On reading that, some of my friends will have already dialled 999 and requested medical attention for me as I must have come over in some sort of delirious fever. You see, I dislike children. I have since I was a child myself, regarding them with narrowed eyes, radiating a disdain from afar.
Ah just think of the people carriers covered in sick, the sleepless nights, the worrying over whether you’ll be able to afford to keep up with that growing thing that they seem to be so keen on doing, whether it’s a boy and will get a girl pregnant, whether it’s a girl and will fall pregnant, whether the processed baby food contains horse, whether the euro is going to collapse so they’ll never afford to move out, whether they’ll ever manage to pay off their £30,000 student loan etc etc. Maybe that’s just me…
Let’s return to the subject of expense. Everyone knows that kids are expensive. You want to buy wee Jimmy a new jumper because he hasn’t grown for about 3 weeks and so now you think it’s safe, you put it on him in Next children’s section. He looks delightful, so cute! The arms are an inch too long but this is considered the perfect amount of growing room, should he spring another growth spurt on you.
You go to bed, happy that you’ve finally been able to throw his Thomas The Tank Engine ‘crop-top’ in the bin. The morning comes. Refreshed from your first full night’s sleep in 4 years, you go to dress him for nursery. All of a sudden, he’s a foot taller and his powder blue Next kids jumper is a 3/4 sleeved cut off shirt. You hadn’t prepared for this. Despite this look being a mega hit at Jason Wu during NY Fashion Week 2013, you come to the conclusion that it’s not quite as trendy on your toddler.
Of course, you could take it back and exchange it, but that requires yet another temper-tantrum ridden trip to the Retail Park where the parking spaces are too narrow for you to successfully wrestle your 4 year old from the car seat. You give up, and pass it to your sister who has a 3 year old with irritatingly predictable growth spurts. Bitch.
This leads me back to The Village in Inverness who have a genius system in place. People of the world, behold, “ALL KIDS CLOTHING FREE!”
This is a genius idea! In a time when the cost of living is rising faster than wages can keep up, every little helps! Besides the fact that keeping up with his growth spurts will no longer cost the earth, there’s also the simple fact that you won’t worry every time he goes of “Fishing for tigers” in the garden that he’s going to ruin yet another pair of trousers.
I am not exactly sure how this system works and should have done more investigative journalism while I was there, but some sort of swapping system could work very well too. You could bring in clothing to swap. Thereby creating a constant bank of children’s clothes from which you can dress your adventurous toddler. This could be a god send for a number of hard pressed families. You could set up “shwopping banks” with other mums at play-group. Once a month, mums can bring in a selection of clothes, probably not too well worn, to swap with other mums. Kids of all sizes could be catered for. (Am I too excited about this? Are the rumours of hideously competitive parents true? Would people only want to show off by bringing their babies Ralph Lauren romper suit and then refuse to hand it over to anyone “with a child that ugly”. Do these things happen? Or have I been corrupted by The Real Housewives of Orange County?)
I have since read more on this subject. Essentially, while they pay for clothing by the kilo, they are primarily interested in vintage clothing. Therefore, they are selling modern clothing at £1 and are letting children’s clothing go for free, in effect making a loss. Such a generous scheme that will have a positive impact on many families. See the full low-down here.
People are not unfamiliar with the system of hand-me-downs and second hand clothing for children. Many of the youngest children of a family will have been dressed solely in their sibling’s clothing for many years. In fact, because my brother was the favourite child, my parents seemed to employ a system whereby they would dress me in boys clothing so that my brother wouldn’t look strange when it got passed on to him. This decision seemed to subconsciously infiltrate my mother’s ideas on hair dressing, and I spent the first 7 years of my life with a hideous bowl cut. Numerous photo’s of me exist where I am sat next to my cousin of the same age, her blonde curls cascading over her pink dress, where as my bowl cut shows only my fat ear lobes poking out, and I am clad in blue corduroy and a red woolly jumper. As they say, things can only get better…