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Pockets full of everything but miracles

Andrew Gmerek

Somewhere out there I know there is, without the shadow of a doubt, a group of clothes designers and seamstresses – more an axis of evil really – that spends every waking minute designing and stitching together children’s clothes meant to make a father’s life a living nightmare.It is apparent, if you have children that is, that most of the clothes sold for youngsters are not created with kids and their habits in mind.Sure the outfits always look cute covered with bunnies, snow people or flowers, but when a father has to actually struggle with the day-to- day troubles that come from these clothes, he soon discovers that a parent obviously had nothing to do with the design of most children’s dresses, pants and shirts.For instance, why would anyone who knows anything about children place a pocket in the dead center of an infant or toddler’s dress or overalls? Sure it looks adorable, but putting a pocket on a child’s shirt is like placing a trash Dumpster directly under his or her chin.

(For those who don’t remember their childhood, young children are anything but dainty eaters.)Anytime my wife picks one of these pocketed outfits for one or both of my daughters to wear for the day, I break out the airsickness bags because I know how the day will end. After all, the kids have to eat, don’t they? At the end of a day where three meals are served that might include baked beans, waffles with syrup, apple sauce and macaroni and cheese, plus several cups of milk, that same adorable pocket decoration always ends up bulging with a sludge so disgusting it rivals a soil sample from the Love Canal.About the only way to remove this goop, with the possible exception of flipping the kid upside down and shaking her until the quagmire pours over her chin and flows up her nose where it instantly hardens to the consistency of concrete and has to be removed using precision dental tools, is to dig it out using my hands.

Which, I’ll openly admit, is the most disgusting task I’ve ever had to perform, and that is taking into account the times I worked at a yogurt shop or as a flight attendant collecting trash on a packed 747 with no place to store it.Of course, the pocket problem doesn’t end there. For slightly older children, pockets are placed on the sides of pants and dresses and they are perfect holding cells for all kinds of disgusting stuff.Items my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Isabell has placed in her pockets in the past have included gravel, half-eaten lollipops covered with lint and mountain scrub grass complete with all varieties of High Country bugs just waiting to nip at the first hand that reaches in to remove them from their new and happy home.But the thing I fear most about pockets on my kids’ clothes is that now that Isabell is getting older, she’ll discover that they make great storage places for money.

She has already learned that pennies feel real good when they’re jingling at your side, and I’ve recently noticed she’s been eyeing my rather thin bankroll, with, I think, thoughts of making it even thinner.Which means that I’ll have to cut holes in all her pockets if I want to stay solvent.Andrew Gmerek writes a Friday column. He can be reached at agmerek@hotmail.com.


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