Clothes maketh the mad

My wife wanted a ‘day off’ yesterday, so I took the sprog to visit her grandparents. Kyknoord Jr. was kitted out in her Sunday best: a tartan dress and red tights – very fetching. Granny and Grandpa were suitably impressed, but it became evident after about two seconds that the youngster’s getup was severely limiting. The dress seemed to have been designed for the sole purpose of keeping a toddler immobile. This may be a delightful idea in theory, but a stationary toddler is an unhappy toddler and an unhappy toddler is a noisy toddler with the volume control jammed on 10.

Naturally, the dress was removed in short order and the (now ecstatic) sprog was let loose to wreak havoc upon the house and garden. Amid the crash and clatter of happy destruction, I spent a moment sadly reflecting on the fact that about 90% of all baby clothes are utterly useless for their intended purpose.

In hindsight, I realise that I may have been completely wrong. At the time, I hadn’t considered that their intended purpose is actually to appeal to the vanity of parents. After all, very few toddlers have the necessary motor skills to use the family credit card. In Mum’s eyes, practical considerations such as ‘freedom of movement’ are sometimes obscured by the ‘Aaaah, cute!’ factor.

Babies are, of course, far happier in a grubby jumpsuit covered in mud and drool than in a frilly dress festooned with ribbons. Everybody knows this, but people still manage to feel embarrassed if their youngster is anything less than pristine in public. They behave as if a dirt-encrusted baby is indicative of poor parenting and Social Services are just waiting for an opportunity to pounce and confiscate their offspring. Why is this? Babies are the appointed agents of entropy, so it is a futile exercise to fight the inevitable.

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