Misspent Dreams of Fire Retardancy

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Whilst purchasing some clothes for The rapidly growing Pop-Tart at Baby Bliss  (an unparalleled baby stuff store in Snider Plaza), I kept seeing these tags on baby clothes:  

exhibit number 1
Let us not give into the temptation to second guess this claim-

In fact, I've seen this warning on lots of Poppy's clothes: 

exhibit number 2

During my pregnancy, I was supremely interested in hearing all about how modern mommies were playing the game.  listened to almost anyone who seemed to be doing a good job raising their own offspring.  Naturally, I didn't buy everything  that the other parents were selling, I simply listened and took the bits that I thought would work well for my new little family.  I received lots of information - some was helpful and some wasn't, but I tried my best to be a grateful recipient of everyone's two cents.  

During one such session, I was given a peculiar bit of advice:

a well-seasoned mother:  'You need to use Dreft so that the fire retardancy isn't washed out of your daughter's clothes'.  

Actually, this tidbit was presented not as advice but as a divine order backed by conviction and persistance.  A truism to be gulped, not sipped- 

It is with the clarity of hindsight that I can say 'yes'.  Yes, this was the moment, the moment that I realized that there was nothing else that this woman could illuminate for me.  (Unfortunately I continued to hang out with her despite the fact that she was constantly stirring up unnecessary alarmist anxiety.  I finally called it quits on the day that she almost convinced me to spend the money that we have earmarked for grad school on 'the employment a night nanny'.  She informed me that if I didn't have a night nanny come and take care of the baby while my husband and I were sleeping that my mariage and health would almost certainly deteriorate.  'Besides, as soon as the baby is born you will no longer have the desire to go to graduate school.'  I cried in my car for 20 minutes after hearing these revelations, none of which turned out to be true.)

Poppy's fire retardancy is my responsibility.  I have always assumed that, with or without clothing, she is a generally flammable being and that we should both behave accordingly.  I can only hope that these omnipresent warnings on baby clothes help other parents become privy to the fact that their children's clothing will offer them no aide in the realm of fire retardancy*. 

I am still grateful to have received the well-seasoned mother's advice without which I might never have believed that it is necessary to put these warning labels on infant clothing-

*Unless their children's clothing was created at the house of Edna Mode.


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