ScoldyPants Couture

. March 12, 2013.

Babies come with a lot of gear.  As expecting parents, we were struck by the wide variety of stuff available from our very first pre-delivery visits to Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby.  How did our own parents get by without all of the handy inventions now available?  It’s hard not to appreciate how many clever new gadgets exist for keeping baby safe, happy, and fed.
There’s the handy baby-food ice tray, where meal-sized portions of pureed carrots and pears can be easily “popped” out for microwaving , the ubiquitous car-seat-stroller conversion packages (after three minor tripping incidents in nine months), the baby carrying slings and backpacks that bring the papoose into the twenty-first century.
Still, to meet what we perceived as our a new baby’s needs, our own engines of inventiveness began to churn.  As baby Dee began to experiment with squirming and sitting, she inevitably encountered a few “TIMBER!” moments, in which she toppled onto a strategically placed pillow or folded blanket.  Thinking ahead, it occurred to me that our baby would soon benefit from a soft, padded helmet – reminiscent of the leather helmets college football players would have worn in days gone by.
A quick internet search, of course, revealed that such a product already exists.  Aptly called the “Thudguard”, this “infant protective safety hat” is available worldwide and boasts cute ears and a safety strap.
Another idea to meet the needs is a “yuck mat”—a water-resistant “blanket” that baby can be placed on and make a mess without concern for carpets or hard-to-clean floors.
My latest innovation concerns a line of clothing I yearn for.  As baby Dee quickly grew in size and stature, she has  a number of different infant clothing sizes.  Regular trips to the store were required to update wardrobes.
Many of these baby clothes feature cute messages intended, not for baby, but instead, for her parents.  Sleep-and-plays and onesies feature reminders like, “tickle me,” or “I like to play.”  These messages can bring a smile to a parent’s face, even when the baby seems upset by the impending arrival of a tooth or the  taste of pureed peas.
I’m now wishing for a new line of baby clothes, which feature messages of a different sort.  I imagine calling this line of clothing ScoldyPants Couture.  Instead of playful and cute messages, the clothes would feature not-so-subtle parental reminders.  “That really hurt.”  “Isn’t it time to change me?”  “I said I was hungry.”  “Do you really have to go to work?”   These messages would allow an infant’s pants  to provide a gentle scolding to parents.
Of course, another Google search reveals that such a clothing line already exists under the “Evil Genius” moniker.  Messages available include such things as “Are you gonna stay in my face all day, or are you gonna actually help out?”, and “Have you washed your hands?”
The truth is, new parents probably don’t need scolding from their babies’ clothes.  We worry enough about our newborns and  our inability to bring them the instant happiness they desire.  We provide more than enough criticism of ourselves.