When you become a parent everyone, whether you want it or not, decides they need to give you advice.  You hear about how “It’ll be the best part of your life” how “You’ll never get any sleep” “Your life will never be the same again” “Cherish them, they’ll never be little again.” How-to book after how-to book line the shelves with advice on how to raise your child, yet sadly none of the books touch on some of the hard truths and harsh realities that I’m about to share with you right now.  None of your unsolicited advice giving friends are going to tell you the secret I’m about to let you in on.

Dressing your uncooperative child is going to be the bane of your existence.  Never will such a small creature fight you so hard on such a menial task as your child will when you try to dress him/her.  Forget going to the gym, this will become your morning workout.  Allow me to break down a few of the biggest challenges in no particular order:

1. Onesies

They are so cute, how could they be anything but sweetness?  The problem lies in the 3 little snaps at the bottom.  You are never going to have more trouble snapping 3 snaps in your whole life than you will with these.  Your sweet little bundle of joy will kick your hands away with the skill of a trained ninja.  Then while those chubby little legs are flailing around he’ll arch his back wildly, gyrate his hips and begin doing an alligator death roll.  You will contemplate sitting on him.  You will curse the name of whoever invented onesies, you will curse the name of whoever invented snaps.  Then when you finally have two of the three snaps together and are going for the 3rd and final snap, you will realize you didn’t line them up properly. Gently set your baby down in a crib somewhere and go have some sort of a drink.  Ever seen a kid with an unsnapped onesie? Now you know why.

2. Full button-up shirts

My personal favorite is when I decided to put a full button-up shirt over a onesie. It’s like I hate myself.  Every issue you can encounter with a onesie you encounter here. You just have 7 buttons now instead of 3 snaps.  Good luck.

3. Pants

Fortunately, the buttons on pants are fairly easy.  The problem is the leg holes.  It sounds so basic. Left leg, left hole…right leg, right hole.  Tell that to your sweet little baby, all she wants to do is scissor kick her legs like she’s auditioning for a Jackie Chan movie.  The first leg is easy, you grab the right leg by the calf and shove it in, then slide the pant leg up.  No problem, nothing to it. But you’re only half way done.  You try to repeat the same steps with the left leg. You grab the leg with one hand and slide the pant leg up with the other.  Zero chance the first leg is still in the pants.  How a baby can get her leg out of a pair of pants that fast is near mind boggling. No big deal, you’ll go back to the right leg and repeat the process. Somehow the left leg will now be out.  You will go back and forth with this process until you have the epiphany to do both legs at the same time. Since you don’t have 4 hands this is going to be an issue.  So many things can go wrong: both legs in same leg hole, both legs somehow in wrong leg holes, no legs in leg holes because the toes got caught up on the inseam.  You just pray and hope the back arches and the death rolls don’t start soon.  Ever seen a kid in a onesie and no pants? The parents lost hope. At least they got the onesie snapped together.

4. Anything that goes over the head

Why are baby’s heads so huge?  I can put a shirt over my own head with no issues, I can even do it without messing up my hair.  But on my toddler it’s like putting a sock over a cantaloupe. You press down stretching out the neck, the kid screams, the collar pulls down on his eyelids, the kid screams some more and begins thrashing his head around, it nearly rips off his ears and somehow gets caught on his lower jaw. Your child is crying, his shirt is covered in tears and drool and it’s now so stretched out one side falls off the shoulder.  Can you avoid this? Well…they make collars that have snaps…

5. Socks

Now socks are actually quite easy to put on, for the most part.  But just as easily as you can put them on your child can take them off.  Your child will be able to wiggle her little toe and make her sock fall off.  And she will do it when you least expect it.  A small tiny sock falling to the ground makes virtually no sound so you won’t be able to hear when that sock falls off.  You’ll just notice it’s gone and have to retrace your steps for the past hour to find it.  While I’m discussing missing socks I might as well tell you that you will need to buy approximately 47 pairs of socks per year.  You will lose at least a third of these tiny pairs of socks each time you do a load of laundry.  And if you make the rookie parent mistake of washing your clothes with hers you will be out on a nice date one evening and suddenly feel something odd inside your pants, it will then fall down toward your ankle and you will realize you have had one of those missing socks inside your pant leg all along.

6. Hats & Barrettes

Hats & Barrettes, like socks, are actually fairly east to get on. But if you didn’t purchase the matching straight jacket you can forget about them staying on for longer than the time it takes you to say “leave that on.”

7. Shoes

Ever notice why one in 3 toddlers is wearing a pair of Crocs? Shoes are really hard for a parent to put on and really easy for a child to take off.  Some of the favorite shoe avoiding techniques involve the foot scrunch, the toe spread and the heel point. All maneuvers make it virtually impossible to get a shoe on a foot. My best advice is to find a shoe that has a good loop on the back for you to put your finger in while you are pulling the shoe on. You are going to need all the leverage you can get.  That and Velcro, because tying and untying a shoe 8 times an hour is going to get old quick.

8.  Gloves

Did you buy your child a pair of gloves for winter? Rookie. Did someone give your child a pair of gloves as a gift? Do yourself a favor and throw them away, nothing good will come of this.  Did you actually think you were going to get your child to coordinate with you the exact positioning of all of his fingers while you slid a glove on and he kept his hand still? This is almost laughable.  And even if you did, by some small miracle, get both gloves on you can bet that your child will keep them on for approximately 25 seconds.  You would then be right back to square one.  Listen to my advice, get mittens.

9. PJ’s After Bath

Even on a fully cooperative child it can be difficult to get their arms and legs into a pair of pajamas when they are still slightly damp or after your have applied lotion.  Pajamas are apparently made out of the world’s least slippery fabric. Pajamas also tend to be more slim fitting, adding to this issue.  My advice is to get the hair dryer, or heck, even the leaf blower and dry those kids thoroughly.  This may very well counteract the effects of the moisturizing lotion you just rubbed all over them but it beats a bunch a naked kids running around.

10. Diapers

While not exactly clothing it seemed appropriate to mention here. Many of the same issues that have already been discussed above apply to changing a diaper except now you have the added threat of poop.  You think the death roll is rough when you are trying to get on a pair of pants?  Just wait until the fecal matter death roll happens.  Poop on you, poop on the baby, poop on the onesie or pajamas (meaning you now have to change that too), poop on whatever your baby is laying on.  And you better hope to goodness you don’t have a baby whose hands wander and grasp, or now you have fistfuls of poop and the horrors are near endless.  If you ever hear me say I changed a diaper in the tub with a water hose and leaf blower, don’t judge.

How about you? What do you find scary about kids’ clothes? Did I miss anything?


Published previously on sunshinedad.com

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Mike Smith
My real name is Mike Smith. I consider myself to be a typical dude. I believe the Bible is true, I love sports, I hunt, I fish, I do my own car repairs, I’m a member of Mad Cowford Improv group, if I need a handyman I go into the garage and get my tools, I do my own yard work, I carry a pocket knife, I love all things electronic, I’m a die-hard Florida Gator fan, I shave a couple times a month, I cried during The Notebook, I build furniture out of old pallets…you know, all the typical guy stuff.

I also just so happen to be a stay at home dad of 5.

Nearly everyday of my life holds a new adventure, whether I’m ready for it or not.