same for him. I also refuse to let him wear the colour brown. Why? Because he doesn’t look good in brown.

Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but he looks great in red and blue and grey and plaid, so why wouldn’t I put him in colours that bring out his gorgeous blue eyes. I got annoyed the other night when I had to put him to bed and the only sleeper that fit him was one my mother gave him on Halloween with smiling pumpkins. Yes, it sounds cute, doesn’t it, damn smiling pumpkins and all? But I think he looks ridiculous in it and I’m GLAD he’s only going to sleep in them.

I’ll admit I’m pretty surprised that I actually care about what my son wears. I only thought mothers with baby daughters cared, because there are so many cute outfits. But, it turns out, even with more limited clothing options for boys nowadays, I do care.

Yes, he is a baby and a boy. But I want him to look like a ‘cool’ baby. Not a baby wearing a friggen smiling whale on pale green overalls. Perhaps if it were a shark, showing his teeth, I’d feel differently. In my opinion, not everyone can pull off wearing a cute little monkey, whale, or smiling pumpkin. Not even a baby.

 

Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most well-known journalists. She has been a columnist with the National Post, Canada's national newspaper, for five years, including a stint as a New York-based columnist and feature writer. She is the best-selling author of Knocked UpWiped!Toddlers Gone Wild, How to Raise a Boyfriend and The Lucky Sperm Club. Rebecca lives in Toronto with her fiancé and family. 

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