While perusing Pinterest, I stumbled across a great idea for keeping all those cute sayings that your little one’s say. You can take a plain recipe box or one that is decorated already, and with recipe cards, instead of your favourite recipes, put your child’s sayings. Separate them by child and be sure to write down the date and age. It’ll make you laugh, cry or smile, and better yet, always good ammo for when they are older!
I saw an article today in the tabloid magazine In Touch Weekly. I was flipping though, getting my daily dose of mind numbing monotony when I stumbled across a “Who Wore it Best” page. Usually the page is of celebrities wearing the same outfit and then rated on who wore it better. However, this article was not adults, but these celebrities kids! There were several pics of celebrity children, pitted against one another based solely on what over-priced article of clothing they were wearing. I was stunned. It’s one thing to compare adults over their clothing choices, but these kids do not have that choice. They themselves did not purchase these items, earn the money to pay for them or make the decisions themselves as what to put on their bodies.
I remember what it was like to be a kid. I was more concerned about getting outside to play with my friends and cousins than the clothes that I wore. Clothes to me at that age were nothing more than something to keep me from walking outside naked. Now that I’m a mom, I am deeply concerned with the clothes that are being advertised to children. I keep seeing children younger and younger being put in outfits that should be on older kids. I see parents spending small fortunes on childrens clothing that will only fit for a maximum of 4 months. Its not that the price of clothes dictate how long the clothes will last, or that they will stand the constant washing from getting dirty so often, but it instead makes people whisper;
“Oh did you see that? Her 3 month is wearing the lastest Baby Nikes!”
“That Lululemon cap looks so good on her little boy.”
“That is so from Ralph Lauren’s baby collection last year.”
When did we start to put stock on what went on our kids backs versus who they are on the inside. Somehow I highly doubt that my three old cares that I buy her clothes from Old Navy and not from H & M. I doubt that she cares that I buy her running shoes from Payless and not from Nike or Adidas. I dress my daughter exactly how she should be dressed, like a three year old little girl. She wears cutesy pj’s and denim jeans with colourful tops. She wears corduroy overalls. She wears velco shoes and bucket hats to keep the sun off her face. I want my daughter to be more concerned about her own happiness and her own self worth based on her personality and accomplishments than she is wearing the latest clothing trend. For example, a clothing trend when I was young was wearing overalls with only one strap done up. Belly tops were pretty big too and platform running shoes. Doc Martins were big as were grungy clothes. None of these styles stood the test of time. But I remained intact, self esteem and all.
I want the same for my little girl. There are already enough pressures on little girls as it is that there is no need for added stresses. They are clothes for Pete’s sake! The jeans will tear, fade, rip and wear out. The shirt will shrink, get stains and won’t fit anymore. The shoes will get holes and wear out. These items will not last forever. But somehow we have to ensure that our children persevere. How are they to do that if all their self worth is tangled up in clothing? When my daughter is older, my greatest wish is that she will be able to look in the mirror, blemishes and all and know that despite what she wears, that she is beautiful. She could be beautiful in rags or gowns, beautiful in slippers or high heels, that she is beautiful because of the person she is.
There are clothing lines that are targeting younger and younger children. A French lingerie line called Line Jours Apres Lunes targets girls from age 4 to 10. When I first read this article I almost vomitted. Lingerie for 4 year olds?! What does a four year old, or a ten year old for that matter need lingerie for? The definition of lingerie is intimate underwear or sleepwear worn by women. Not intimate apparel for toddlers and children, intimate apparel for WOMEN. Women that have built a secure image of themselves. That have to maturity and self confidence to wear something that is intimate and sometimes revealing. Children and their childhood’s should be protected, kept innocent for as long as possible. The world is tough enough without people leering at them in derogatory ways.
So until my daughter has her own job, lives under her own roof, pays her own bills, she will wear what I deem age appropriate and I will continously put more emphasis on who she is as a person.
Remember when we were kids, the toys we loved the most, were generally the toys our parents hated the most? Mine was definitely Lite Brite, and my mother, while she loved my colourful pictures, a near choking incident put my favourite toy into a box and was never seen again. Well now that I’m a mom, I’m starting to sympathize with my own. On my daughter’s birthday, one of her daycare classmates bought her a toy that is in my opinion is the worst toy! While it is not a choking hazard that makes this toy so awful, its the fact that it poops on my carpet. Yes, you read correctly. It POOPS on my carpet.
Or it did, until I quickly disposed of its fake food that makes it poop. Baby Alive comes with a bottle that you can fill with water, a bowl and spoon, two diapers, and two packs of food. My daughter was very excited to feed this doll and change her bottom, that as soon as we got home, we had to open it. I prepared the food and then we began to feed Baby Alive. Now, perhaps I was foolish to assume that the diaper that was on Miss Baby Alive was constructed well enough to hold its coming contents, but I now know that to “assume” makes an ass out of you and me. Or just me in this case. The diapers didn’t hold anything. Just leaked out the side onto the carpet. So in a panic, I tore off the diaper and picked her up to put the replacement diaper on her, the rest of her contents fell out. SPLAT! While I am sighing in absolute frustration, my daughter is laughing hysterically. To further add insult to injury, the box actually warns that “It may stain some surfaces.” It was in that moment that the remainder of the food was thrown in the garbage. I remember having dolls as a child that peed when you sat them on the toilet and when you flushed the yellow water went away. It was not that the doll actually peed, but that the button on the toy toilet would flush away “pretend pee”. This doll actually has BM’s. It’s crude.
This doll was actually nominated by the Commercial Free Childhood Organization as one of the Worst Toys. It lost the winning title to Barbie, who won for being scantily clad. It warns that this doll actually limits using imagination and hinders the nurturing behaviour in girls. Baby Alive is also very expensive. The replacement diapers, food and accessories can definitely add up as it only comes with 2 diaper and 2 packs of food. Any child would want to use this doll more than twice. So while I may have taken away the funpart of this doll, my daughter will have to do what many other girls from generations past had to do; pretend. Pretend feed it with pretend food, pretend to clean up pretend poop. Use the imagination that was given to her.
I will also let you all know that there is another reason why this doll is the worst. It speaks. Its eyes roll in its head, open and close, open and close. I was once walking through my daughter’s bedroom late at night when she was sleeping. The room was dark. I tripped on one of her toys that she didn’t put away and my stumble created enough of a vibration to awaken the demon. In the dark, the blonde haired, doe eyed doll said these chilly words; “You are a good mommy.” Now, I understand that there are dolls that speak, but hearing words from a doll in the dark whose button I didn’t push, sent chills down my spine. Reminds me of another doll…..
* For the full article on Baby Alive, please see here *