I was shopping for my kids recently and came to a heartbreaking realization…both of my kids have graduated to the “other side of the aisle.” Neither one of them have Ts on their tags anymore, and it hit me harder than I ever thought it would.
I remember being pregnant & strolling the aisles of Target looking at the cutest little onesies and footed pajamas, imagining what my babies would look like wearing these sweet little outfits. As they got bigger, finding durable and functional clothing was at the top of my priority list (whoever thought snaps on pajamas was a good idea?). The toddler years were filled with an increase in pushback, mainly from my daughter, who started to develop her own style, and everything had to have sparkles & glitter before she would wear it. Mismatched outfits, obnoxious ensembles & character shirts dominated their closets. I decided early on that the clothing battle was one I would not be fighting.
This brings me to the here and now—my kids are currently 5.5 and 4.5–and as I went to buy a few things for my daughter for Christmas, I realized that to give her room to grow, I had to go to the “big kids” section. You know, “the other side of the aisle” that Casey Huff wrote about in her infamous article. It’s like a time machine. Everything is cutesy, sweet, and adorable in the toddler size. Less than 30 feet away, the “big kids” section is filled with clothes similar to what many adults are wearing: cargo pants, button-up shirts, sophisticated dresses, and so many other “older” options. As I looked through the racks, it hit me that there was no going back to the toddler section ever again, which meant there were no more Ts on her tags. Both of my kids are at the stage where they aren’t really toddlers anymore (preschoolers are the correct term, I think?), so not having the T on the tag makes sense. But from a mama’s perspective, it just means that they are growing up so quickly, and somehow, shopping in the big kid’s section feels like an enormous leap from the land of the Ts.
Plus, when you start shopping across the aisle, the clothing changes. They no longer look like young kids but rather miniature adults or preteens, which I’m not ready for just yet. Ripped jeans, crop tops, baggy flannel shirts—no thanks. When I see the trendy styles in the kids’ clothing section, I secretly wish we could be back in the land of the Ts forever.