Tuesday, November 08, 2011

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Before I had a kid, I always assumed that the parents of boys were faced with clothing choices limited mostly to sports and cars, with more-desirable (to me) stuff like dinosaurs, skulls, and funny-to-me sayings (i.e. "I'm only doing this until my band gets signed," "I do my own stunts") relegated to a small minority. I would think sadly about how, if I were to have a boy, I'd have to search far and wide through rack after rack of sports and cars to find clothes that I actually liked. Turns out, boy clothes seem to be mostly sports, obnoxious or not-funny-to-me sayings, and licensed characters. Of the licensed character wear, I'd estimate at least 75% is stuff from Cars the movie. Let me be clear - I generally really like Pixar movies. I even watched Cars on cable back when I was pregnant and liked it a lot more than I expected. But Nico has not seen Cars, he is not likely to see Cars anytime soon, and he does not honestly seem to recognize that the Cars characters are actually cars, they're so cartoonized.

And as much as I assumed I'd be dressing my kid in clothes that I like, now that he has his own preferences, I really do want to buy things that he likes. I have found, much to my mounting frustration, that it is really, weirdly hard to find non-Cars car clothes, or truck clothes, or construction vehicle clothes, or even fire truck clothes. I do not get this, at all. With all the car-loving little boys that must be out there, how is there not a huge market for this stuff? And yet, I have scoured stores, I have searched websites, all to little avail. Unless I want my kid to be a walking Pixar ad, I have little to buy. The car / truck / construction shirts he does have were all lucky thrift store and craigslist finds, and I have taken to emailing craigslist posters to specifically request photos of "anything you have with cars, but not Cars the movie" (and I usually get photos of Cars the movie and football pajamas back). We're also admittedly picky, and tend to pass over anything camouflage or overly stylized…if it doesn't actually look like a car or truck, what is the point?

With Christmas coming up, I decided it would be nice to get Nico some new shirts and pjs since he'll need them anyway and he's young enough that he will probably not be upset to get clothes as a present. My previously-casual quest for non-Cars car garments has intensified a bit in the last couple of weeks, and eureka, I finally found some stuff. Thus, for any other parent in my position this year, let me save you some footwork and tell you what I got and where I got it. The list is not extensive, but at this point I'm thrilled just to have found something, anything.

I got three shirts from Kohl's this past weekend, on sale for $6 each. They had some other fire truck and truck stuff, but I didn't want to blow my whole budget, so I just got the three that MB and I liked the best (and thought Nico would like most).

After studying the Carter's pajama options on the Kohl's website for an embarrassingly long time, I went to the store and found out they only had half of the online options in the store, and of those, some of them just weren't that great in person. I did get the footie pajamas pictured below, though.

The two-piece pajama set came from Walmart, of all places. I have looked at their pajama racks every time I've been in there over the past month, and have never seen anything remotely Nico-worthy, and then out of the blue yesterday they'd added these to their Carters: Child of Mine selection. I did end up buying a 3T, though, because they seemed to run really small. Anyway, if even one person finds this information helpful, then I will be happy. In the meantime, if any of you know of any good secret sources of car clothes, let me know.

Since thrift store posts are kind of like decluttering posts and seem to be something that people other than me actually find interesting, I'll tell you that I also hit Goodwill and a consignment shop yesterday and found some good stuff for Nico. It was all cheap, of course, so I'll probably just add it to his rotation now rather than hiding it all until Christmas. I found three pairs of pajamas at the consignment store that I'm hoping he'll like. The middle pair will probably not fit for very long, but I only paid a dollar for it so I don't really mind.

Nico was kind of a pill at the first store, so at Goodwill I decided to pacify him with Goldfish crackers while I browsed. I had the plastic container of crackers wedged in the folded-up canopy of his stroller so that I could reach them easily, which was great…until Nico shoved his hand up under the canopy and pushed the container out. I caught it on the way down so that only half the crackers spilled on the floor, but gah. GAH. Once I'd cleaned that up and re-wedged the container so he couldn't spill it, I went back to continue flipping through the kid shirts and the very next shirt on the rack said "my parents are exhausted" on the front. Well played, Universe! I almost bought it for the sheer perfection of the comedic timing, but it had a stain and was $2 and I'm still not adjusted to the fact that I can no longer buy Nico's clothes from the newborn - 24 months 50-cent bin. I did buy him these shirts, which I like a lot:

And he got these, for a dollar total.

The fire station is missing the truck, but otherwise it's in perfect condition. I poked around online after we got home and contemplated ordering a replacement truck on ebay. I still may order one eventually, but since his little Tonka fire truck fits down the ramp, I might not bother. Man…I love thrift stores.

Oh, and because it made me laugh…a photo of Nico taken near the end of the second shopping stop. I think his expression reveals his opinion of the whole proceeding:

Reading:  Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Playing:  an old beloved mix


  1. Great haul! I love the questing feeling of looking for clothing with a particular hobby/interest on it. But same as you, I've found it can be intensely frustrating. We've recently had trouble finding dinosaur shirts that don't look kind of violent and trashy.

  2. These are all great! The boy nutrition label one was cute.

    I'll keep my eyes peeled for stuff for you! What size is Nico? 2T? 3T? I'm going to a thrift store sometime this week with a coworker - I'll check out the kids' stuff!

  3. Oh SNAP Mastiff is out??? WANT TO READ! :D PS- congrats on the goodwill haul!

  4. Swistle - argh, yes, the horrible aggressive / violent dinosaur clothes. What is with that?

    Shauna - that's sweet of you! He's in mostly 2T now, but 3T is always okay for growing-into-it purposes :)

    Evilducky - Yes and I am counting down to my lunch (aka reading) break!

  5. Got it! Yay! It'll be fun hunting for kid clothes!