Popping into Gymboree to buy a baby gift the other day, the store was full of cute little boy clothes. Rack after rack displayed shirts appliqued with dinosaurs, sharks, tractors, and even some penguins. Everything made me say “awwww,” as I tried to narrow down my choices. A few of the shirts were cute enough that I wanted ones for my son, and as I carefully peeled back shirt after shirt looking for the largest size available, I realized my son was graduating out of cutesy boy clothes and into darker colored, older boy clothes featuring snowboards, skateboard, saying “chill out” or “peace out.” There wasn’t a single cute penguin pyramid on any of the big boy clothes. Gymboree had practically slapped me on the face with a reminder that my baby is almost no longer a baby…or a toddler…or, by their standards, a little boy. He’s a big kid, according to Gymboree.
I was lucky because I found a few 5Ts of the cutest baby boy shirts. While there were plenty sizes 6-12 months or 18 month shirts available, at the most there was only one size 5T tucked away at the bottom of each style. While my son’s has a complete wardrobe for the next year (I like to shop ahead), I snatched up three of the cutest 5T little boy shirts I could find. While he could get buy without the extra shirts, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the friendly dinosaurs or smiling sharks just yet.
When my daughter made the same clothing size transition, I was upset too, but that was because big girl clothing gets a lot more mature. The leap from toddler girl to big girl is big, at most stores. In their defense, Gymboree’s big girl clothing is completely appropriate, but oddly enough, sometimes too cutesy for my daughter. (She still wears their simpler looks and I am thankful that the rise of their jeans is age appropriate.) I only felt a loss because I was worried about the cut of big girl clothes. Boys don’t have that problem, but their clothes seem to bend toward the Mountain Dew/X Games-loving demographic. My son begged to go snowboarding while in Tahoe and I had no idea where he got this idea, until I looked at his clothes.
My son is my youngest, which is probably why I’m having trouble letting go of the clothes with happy animals or cartoonish fire trucks. Another layer of innocence is peeling away. I just never thought I’d be mourning the outgrown babyhood while at Gymboree.