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A Baby Changes Everything, Including Your Clothes

What do salad dressing and baby spew have in common? They are both liquids. They are both related to the act of eating. They both also have a scientifically unproven talent for projecting themselves onto white silk shorts.

In my previous life as one half of a double-income-no-kids partnership, I freely purchased items of clothing as they appealed to me. The restrictions I placed on such items were few and flexible. Fit, budget and style factor were at the top of my list.

As if having a child hasn’t changed my life in enough ways already, I now realise that my clothes buying habits will also have to be altered. Last month’s shopping trip in Melbourne was the first one since the birth of my son, so naturally I was keen to try on anything that accentuated my waistline. Elastic-topped maternity jeans be gone! Since I had been living in stretchy yoga pants and any t-shirt old enough to be able to stretch over my baby belly, some high waisted white silk shorts presented themselves as the perfect candidate.

Looking back now, it must have been because my husband was looking after our son on said shopping trip, that I forgot that I am currently spending most of my days feeding, changing and bathing a spewy, dribbly, pooey infant. So I bought the shorts.

The first time I wore these magnificent, sumptuous shorts I was also hosting a BBQ at my house. I made all kinds of wonderful salads. And dressed them. With olive oil and soy sauce. And my shorts got in the way.

It could happen to anyone, I hear you laugh, if they are stupid enough to wear WHITE SILK shorts at a BBQ.

But hey, the occasions to wear such precious items are significantly fewer these days. So, yes, I was wearing the shorts.

Next stop: dry cleaners. A week or so later, having paid for my shorts to be fresh and white again, I lovingly brought them home and set them in the wardrobe, still in their plastic bag. The very next day I received a surprise phone call from my best friend, saying she’s flying up from Sydney for the day and wants to meet me for lunch.

It was perfect shorts-wearing weather, around 28° and sunny, and I donned my special shorts for only the second time as my son lay playing happily on his mat. Looking smashing, keys in hand, I scooped him up off the floor and onto my hip. As I headed for the door, his mouth opened and a cascade of vomit spilled over his lip and all over the two of us. Unobstructed by his denim overalls or my top, like a tiny white water rapid, the vomit tumbled down all the way to my shorts.

I was so naive. Blinded and selfish, even. Now I have one who cares nought for fine clothes and special occasions, but makes me smile more than those things ever could. Glamour is nothing. Practicality is everything.

If only the care label had read, “Do not wear in the company of small children”.

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