Saturday, November 17, 2012

Winter Coats for the Kids

Today I went shopping. Maybe not huge news in everyone's book, but for someone only a few days released from the personal purgatory (not to say hell) that is hyperemesis, this felt tremendous. I haven't gone out at all to speak of (aside from two doctor's visits, a hospital trip, and a couple very brief errands) in nearly two months. The world, I now observe, is very bright, very large and colorful, and it felt absolutely wonderful to be out and about in it, feeling healthy, reveling in the change of seasons and the fall air, enjoying the very agreeable and seasonal task of shopping for coats for my cute toddler and snuggly seven month old.

 For you see, it has been brought to my attention that my children are lacking in the winter wear department. Yesterday my mother in law was visiting us. It happened to be a chillier day than usual, but she wanted to take the kids outside to play and asked if Little Guy had a jacket? Ah, no, I had to confess that my son possessed no such article of clothing. (In my defense, we live in a temperate region and it's only just been beginning to be cold enough for him to require one, meanwhile I haven't been back on my feet for very long at all.) No matter, said mother in law, she would layer him in a long sleeved shirt and onesie. But did he have a hat? Sadly to say, Little Guy did not have one of these, either. At least not one that fits. She found one of his newborn hats from somewhere and stretched the inadequate article over his bald head, and that was Little Guy's fall weather costume for the day, along with his layered shirts and sweat pants. Obviously not a long term solution, although he did look cute in a thrown together sort of way.

My daughter still technically fits in her coat from last year, but I thought she could benefit from something roomier and warmer, since she's more of an age to be playing outside in the cold than she was a year ago.

So, on this fine Saturday, H and I hit the mall, kids in tow, and mission in mind. The first few stops were disappointing. At Belk and Old Navy, I could find surprisingly little in the nature of coats and jackets for Little Guy's size. Do most people not take their babies outside? The ones that I did find either lacked hoods (which he needs on account of aforementioned baldness) or were in colors that did not flatter him. He is a very fair skinned child, with light colored eyes and no hair, and all the grays and blues and browns I was seeing tend to make him look rather dull and colorless. As he is very adorable, especially when properly clad, I knew we could do better than this.

I ran into similar difficulties browsing for my daughter. Without knowing exactly what I mean by this, I vaguely prefer to buy toys and clothing for her that have a "classic look". For instance with toys, she has a Waldorf doll, a Cabbage Patch doll, a wooden rocking horse, wooden stacking alphabet blocks, a sock monkey, and the like. Plastic batter operated things with buttons and blinking lights and noise are kept to a minimum, and I try to select clothing with the same guiding aesthetic. I think that suits her style too, as she is a kid of the large eyed, small featured, wispy haired variety and anything too splashy or poofy tends to overwhelm her. And a LOT of clothing being produced for toddler girls falls into those categories.

I didn't think I was being too picky. I just wanted to find coats that were cute and looked good on my kids. But it has been awhile since I've engaged in any physical exertion, including simply walking around a shopping mall, and I found that by the time I wandered into Baby Gap I was very tired, a little dizzy, and the dreaded nausea was starting to creep back up on me again.

I was so happy, though. I found a light pink corduroy coat there for Bear (my daughter's nickname) that is just perfect. I love it! I love corduroy in general. I just adore the texture, the warmth, the coziness of it. My own winter coat (which I actually sewed myself back when I had time for such things) is an eggplant purple corduroy trench coat (with silver colored buttons shaped like bicycle wheels). But back to Bear. This coat we found has simple lines, is warm enough, fits her comfortably, and the shade of pink is ideal for her coloring. I wish I could post a link or a picture, but I tried to find this coat on Baby Gap's website and oddly, it doesn't seem to be there? There were so many of them in the store. Do their online stores and brick and mortar stores carry different inventory generally, or is this some fluke?

Also while at Baby Gap, I found a little zippered jacket with a hoodie for Little Guy. It's in a cheery fall red, is cuddly, and looks very fetching.

My only regret is I can't give myself any points for bargain shopping this time around, but I settled for the convenience of clothing I liked ready to hand, especially considering that by this time I was exhausted and the children needed coats, like yesterday. Literally.

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