Okay, I'm on my soapbox again about today's baby clothes. Never have tiny outfits been so beautifully designed, and never have they had so many stupid things to say. Cheesy quotes spring unbidden from the torsos of tots too young to talk. I guess it's the retail-store spinoff of those admittedly hilarious eTrade commercials where the baby speaks in a 40-year-old voice.
I was alerted to the phenomenon when my pregnant daughter sent me an e-mail slugged "what my baby will not wear." Here's what she had to say: "I hate any baby clothes with writing on them. Our baby will talk when it wants to. In the meantime I don't need you to write cutesy phrases across its chest. xox Brook".
I didn't think much about this except for figuring that the pregnancy hormones were kicking in big-time. Then I went down to Florida to visit my mom, the prospective great-grandmother. "Let's go shopping for baby clothes," she said. And we did. It was quite the eye-opener. On the racks of tiny onesies and tees, slogans were shouting from backs and fronts and even some butts. Here's a sampling:
"Hey dude, your wife keeps checking me out." "Party. My Crib. 10 p.m. B.Y.O.B." Now I ask you, does your grandchild want to say either of those things? Or is the little tyke looking forward to being eternally embarrassed by pictures of him/herself in a onesie with a sticker on the front that says "Hello, My Name Is STINKERPANTS"?
When I called my daughter to report that she was right, that there is a conspiracy of bad humorists trying to make cheap jokes of our babies, she laughed. "I guess you're just going to have to knit the baby an entire wardrobe," she said.
For more on grandparenting, 21-century style: