Friday, September 2, 2011

Yes, I dress my baby like a baby........

I've been thinking about this post for the last week and am not really sure how to write it.  I am not into controversy, and I would never want to hurt anyone's feelings on purpose so I hope this post doesn't offend anyone.  I just had "a moment" last week at church and need to get it off my chest.  The "moment" has been building for awhile (pretty much all summer).  I do know that I've brought this on myself.  I do know that it would be easy to change this.  But at what point do I get to do what I want vs what the rest of the midwestern mommies and daddies and random strangers at church think I should do? 

 
As my (10) faithful readers know, this is my buddy.  He is sweet, he is my heart, and, he is ONE!!!  He is not 6, he is not 13, he is not 22, and he is not his daddy.  He is still a baby, and I really, really don't see the problem with dressing him like one. 

Peter pan collars?  Sweet on babies.  Smocking on longalls?  Even more precious.  Bubbles, jon jons, rompers, sunsuits?  I don't care what you call them, they're appropriate when it's hot out and make him look like a little boy.  I may not be jealous of the extreme heat that the south has in the summer, but I am jealous that you can take your babies out in sweet outfits and people don't look at you like you are a crazy woman who might just be trying to turn her son into a girl.

(see, even as a newborn he looked like a boy!!)

I have to say, I am NOT trying to dress my little guy up like he is a girl.  I am dressing him like he is a baby.  If you look at pictures from my brother 30 years ago?  Same kind of outfits.  Sweet sunsuits with appliques, the occasional smocked outfit for church, etc.  These are classic clothes for young boys.  I understand that there are plenty of people out there (especially in the midwest) who don't dress their children this way.  Church clothes are khacki shorts and polo shirts, khacki pants and sweaters, cordouroys and button downs.  Don't get me wrong, Spence has plenty of all of the above.  He certainly isn't wearing smocking to daycare (too expensive to ruin!!) and wears very "normal" boys clothes a lot.  However, there are times when I want him to look sweet and a little more "dressed", and I don't find anything wrong with that. 

(bad picture, adorable outfit!)

I've heard it from some of my extended family "Oh, AEOT's got Spence in a dress again."  I've heard it from B's family, "Seriously, don't they make, like, regular collars?".  I heard it from a woman at church who asked my what my child's name was (essentially because she couldn't figure out why a boy would be wearing an outfit like the one he wore to church)(which was sweetly balanced out by a very darling grandmother who told my husband how sweet his baby boy looked in his cute outfit!).  And I've heard it from others "Oh, he's a boy?" when he's wearing something a little fuller (as above) or something smocked.



Yes, he's a boy.  Seriously, dude, my son has the BEST hair (not to brag but for a 15 month old he has his daddy's really good hair), and if he were a girl, don't you think he'd have bows in it?  And not a bowl cut?  And he'd be in an actual DRESS?????  Shortalls snap at the crotch and have legs.  They are NOT dresses. 



I want my baby to be a baby for a year or two or three.  Is that too much to ask?  Is it really that odd that I don't dress him exactly like my husband?  He has the rest of his life to dress like his daddy.  Yes, he looks cute in a button down and cords, but he looks much sweeter in his smocked longalls and peter pan collars.  And that sweetness will go away soon enough.  Why do people feel the need to rush him through this sweet, innocent baby stage? 



Listen, I don't care what you dress your kid in as long as said child is clean, so let me do my thing too.  You want your baby in skull and crossbones?  Go for it (Gap did it well last year)!  You want your kid in a sport jersey all the time?  I can totally respect that (though I may not respect your teams ;)).  Your favorite kiddo's outfit says "I dig my mom" or "Daddy's little pumpkin".  Totally cool.  It's your sweet babe, and you are picking out the clothes that you think are cute because you know that in 4 or 5 years, you will have very little control over what he will wear (it'll only be the Superman tshirt that he has worn every day for the past week or the shirt that is getting way too small but is the favorite) and so you have to get it all in now while you can.  Well, that's all I'm doing too.  And, honestly, I'm going to do it no matter what others say, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt my feeling at times. 

Moral of this (very long, very ranty) story?  If we have 2 or 3 more children and they're all boys, I'm going to have to convince B to move down south where momma's believe in smocking!!

32 comments:

  1. Aw, I'm so sorry to hear that people are so rude! I get asked ALL the time if Little Pit is a boy, even though she wears a TON of pink. She won't allow me to put a bow in her hair, or even tie it back, but mostly she's in clothes where to me it's pretty darn obvious she's a girl, but some people are just dense. Keep dressing him however you want, he's YOUR son, and I think he looks absolutely adorable!!

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  2. That is absurd that people are giving you issues over how you dress your son. He's adorable! And why should baby clothes be focused on establishing gender? Babies aren't aware of what gender they are and what they should or shouldn't like, but babies will get uncomfortable if they're too hot, or if a buckle or zipper is digging into their sensitive skin. If his clothes are cute, clean and comfortable (and the outfits in these pictures definitely seem like they are!), then what's the problem?

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  3. Well, boo. I like the way you dress him. I think it is sweet. It isn't like you are dressing a 15 year old in these outfits. Keep dressing him that way!

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  4. LOVE those precious outfits!! For what it's worth, I love when babies and children look exactly like babies and children ;)

    Thanks so much for your comment. . . we're hanging in there! Getting adjusted and starting to settle into this new way of life. If you can settle into it?!!

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  5. I agree- let's dress our babies like babies. I have a 18 month old boy and think there is still nothing wrong with smocked longalls. I also have to say we had that same golf onsie seersucker outfit. All is very cute!

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  6. I am 100% in agreement! I dress my 10 month-old son just like you dress Spencer, and I get comments all of the time (we're in St. Louis, so I do think it's a midwestern thing). My cousin even said his smocked jon-jons made him look like a "gay mechanic." And he was just baptized in a Cathedral-length gown and I had no shame. Baby boys aren't miniature men, they are babies! Stay strong!

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  7. Sounds to me like you're at the WRONG Church if people are THAT judgemental about your baby's outfits! Remember it's their issue, not yours, and the kid isn't complaining about it (yet). Maybe you should mention that to them?

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  8. Uuuuugh so sorry that the Midwest has to be trashy like that and people give you grief for dressing SYT (sweet young thing) like you're supposed to... since he's a BABY. He is sweet and adorable and you're doing everything right and keep on doing so!

    xoox

    kHm

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  9. well said! If I ever have a boy, I'm totally going to dress him this way! He has the rest of his life to wear polos and khakis. Let him wear baby clothes now while he can!

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  10. I personally do not think you could dress your son any cuter if you TRIED. I think his clothes are absolutely precious and timeless!

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  11. Even if there were hints of androgyny in dress in your little guy I do not see a problem. My favorite pair of short from Brooks Brothers are pink and they go well with anything. So here’s to silencing those critics!

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  12. Can you save all of his clothes for my future son please? xoxo

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  13. Trust me I understand! Maryland and D.C. may be below the Mason Dixon line, but they are NOT southern...AT ALL. I dress Baby C the same way and he is almost 17 months. I will dress him this way until he is at least 3...he has the rest of his life to wear polos, khakis and button downs and he will NEVER wear Ed Hardy or hoodies with sayings of being Moomy or Daddy little whatever. He doesn't need to wear slogans of our love on his clothes, he is filled with it! I am raising a gentleman, and his future wife will thank me.

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    1. Seriously?! "slogans of our love on his clothes" puh-leeze!!! Lol. How pretentious do you sound!! I'm all for dressing a baby like a baby, but a hoody?! C'mon, get over yourself. The way you dress your baby now has absolutely no bearing on whether or not he'll be a gentlemen. That's due to a little something called parenting. My 19 month old still wears onsies (at home), as well as the ones with the footies in them. I don't mind. But he also wears nice little suits and button ups as well as polo's to church. He can't wear smocks everywhere we go. Geesh. Of all the posts I've read here, yours is thee most pretentious. Where ever you reside, please!!! Stay there! Think outside the box. Your baby will not remember what he wore when he was 17 months. I doubt he or his wife will care. Don't hide behind clothes. Ppl like you give certain types of clothing a bad name. Shane on you!

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  14. This is a great post, clearly it has touched a nerve, I think many of us are amazed that anyone should offer any commentary other than the standard "He looks cute," "He looks darling," "I love that_______" (fill in the blank) sort of comment. Good for you on staying true to what is important, that's one reason I admire you, you know your principles and you stay true to them.

    Can I just add that I love each and every photo you shared?! You all look so wonderful, personally I am enchanted by the onesie in blue seersucker with the golf green on it, too precious.

    Sending you a smile!
    tp

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  15. SYT looks darling in his jon jons and smocking! I so feel you on this one...having grown up on the east coast where smocking, monogramming and longalls were status quo, I was shocked to hear similar comments when I dressed my baby GIRL in smocked, monogrammed baubles in the midwest! I am so sick of people asking me where I am from! I feel like somedays I have to move to the South to avoid the stares as well! You aren't alone! Love to your precious family! jml

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  16. BTDT and back again with my 3rd. Even when we lived in the south I got comments. I'm surprised you hear this up north too, but whatever. People are rude. And the taste level, well, I won't go there...

    Dress him however you darn well please. He -and his wardrobe- are absolutely beautiful.

    -mommydearest

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  17. I'm so glad to read the outpouring of support you have here & am only too glad to add my voice to the mix. I think your boy looks adorable & you should do what you like.

    I've received a more polite version of this in Austin; about 50% of people who see my boy in one of his few traditional jon-jons (I put him in more BabyGap style polos/tees & shorts for everyday) flip out over how cute his outfit is, and the other 50% say what a darling girl I have. I don't much care since *I* think he look darling in them, but the girl comments are pretty out there.

    What is neither geographically nor generationally excusable is rudeness, and I'm sorry anyone has seen fit to comment on how you choose to dress your child. Geez.

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  18. I get the exact same comments and looks when I dress mini #2 in smocking and jon jons. It must just be the midwest...people here in Chicago think I'm crazy, but at least I get a break when we visit my family in Alabama. He'll be three in March, so I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts!!

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  19. I thought of you today...I just bought Logan an outfit for family pictures. Really cute longalls...navy courduroy with tiny emroidered footballs. He won't be able to wear them forever, but while he is little, I love to dress him (but those sure are pricey for as few wears as he is getting out of things lately the way he is growing). There also are so few places to get cute things like that here in St. Louis. But I will say that even I get comments in the south (when we visit SB's family) when I wear crazy Lilly patterns. Always surprises me...but then I realize that I wouldn't be caught dead in most of the outfits that the people who make those comments are wearing :)

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  20. All of the outfits above are absolutely adorable. I love dressing E up like that when I can afford too (if you know of great websites to buy it please forward along :) ). Little boys are soooo very hard to dress due to lack of selection and I agree that they should be able to look like little boys for as long as they can. Keep doing what your doing mama!

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  21. I'm new to your blog, but am overly familiar with the comments you are hearing. You have great taste and equally great values. You are dressing your son in age appropriate, classic designs in the spirt of Florence Eismann, Janie and Jack, Jacadi, and Best and Co, to name a few. They are timeless, well crafted pieces that let your son's personality speak for itself rather than making him a walking billboard for the latest super hero cartoon and toy tie-in. It is sad that so many people have embraced the idea of dressing their children like little gangsters and ladies of the evening. Equally sad is the fact that all of those Sponge Bob / Spiderman graphic T's (sported by the offspring of your fellow parishioners) just end up in landfills, their Plastisol inks leaching out into the ground water; your son's clothes can be worn by future generations.
    Stand your ground; you seem like a great mom!

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  22. I love the way you dress him! This is how I'll dress my future son, even if everyone in LA thinks I'm crazy!

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  23. I think he is adorable and I love the way you dress him!!! I live in Richmond, VA and even here we have folks that just dont understand the concept of Jon Jon's!! I have an 18 month od girl that I dress in smocking (and CLASICALLY) whenever I can...and when #2 comes along (hopefully), I am hoping it is a boy so I can dress him in total cuteness like Spencer!

    I guess I, like you, am a firm believer in dressing babies/small children as such and not little men or women.

    Thanks for this post! :)

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  24. Love, love, love the classic clothes. Great taste! My nephew received a smocked day gown at his baby shower from his traditional Southern auntie (me). It was her favorite gift. Other asked why I had gifted a boy infant with a dress. Sigh. Theses clothes are timeless.

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  25. I'm a southern mama married to a mid-westerner. I stumbled upon your post here by searching for an Ohio State smocked Jon Jon... Can't find one. Here ( in Alabama and Louisiana) babies are expected to be in smocked, heirloom type clothes at church and special events. Our little boy is 7 months old and he wears smocked on a regular basis- even just to the store and out to eat. Afterthought football season coming, I just wanted him a cute little Jon Jon that would exhibit who he would pull for in fb ( well 1/2 of who e would be for- the other 1/2 is Auburn University, of which I've had no problem finding smocked things). Our 2 older girls wore heirloom and smocked until they were 12- yes 12. And they looked their age! Good for you for dressing him so sweetly. Y'all have a precious little boy.

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  26. Hi AEOT,
    I'm a regular reader, but just saw this post. I whole-heartedly agree and the outfits you have for your son are just precious. One thing that bugged me a little when I found out I was having a boy was *having* to dress him in superheros, sports, or rock and roll garb. I didn't think anyone made classic clothes for little boys anymore! Fast forward 3 years and one of the things I was MOST excited about with boy #2 was the clothes :) Sweet Feltman Brothers bubbles, smocking, button on short sets, and, yes, a Baptismal gown worn by his brother and father. Nothing wrong with sports, superheros, and rock and roll (and we have our share with 2 boys now), but classic clothing is classic for a reason! all the best to you and your sweet family!

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  27. How do you think I feel? I am an African American single mom living in Ga. I get the same sly remarks from friends/family. I guess i am supposed to dress my 3month old and 3 yr old in urban wear. I've always loved the way the little kids looked in boutique outfits. They looked adorable as well as looking like their age. I dressed my girls(who are now 13 and 14) in the long smocked dresses with lamour or willits shoes. In the summer, they would wear Bearfeet or Saltwater sandals. I just loved the look. On the other hand, I got comment like, "....your dressing your kids like the wh*te folks..." It got me upset about the comment but I realized that people are allowed to comment but I just thought,..."..well I love the look and I do recall me purchasing the outfit not them..." I think your son looks absolutely adorable and precious. Definately a Kodak moment. Keep up the great work and keep ignoring those comment like I am doing.

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  28. Your son looks very cute and ignore them haters who are hating on you for dressing your
    Son that way he is your son not theirs and you can dress him anyway you want to and like I said he is adorable and he looks cute in his little outfit. So ignore what the other people in your town are telling you when they tell you you are dressing your son like a girl when you are not and light blue colors in baby clothing are for baby boys and pink in baby clothes are for baby girls

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  29. I love smocking!! It's for both genders and for all ethnic groups. Wow! I never new people could be so rude. I'm so sorry ladies. You are the mom, do as you wish. These lil babies will be grown and gone before you know it.

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  30. Are you kidding!? I have been looking for a particular style to dress my new baby boy in, but have not succeeded in finding "that look" that seemed to only reside in my head. And then I stumbled on to your blog. The outfits you dress your handsome man in, is exactly what I was looking for. Kids grow up so quick, why can't we as parents preserve their youth and innocence, even in the way they dress? I LOVE this style! It's adorable!

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  31. I just came across your blog while googling smocked outfits for my boys:) I have three little boys, and LOVE all things smocked, monogrammed, and appliquéd! They grow up way too quickly and can only wear sweet clothes for so long:( I love the way you dress your son!

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