I have to tell you something that may get me kicked out of the South. Branded a traitor. Shunned from the sidewalks of Uptown. It’s a stance that causes more emotional debate amongst the contributors of this blog than any other. Here it is:
I don’t like smocking.
Okay, there is a big caveat here. I’m a boy mom. I have a feeling if I had girls instead, they’d have been rocking the bishops, whatever those are.
But jon jons are a big no no in my house, and I’m just not that into a boy in a bubble.
When the boys were almost two, we were approached by the owner of a local clothing store who wanted them to model for their next catalog. I was blinded by the prospect of fame and fortune for my little ones, so I agreed. But I cringed when I had to dress them for their photo. The little Peter Pan collared shirts were just a little too dainty for my taste, and the boys acted like I was choking them as I buttoned them up. I was relieved when I saw they were going to be modeling simple blue shortalls (or jon jons?) – I don’t know what they were called, but I was just happy that they weren’t smocked.
I will admit, my little blonde boys looked passably adorable in the outfits, but I think their true feelings were shown in the photo that ultimately ran in the catalog. Of the three boys, one was frowning, and one was crying.
(Yes, that was the end of their modeling career.)
Karmic retribution came in the form of their payment: gift certificates to the store for an outfit for each of them!
Now, I don’t mean to sound judgmental here. I have lots of very dear friends of boys who love to dress their boys in smocked shortalls, and it didn’t bother me that they cringed at the sight of my guys in tiny jeans and button down shirts. I was flabbergasted when a close friend had a baby boy earlier this year, and at her shower, she was given monogrammed boxers. So he could wear them under his monogrammed gowns. With his monogrammed bonnet. Later, when I saw tiny little Hank all decked out (and in no doubt of his initials), I just wanted to stick him in a knit sleeper from Carter’s, but I respect my friend too much for that. Plus, I’d given all of our newborn clothes away already. But I love my friend, and no matter what he’s wearing, Hank is the sweetest, smiliest baby boy I know.
I think part of it is that I’ve never really felt like a typical Southern girl, even though I was born and raised in south Louisiana. So dressing my kids in a “Southern” way just doesn’t feel authentically me. Just like I don’t drink sweet tea, how I didn’t wear pearls on my wedding day, and how I can’t stand etoufee.