(First published on The Contented Calf website on Tuesday 19th July 2011.)
As you will know from my last post (The best laid plans of mice and mummies), BF, Hubby & I went on a knicker-buying outing ahead of BF’s imminent transition from nappies to ‘big girl pants’. While we were out shopping we took the opportunity to stock up on a few extra t-shirts etc for her too.
First up, though, was underwear. BF’s really into her TV characters at the moment. Her absolute favourite is Bob the Builder. (Slightly ironic as I’m currently trying to cut out any TV for a while as it was seeming to make her incredibly hyper after just 10 minutes of Bob (the Builder), (Postman) Pat or Zingzillas.) So I thought we should get some with those characters on. We bought pants galore!!
A few In the Night Garden training pants, plus Lola, In the Night Garden, Dora and a whole bundle of spotty, flowery, with tea cups on, knickers. If there’s just one thing I can be certain of over the next week or so, it’s that I shouldn’t run out of underwear for BF!
Then we headed off in search of Sale tags, on t-shirts, trousers, skirts and dresses etc. Neither Hubby or I have ever wanted to dress BF in head to toe pink – and it’s a special bug bear of Hubby’s.
So we searched out various clothes that matched the bill. I think it was at this point I realised that we’d only been looking in the girls section, and I wandered over to the boys section to see what was there.
Quite a lot as it happens.
Aswell as her old fave Bob, Thomas is a recent love too. Hubby found a fantastic Thomas t-shirt! And we got a lovely green t-shirt and an orange animal one too.
But the piece de resistance has to be the Bob pants:
BF will absolutely LOVE them!! And it’ll bring the excitement and enjoyment in potty training that I was looking for.
We paid up and left the store, armed with clothes and pants.
Once I was in the car though, I started to reflect a little on our experience.
Thinking about our experience looking for clothes and pants for BF, something just didn’t sit right. I realised I was upset on her behalf that the characters that she loved the best and would enjoy wearing the most were classed as ‘for boys’.
Now, I have no problem at all rooting around the boys section too for clothes. Even now, aged 23 months, due to her generally non-pink attire, BF often gets confused by strangers as a boy, which Hubby and I agreed in the car we were absolutely fine with.
And to be fair, there are some great Tom-Boy style clothes for girls.
But that didn’t seem to be the point.
BF’s favourite characters are Bob, Pat and Thomas. If I hadn’t gone into the boy section, she wouldn’t have clothes with them on. That didn’t seem fair to her.
It annoyed me that the shop was essentially deciding, or at least guiding me, on the range from which I should choose my daughter’s clothes. That should be our (and increasingly her) choice. The solution I came up with was a children’s clothes shop where at least for pre-school (I realise above that sizing might be harder, but probably not impossible to overcome), girls and boys clothes were all grouped together. The parents and kids would soon work out what they wanted, and what wasn’t for them.
In the end, we ended up with a lovely array of colourful clothes. And yes, some of them were pink! (We’re not totally adverse to the colour :-)) But wouldn’t it be great if the whole clothing area was just a rainbow of colours, designs and characters too?
What do you think? Do you agree? Or have you had a different experience? Let me know.
Thanks as always.