I made many affirmations surrounding parenting before having my own children – most of them trivial and somewhat lacking in empathy. But one that I have struggled to uphold, despite the layers of difficulty that unfold as my offspring get older, is “branding”.
I managed to dodge the assault on one’s eyeballs that is Thomas the Tank Engine. I even miraculously avoided the pink glitter butterfly bomb that invariably goes off when one produces a daughter. But the eyes have seen things that cannot be unseen.
Fairy wings and “tit’s man”onesies. “Diva” t-shirts and itchy looking Snow White dresses – oh the crimes against polyester I have witnessed! The vomit-inducing partnership of hot pink and purple. A well-meaning relative who is wondering where that Minnie Mouse ensemble got to. Fake tuxedo tees and invitations on people’s fridges that speak of Prince and Princess parties.
“A tee. A tee. My kingdom for a plain, white tee!”
I’ve learnt to sniff out a $5 dollar cotton, v-neck t-shirt within a 15 kilometre radius. I know when the purveyors of plain clothes have sales. I am well-versed in which stores will allow me to exchange a Minnie Mouse ensemble without asking me the loaded question “Is there anything wrong with this garment?”. But then it happened.
Ben frigging 10.
All the effort and hard work, fighting the good fight, only to discover that children grow up and begin wanting – nay demanding – the very thing you’ve been fighting against! A thousand curses on humungousaur’s house!
I fear that I’m fighting a losing battle. I know that just around the corner skate wear and Barbie await me. I will concede small defeats and use up all that I have left for the great fairy fight. Please. Pray for me.
Do you care whether your children wear brands? Do you try to steer them away from slogans and princesses?