You’re all familiar with issues around standardization. Remember the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD battle that recently ended? And there’s Mac vs Windows. Some of you may even remember VHS vs Beta. There are tons more out there, but I’ve come to realize that there is one that just won’t ever be settled.
It’s time for us to take up arms and demand a single standard. All those of us with children, children who rely on us to help them with everything, we need to make our voices heard! Our efforts to teach independence in our children so that one day we may be able to sip coffee for more than thirty seconds, that maybe we can enjoy a freshly toasted bagel rather than scarfing it down and not even noticing that we burned it — all of this is in jeopardy.
I speak, of course, about tags. The tags in clothing that help people — small children in particular — know which was is front and which is back. These little snippets that help us teach children in simple ways how to dress themselves so that we can take a well-deserved breather.
I tell you, Parents. This is a conspiracy. The corporations don’t want us to take a break. They need us frazzled so that we buy more of their coffee, more wine, more pre-packaged goods because we don’t have the time, energy or sanity to do otherwise.
I give you a random sampling of Little Miss’s closet as case in point. She is three and a half (barely!) years old. Keep that in mind as we view her clothing.
Our first item is a pair of pants. Notice the nice tags that are easily seen. This is the only factor differentiating the front from the back of the pants. As long as I can teach her front and back (and thankfully, I’ve succeeded in this), she can put pants on without help.
Next up, we have a sweater. The tags in in the same place, and again, this is a shirt that she can put on alone. Fortunately, she’s yet to try to put it on with the black velvet pants shown above. I will admit that there are times I have to step in and assist with outfit selection, but luckily she’s shown enough sense to avoid this disaster.
Even this lovely pair of underwear has a tag in the back. This is an alternate standard, but luckily it is fairly compatible with the preferred standard. All I have to do is ensure that the wee ones know to look for writing if they don’t see a physical tag. The back and front rule remains the same.
Next, we run into an issue. This pink shirt (which, yes, she has worn with the black velvet pants, sorry, Fashion Police) does not display a tag in the bag. Looking closer, you can see that there is neither a printed nor a physical tag.
This is the alternate and unpreferred standard. As we begin searching through the shirt for some way to identify the front from the back, we eventually do uncover a physical tag.
Now. Maybe some of your children are brighter than mine. Maybe this is just an area where I’ve failed as a parent or the wee ones just don’t get it, but getting them to understand left from right is a challenge. Explaining that this shirt has the tag on the left doesn’t work. Just about half the time, we end up with this shirt on backwards and I need to — under great duress — fix it.
We move on to our final exhibit now. Below is a second pair of girls’ underwear. There is no tag in the back.
Investigating more closely, you see that there is in fact a physical tag, however. It is on the left side of her underwear. Now we have some underwear with tags on the left and some in the back.
This is my personal favorite. With shirts and pants, it’s pretty apparent which hole goes where — the head hole and waist hole are easy to identify. Underwear? Not so easy for small children to idenfity.
Little Miss sees underwear and proceeds with her rule. If you look closely at the last picture, you’ll see that the leg hole on the right is stretched out more than the leg hole on the left. That would be because there are times when Little Miss dresses herself and manages to put her underwear on sideways so that the tag is in the back.
I’ve yet to figure out how to explain in a way that sticks with her a method of identifying the proper way to put on underwear. Now that I picked up on her error, I’m back to supervising the dressing on a daily basis. I no longer have a chance to enjoy my granola while the wee ones get dressed. In fact, I now tend to eat my granola long after the wee ones have headed to daycare or school when my stomach finally reminds me that I’ve forgotten to eat.
I hereby resolve to only buy clothing with tags in the back from here on out. Regardless of how cute an outfit is, if the tags are not in the back, it will not pass my threshhold. Take that, corporations.
Ok, take it until the wee ones know left from right. Then if an outfit is extra cute, it’ll come home with me regardless.
PS Anyone want to guess the lovely searches I’m going to have after posting about my issues with little girls’ underwear? *sigh*