We made a choice when we had our son. We agreed to raise him differently.
He eats pizza. He’s even had French fries. If I’m being entirely honest, he’s also eaten crayons, sock fuzz, and whatever he found in the dust pan at the play place that accidentally got left in the middle of the room.
So we’re not raising him differently in the culinary sense. (Or are we?) What we are more certainly doing differently has to do with consumerism.
We made the choice before he was born to prioritize savings, college education, and experiences (including local ones!) over things.
baby toddler, has that been a tough pill for some of the people in our lives to swallow.
And now that our
baby toddler is perched right on the size chart between baby and boy, it’s made for some frugally awkward conversations.
“They fit just a bit better.”
My sweet mother-in-law dropped HP off one afternoon, and I noticed he was in a different outfit. Uh oh, I thought. My mind immediately scanned through the handful of photos I’d received throughout the day via text. I was trying to figure out when the spill happened. Or when he decided to smear his lunch all over his shirt. Or went, dear laundry gods no, his diaper just gave up the ghost.
But I actually vividly recalled him wearing the same outfit in every photo. Weird. What was even weirder was that I actually didn’t recognize the outfit he was wearing. It wasn’t the clothes we dressed him in, and it wasn’t any of his back-up outfits that we have tucked away in diaper bags and grandparents’ houses.
I looked at HP and deadpanned, “Someone made a mess!”
My mother-in-law returned, “I bought him some clothes. They fit just a bit better.”
I quickly sensed that there wasn’t a single thing I could do or say to convince her that it was unnecessary. She already washed the outfit, and it did look adorable.
Except for the fact that he kind of looked like an extra from Clueless, rocking the 90s saggy pants with his
boxers diaper peeking out. Because while she may have been right that he wasn’t a size 18M anymore, I can also assure you that he was not a 24M yet either.
RELATED POST: Should I Feel Guilty for Accepting Hand-Me-Downs?
“I think he was actually the worst-dressed baby in the whole place.”
Let me tell you a true story. Imagine a morning when you glance at the clock and realize that you can, in fact, actually leave your house a whole five minutes early. The heavens shine down. The choir of angels sings.
Then, your baby looks you dead in the eyes, turns on his heel, and makes a beeline for your closet. Which he just so happens to treat as his own personal bathroom.
And you are now five minutes late instead of early because you have a diaper to change.
That, friends, isn’t just a one-off. That is virtually every morning.
So imagine my distress post diaper change when I noticed that the camo sleeves on his baby bodysuit clashed with his striped leggings (think Beetlejuice but horizontal).
I didn’t have time to feel distress because I was already late. So I grabbed a plain pair of pants and ran out the door, baby in tow.
When I got to my parents’ house, I suggested that maybe they change his pants the next time they changed his diaper.
Instead, my mom lovingly took her grandson to the children’s play place where she proceeded to un-lovingly rib her daughter via text for the entire duration of their stay.
Mom: I think he was actually the worst-dressed baby in the whole place.
Mom: Don’t worry. He’s also the cutest.
“Your baby plays with garbage?”
We were so fortunate to receive a hand-me-down play kitchen. Since the behemoth’s arrival last summer, this kitchen has captured HP’s heart.
And my little Chef Boyardee in training loves nothing more than to emulate what he actually sees happen in the kitchen. Which is to say, he is really good at smacking the bottom of the pretend jars as he shakes out imaginary food. He also grunts in a faux struggle to open the tops of things. And he makes a mean brownie recipe–from the blue box!–using his pretend mixer.
We actually inherited an entire Melissa & Doug collection of play canned food, and before he turned into a part-time piranha, he played with them nonstop. But when I saw him start to gnaw through the cardboard-coated can and actually snack on whatever he managed to bite off, we switched to plastic. Specifically, old spice containers, an empty Parmesan cheese shaker, and a few other things straight from our pantry.
Which led someone to joke, “Oh, your baby plays with garbage?”
Actually, it’s called recycling, Patricia.
Final Thoughts on Frugally Awesome or Awkward Toddler Moments
I know we are headed for a lifetime of awesome and awkward frugality. Anytime you dare to stand apart, people comment. Lucky for us, most everyone comments out of kindness. Even if what they do say makes me a little squirmy, we are so fortunate to have so many people in our lives who care about our son.
And his mismatched clothes.
Honestly. It was one time, Mom.
Final Thoughts…Tell me all of your awkward parenting/babysitting moments!
Want to squirm more? Here’s the whole awkward series.