Thursday, April 12, 2012

gray area

Don't know if you've been in the market for baby clothes recently or not, but I keep stumbling on a new, unexpected problem...
I didn't realize how seemingly 99.9% of all infant clothing these days are decorated with words.
And 99% of those words are about mommies and daddies.
Never noticed?  Didn't care? 

Well, now that we're in this foster care world, it's constantly sticking out to me like a sore thumb and it's surprisingly hard for me to find clothes for this tiny babe that are neutral in this area.  Apparently clothes with words and funny sayings are more prevalent now than when I last bought baby clothes six years ago.
It's not just slogans and sayings like "50% Mommy + 50% Daddy = CUTE!" or whole t-shirt things like that... it's also a cute little polka dot outfit with simply a tiny little bug or cupcake or penguin on the chest with a little tag stitched under it saying "i love mommy", "mommy loves me" or "my dad's cool".

And while I have no doubt that this little girlie we have here has a mother and a father who really do love her, it's a little... awkward(?) to have that splayed across her clothes right now.
I'm not quite her mama, but yet her own mother has not seen her since she was two days old.
And I'm not comfortable "labeling" her as "daddy's girl" or putting words in her mouth, so to speak, about how her "dad rocks" or that her dad is cool, when frankly her father's behavior is anything but cool right now.

One of the first things I bought when Miya first came to us was a three pack of cute little onesies bundled together; one has polka dots (I fell for the 'hug me' on it!)(a rare, non-mommy/daddy worded one!!), one is covered with little elephants, and one says "i love my mommy"...

...the first two have gotten lots of use and I so far have left the i love mommy one on the hanger.  
Because I don't quite know what to do with this gray area right now.

Our Resource Parent Support worker came over for a visit today and she called me Miya's mommy.
She was holding her and talking right to baby Miya about how lucky she was to have a big sister and brother here to love her. And when Miya got fussy a bit later on she handed her over to me saying she must be ready for her mommy to hold her again.
That really threw me off.
I know I'm her foster mom, but I haven't really let myself think of myself as "mommy".  Or refer to the other kids in any way as her siblings.  I have referred to Ryan, speaking to Miya, as The Daddy... but it was THE Daddy- as in, he's the dad around here, not a more personal, attached, Daddy.

Three weeks in and I tell her all the time how pretty she is, how special she is, how glad we are that she's with us and I tell her many, many times that I love her.
But I don't tell her I'm here to stand in for her as Mommy.
I just can't voice that yet.
With us not knowing what her permanency plan is yet, I just haven't let myself go there.  And I've felt rather lucky that she's young enough that we haven't necessarily had to label things yet as far as what she should call us, you know?

Honestly I just can't wait to get to the next court date and [hopefully] finally know whether we get to love on this girl for only a matter of a few days longer or if it will be months.
And y'all probably don't have to guess which it is I'm hoping for. ;)


Nicole said...

Oooh I never thought of it that way. I'm not super into all the slogany word phrases on babies' stuff anyhow, but yes, SO much of it comes in packs and you can't get around it. Have you tried consignment shops? Once Upon A Child is AWESOME (at least the one in Canton and Ann Arbor are). I looked it up and there are 7 in TN:

heather said...

there's only one OUAC store near me and it's really small and never has much... although I haven't been down there since having a baby to shop for. they're just really meager on my bigger kids' clothes. thanks for the reminder!
there are TONS of great and huge consignment sales at churches and preschools around here in the spring. unfortunately at the point we were handed a baby, i had already missed most of them. :(

Chrissy said...

I know how you feel in the clothing department! I secretly want to buy a "handsome like daddy" shirt and put it on our littlest one and see what happens. :)

Mom said...

Hugz to you and yours....miss you very much!!

Erin said...

I was just looking at WM online - don't go to the store - too many variations between locations. Some of the Garanimals stuff is slogan-free (and not horribly ugly). But you're right! There are tons of multi-packs that have mom, dad, grandma, little sister, etc. on them. annoying!

I like Chrissy's plan! :)

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