When I had a baby, the one thing I eschewed as far as clothing – even free, hand-me-down clothing – were onesies and other items with silly, sassy sayings on them.
You know the ones I mean. Mommy’s Little Stud. Heartbreaker in the Making. Daddy’s Little Princess. My Daddy Has Big Guns. Ladies I Have Arrived. The sass. The attitude. All for babies who barely realize they’re separate beings from their mothers!
I have no idea why we push gender stereotypes and imagined swag and attitude onto newborns to begin with but to go one step farther and sexualize an infant? It’s just too weird for me, and that’s the nice word for it.
Creepy would be another.
Side note: I’m all for t-shirts that promote actual things you want for your kids, like kindness, inclusiveness, your favorite political candidate, et al.
Seriously, why do parents want to act like their little boys are miniature James Deans, just chomping at the bit for the day when puberty begins and they start to understand why they want to chase girls (or boys) around the playground? Why do they want to put their little “princess” in a position where she feels like she needs to be protected, instead of learning how to protect herself?
What’s probably even worse is that it appears every single parent buying these onesies is sure (or at least hoping) that their precious little bean is going to be heterosexual (unlikely). How will these now-babies and toddlers feel when they grow up to be queer and look back at the visual proof of how badly their parents wanted them to not be who they are?
I bought gender-neutral clothing whenever I could, but you know, the child-clothing industry makes it hard. Unless you want to dress your child in nothing but gray and white, you’re going to have to choose a side of the aisle at some point – which means if you have a boy, you get black, gray, blue, green (kelly), orange (like a traffic cone), and yellow that belongs on a construction crew. That’s it.
If you have a girl, you get all the rest of the colors, but mostly pink, purple, and mint green.
Why? It’s all nonsense.
My now 3yo loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so when we started to potty train, I wanted Mickey Mouse Clubhouse training pants.
Guess what? You can’t get a pack with ALL the characters. You can get a “boy” pack with Donald, Mickey, and Goofy or a “girl” pack with Minnie and Daisy. I had to buy both, because guess what? My rough and tumble boy who loves nothing more than tooting at every opportunity before running out to play with his remote control cars doesn’t understand why Minnie and Daisy aren’t on his underwear with everyone else.
Which is all to say this: love your kids no matter where they fall on the Kinsey scale, yes, but also, stop acting like they’re these weird, tiny adults with adult characteristics when they’re small.
Trust me, they’ll grow up and get real hormones and real preferences and desires soon enough.
And when that day comes, you’ll wonder why you were in such a rush.