Little Brother Eddie flew in this past weekend for reasons I cannot divulge, except to say it had something to do with the upcoming book. In any case, he had one request: “I want to go to Frankenmuth.” I asked why. “I want to go get noodles from the restaurant we ate at last time, and I want to stop off at the outlet mall.” I asked why. “Because I like the noodles.” I didn’t mean that part of the reason. “Oh, I want to shop for some clothes for my niece and nephew.”
LB’s niece is turning 3 and his nephew will be turning 1, and they look adorable in pictures I’ve seen. That’s the extent of what I know about them. Come to think of it, that’s about the extent of what I know about children in general. The reality, I gather, is very different based on what I’ve seen by their behavior when at the mall or the grocery store. It’s about the time I start referring to children with the same term my husband uses, “vermin”. Not to worry because I refer to the parents as something far more amusing.
We didn’t make it to Frankenmuth because of the weather, but I did take him to a huge outlet mall in the area. And, are you ready for this? I helped him shop for children’s clothing. I even enjoyed it. I’m not entirely sure why, but I did. I’d even go so far as to call it fun.
Naturally, we hit all the clearance racks because, let me tell you, children’s clothes are expensive! It’s important they have a sense of style, though, even if they vomit on, spit up their food on, or otherwise manhandle their clothing. I don’t want to brag here, but I think I became bound and determined to turn the 1 year-old nephew into a young label whore. Oh, yes. Calvin Klein, Tommy, and a few others will soon be having a proper introduction with the young man in Hong Kong.
We even found the cutest SpiderMan onesie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajamas, and other little adorable things that will mean absolutely nothing to the lad. He isn’t going to care. We will, and we’ll have the satisfaction of knowing we’re starting him off the right way in the world. His future fashion-sense and favorite super hero idols are our mission!
One thing I was a bit disappointed about, though, is the sheer multitude of clothing with sports themes or stereotypical gender interests. Basketball? Really? A 1-year-old gives a crap about this? We don’t. Why should he? Dinosaurs who eat people or robots that blow things up are cool! Basketballs or soccer balls are boring. Shopping is a legitimate sport. What about any gay babies growing up? Instead of “Football Rules!”, why not “Mama has the plastic for my shopping spree!”?
Instead “Mommy loves me!”, why not, “My future boyfriend is going to worship me!”? There are some serious missed opportunities here.
We drove back to the manner with 10 pounds of new clothing for the tykes. Little Brother did a Skype video call with his sister that night, and I waved to his niece and nephew. His sister started referring to me now as Uncle Kage. That’s right. I’m now an honorable uncle, which gives me license to look after their fashion welfare.
It’s a fun job and requires only gas money from me to drive LB around and pick out items for him to spend his money on.
What about you? Has anybody else discovered the joy in picking out children’s clothing? You know…for children.