Monday, October 22, 2007

Question of the Day

Today I am posing a question for all of you out there in blogger world:

Do European babies have extremely tiny heads?

What might prompt me to pose this question? I am glad you asked.

My sister recently moved from Manhattan. I am proud of her and happy for her that she has decided to return to graduate school, and that she was worthy of acceptance at one of the finest Ivy League institutes (go Bulldogs!). However, this will likely have a negative impact on my daughters' wardrobes. My sister would often shop for birthday and Christmas gifts at little boutiques in the city, and the result would be oh so adorable, and very unique, little outfits. When Helen turned one this past winter, my sister purchased a little denim dress for her. Drop waist with a little denim ruffle , and a unique embroidered and appliqu├ęd (or for my friend Lola...decoupage) design. The tag read, among other things, U.S. 18 mos., so my initial instinct was to put it aside till fall. My children, having been born prematurely, are never the size they should be according to their chronological ages. they are closer to the size for their adjusted age, which is calculated according to their due dates. So, despite the fact that we were celebrating Helen's first birthday, she was, for all intents and purposes, particularly dressing, much more like a 9 1/2 month old. But on whim one day, I thought I'd try it on her and ooh and ahh over how outrageously adorable she looked, and maybe I'd get lucky and it wouldn't be too big. This was not to be. You see I could not get the dress over her head. There were two double snap openings on either side of the neck, and even unsnapped, the neck was not nearly big enough. Being denim, the dress had little to no give in the fabric. I labored tirelessly, while Helen screamed. I had to be particularly careful of the hemangioma on the side of her head. Too much force could cause it to break and bleed profusely, which would mean the dress would be ruined and the baby would need to be brought to the hospital. Since I had no desire to scrub blood out of the dress and likely the carpet, I navigated around the birthmark, and finally got the dress on. Instead of the vision of cuteness I had anticipated, I had a wailing, tear-stained, runny nosed little girl on my hands. And man was she pissed. She eventually calmed down and obliged me by looking cute for the remainder of the day. That evening, it took two of us to get the dress off of her. The undressing of the big-headed American baby also involved lots of screaming. The cute little European boutique dress was put away until we could find a reasonable solution for using it without inflicting torture on Big Head Helen. Actually, the dress was hung on the back of Helen's bedroom door, and I looked at it nearly daily, wondering just how to make use oft his adorable yet ill-sized garment. The other day, while examining it for some sort of invisible catch that would render it a breeze to put on, I discovered that there was actually room on both sides for the opening to be further widened, and the dress would look no different. Woo hoo! I proceeded to very, very carefully make the cuts, and Benny and I examined the newly enlarged head opening. We agreed that there was no way her head was bigger than that opening. The next morning, I excitedly told Helen, who couldn't have cared less, that we would be putting on her cute little boutique dress. Fool. The head opening still would not accommodate Helen's head. Or at least, when you couple the tight fit with the fact that Helen is much more mobile than she was during the previous attempt (which, did I mention, was eight months ago?...surely her head hasn't grown AT ALL!) So after a few minutes of me tugging, and Helen shrieking and running away with a dress half over her big head, I gave up. But the dress is still in the living room where I can lament over the fact that Helen was only able to wear it once, and I could obsess over new ways to make it fit. As I am not a seamstress, I can only surmise that any modifications I make might involve my glue gun and staples (and decoupage). Helen being the dangerous child, staples aren't the best idea. So instead I pass it by, and I longingly caress it ,and I wonder, do European babies have extremely tiny heads? Or are the Europeans simply mocking us. because thre size tag also says EUR 9-12 months. Are there babies bigger and better at such younger ages? Or is it routine to torture your baby while dressing her in Europe?
At least I was able to get a picture of Helen in her cute little European boutique dress. She doesn't look so hot. her eyes are squinty, likely a result of the long struggle to get the dress over her head, or perhaps a flinching in anticipation of Mommy trying to squeeze her head through some other opening on some other dress. But the dress looks damn cute.

1 comment:

xmas said...

Hmmm...I wonder what her head-to-waist ratio is. Think you could get it over an un-diapered tush and up toward her head? I'm sure there's something a good seamstress could do, like a slit down the back of it and extra snaps.