Parents live vicariously through their children and play dress-up.
One of the joys of being the parent of an infant comes in the form of choosing cute outfits for the baby to wear. Over the years, parents have narrowed this down to an art, finding and choosing the most adorable outfits that they can imagine and making it seem that every day is Halloween for their infants and toddlers. While scary and grotesque outfits rarely show up on a baby even during the actual Halloween holiday, there are plenty of parents that like to dress their newborn in baby halloween t-shirts. Mom’s dress their sons as baseball players and their daughters as princesses. It’s almost as if the parents start to relive a second childhood through their infants and just want to play dress-up.
And that’s ok. It’s part of being a parent.
“We want you as a new recruit,” sang the Village People at the close of the 1970s in a song so popular that the US Navy thought of making it an official theme until someone finally advised the top brass what it implied. People love ships and sailors, though, and have been dressing their baby boys in naval inspired clothes for nearly a hundred years. The reasons aren’t very clear but it seems that every little boy or grown man comes across pictures of himself as an infant or toddler in a sailor’s suit at one time or another. If he could speak he might say, “Batten down the hatches and swab the poopdeck, matey! And, unless I get a little help bottom-side, poopdeck may take on a whole new meaning!”
The Baseball Player
Every father imagines his son standing atop the mound in Yankee Stadium, three pitches away from a perfect game in the last inning of the last game of the World Series. Even men who never excelled in sports themselves seem to have a burning desire to see their sons go on to be the next big thing in Major League Baseball. It’s the only feasible explanation for the popularity of baby boys’ baseball outfits. These are more common than the sailor suits and can be purchased in run of the mill stores like Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Target. Your boy may not be the next Nolan Ryan or even the next Bob Uecker, but you can dream that he is as you admire him in his little uniform. These come in versions licensed by real Major League ball clubs and generic versions that just share some team colors.
Little baby girls don’t escape the dress-up play imposed by their parents, but are outfitted in more traditional items like frilly dresses, white tights, and little patent leather shoes. Their mothers may imagine them to be princesses, prom queens, or debutantes, but mostly just do their best to make them beautiful. Since all babies are beautiful and the only thing more beautiful than the average baby is your baby, they don’t have to try too hard.