Depending on brand and specific sizing, BigBrother has entered the Big Boys clothing department. Not only am I finding that the prices are more expensive but I’m finding that I’m annoyed with the general ugliness that faces me for the next umpteen years of clothing purchases.
I know that no size 16 wearing teenage boy wants to wear a shirt with a monkey face embroidered on the chest that reads, “B-A-N-A-N-A-S.” At some point, I’m sure it becomes less cute and more uncool to wear a shirt that reads, “My Mom Has my Heart,” on Valentine’s Day or any day. I’m pretty sure that twelve year old boys don’t tell their Mom, “What I really want to wear on the first day of school is a shirt with a big red fire truck.”
But he’s four. A big, broad-shouldered four. A four that just had a huge growth spurt and out grew all of his pants. But he’s still four. He tells me, multiple times daily, that he loves me. When he wants something, he tells me that I’m his best friend. He plays with fire trucks, cars, contstruction vehicles in his sandbox and thinks that Toy Story characters are real. Dinosaurs have entered his play realm and, really, all he wants is a dog. (A real one.) He lets me read him Bearnstein Bear books, anything by Dr. Seuss and will laugh for hours at Not a Box. He loves his rocket ship pajamas, Toy Story slipper-boots and Cars toothbrush.
I know his interests are going to grow, change and develop over the next few years. While we were dorking it out as a family last week on our first geocaching expedition, we passed the skate park and he saw his first skateboard in action. “What’s that?” I told him. He came home and asked to wear his shirt that has (cute, non-grungy, brightly colored) skateboards on it. Eventually he might like skateboarding and want to wear grafittied, grungy shirts with slogans that fit it. Or maybe he’ll prefer plain t-shirts. Or maybe he’ll be into chess. Or sports or specific sports teams that happen to be from Pittsburgh. Or photography. (Oh, please, photography.) Or whatever else.
But right now he likes fire trucks.
And since he now wears Big Boy sizes, his fire truck choices are limited. Because apparently Big Boys don’t like fire trucks? I don’t imagine that a seventeen year old is going to show up at school with a bright red fire truck on it. But a four year old? A five year old? A six year old? Why do we have to grow them up so quickly? Why do we have to place them in shirts that I find mostly ugly? Why do we quickly remove shirts with dinosaurs and crocodiles and fire trucks and tow trucks and boats to oh-so-quickly replace them with characters from movies that, I’m sorry, my kid isn’t going to watch for years to come. Why do they go from bright, cheerful colors to faded, ugly ones? The transition from toddler clothing to big boy clothing has more than a sticker price of a few extra dollars. It’s an immediate shove into a world where he doesn’t quite fit in yet.
Thankfully I found one fire truck shirt in his new size. A friend also recently gave us a few 5T shirts (a size very few brands have anymore) from her son that sport fire trucks. So, we have a few. This year. Maybe by next year he will have shunned the fire life but I would strongly doubt that will happen for awhile. I know that Moms and Dads of girls face similar-but-different issue with Big Girl sizes (too sexy, too raunchy, too old, etc) so I know I’m not alone in my lamenting the sudden shift to the Big sizes.
But, really, can’t we have another year or two of cute shirts? Of shorts that aren’t so long that I can’t see his nom-nom-able knees? Of being a child? He’ll have a whole life of not wearing fire truck shirts. Can’t he have just one or two more? Can’t I have just one or two more? With that sentence, I am fully aware that this is more my issue with my boys growing up, quickly and unstoppably, than it is his issue with a lack of fire truck shirts. But I feel wholly unprepared for what I view as a sudden shift in their childhoods, even if it is something as insignificant as what happens to be on their shirts.
Fire trucks are safe. What comes next might not be. I just need them to be safe for awhile longer. Can’t I just have that?