She has the coolest clothes. Cooler than mine! Better fitting! Less expensive! Do little girls know how great they have it, fashion-wise, today? Do they know about the hideous trends and clothing options that were around for my childhood? Have they ever even heard of nylon jogging suits, much less spent 25 percent of their childhood in them? Probably not, and good for them.
I don’t know when children’s clothing designers stopped making clothes that double as punishment, but I’m really glad they did.
While my husband’s aunt was in town this week, our daughter Molly spent the day shopping with her (who she’s taken to calling Aunt Squiggy) and my mother-in-law (Grammy). My husband and I used the opportunity to do a little shopping ourselves. The shopping trip started out with a plan to get new jeans for him and some boots for me. It ended up being a Buy-One-In-Every-Color shopping trip for Molly. I couldn’t resist.
It had been a while since I’d been to a children’s clothing store because Molly’s grandparents buy her so many clothes. I didn’t realize what I was missing out on all this time. I couldn’t have known about the little girl paradise that waited behind those doors, filled with glittery shoes, cute little dresses, adorable accessories, and the occasional crying infant.
Seriously, I wanted to buy one particularly adorable dress for myself and Molly so we could dress alike (you know, for embarrassing photos to show later in her life), and was deeply disappointed to see the largest size available was 5T. I did NOT try to squeeze into it, no matter what that dressing room attendant may claim.
I was shocked at the clothing choices available. When I was a child, it seemed like the options were limited to either spandex shorts and an oversized T-shirt or a turquoise-and-purple nylon jogging suit. I didn’t care at the time — I mean, I had a bowl haircut; I couldn’t have been too fashion-forward — but it’s still kind of painful to look at old pictures of me.
I may have lived out the formative years of my life wearing a “Lion King” T-shirt, spandex shorts and white leather Keds, but I still managed to enjoy myself.
Girls today may not recognize just how good they have it in the clothing department, but I don’t mind. I can take comfort in the fact that all of today’s fashions will be totally embarrassing for all parties involved in about 15 years — perfect timing for Molly’s senior yearbook baby photo.
(Editor’s Note: Debra Carpenter is a novice mother, wife and college student. She also is a syndicated columnist whose work is published by several Tennessee newspapers. She writes about the parts of parenthood you didn’t expect when you were expecting. Like the fan page at Facebook.com/MotherInterrupted or visit the website at MotherInterrupted.com.)