I Fought the Bow . . . and the Bow Won


I have always been of the school of thought that those huge bows/flowers that people strapped to their babies' heads were ridiculous. Are people really that desperate to let people know that the tiny human they are carrying is a girl?  Those things can't be comfortable. What purpose do they serve, exactly?

Then my daughter was born. It began with a gift of small tasteful bows from a friend. I smiled politely and thought I would pass them along to another family. Then one day, as I was dressing her, it's like they were calling to me. "I could just try one on her," I thought to myself. From that moment on I was hooked. Soon I was online ordering bigger and more absurd bows and flowers.

I'm not sure how to explain this 180. I still think those headbands are ridiculous. Shoes on babies are ridiculous. Dressing a baby in white is ridiculous. Tights on anyone is pretty ridiculous. And yet, somehow, this happens:

Now, that's not to say she's dressed in bows and frills at all times. A girl's gotta play and her comfort is important – she is just as likely to be dressed like this:

Still, I've found that I can't resist the occasional dress/bow combination. This surprised me about myself, but I guess it shouldn't have. I like dressing Leo up just as much — although now that his opinions about style are emerging I'm choosing my battles. He is often sporting his signature look of a button-down shirt paired with sweatpants.

Should the day come that she says/demonstrates that she does not want to be dressed in bows (or dresses, or pink — or heck, just about any style choice), we will of course respect, support and accommodate her. Whether it's about gender identity, style or comfort, I hope she feels free to dress the way she wants. Until she can convey her tastes, though, I may have some fun choosing her outfits for her.

.    Sandra Telep is a West Philadelphia mom of two. This post is adapted from her blog, West Philly Mama

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