OK, y’all, let’s face it, without hand-me-downs, that whole “kids cost a gazillion dollars to raise to age 18” thing might actually scare more people out of making babies. Hand-me-downs are the … wait, what is it you are allowed to say after you have kids? The shiznit? The jam in my jelly roll?
Anyhoo, I love me some hand-me-downs. Especially when I’m
snooping through perusing a friend’s old Facebook photos and I run across a picture of her daughter wearing something that — two kids later — now “belongs” to my daughter.
But can we talk for just a second here about the absolutely craptastic things people will give you in the name of handing down? The stuff that makes you wonder if you’re the only parents out there who doesn’t look to her friends with younger kids as the new, improved, and significantly cheaper version of the landfill?
With a 7-year-old in my house and some handed-down-to folks with whom I retain some pretty decent friendships, I feel like I’ve gotten a handle on what to do and what not to do. I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth because I have some wonderful hand-me-downers sending stuff my way. But I’ve been on both sides, folks, and I know the dangers.
So here it is.
1. Anything in which your kid did the infamous shit up the back (sorry, shiznit just doesn’t work here, does it?). Yes, we know exactly what that stain is and …. ewwww!
2. Anything featuring your kid’s name on the front. The name on the inside I get. My daughter is even rather lucky … one girl whose clothes end up in our house has my kid’s middle name as a first name! But it gets frustrating awfully fast for little Alex to be toddling around the playground while everyone refers to him as Bob.
3. Anything moldy. Hey, it happens. Your kid spits up, you haul off that shirt, throw it in the wash basket and then you get busy. You keep doing laundry but never quite get to the bottom of the pile. In the meantime that formerly adorable shirt is growing things. Just throw it out, m’kay?
4. Underwear. Really, people? Really?
5. Shoes. This one is kind of personal. I know there are people who are less prissy than me, so maybe this is not a never so much as an “ask first.” If your friends envision foot fungus when they see a pair of hand-me-down sneaks, you’re better off sticking these in the trash. Or if you REALLY think they’re in such great condition (which, frankly, most kids’ shoes aren’t), try your local goodwill.
6. Anything with major holes. I say major because a pair of jeans with a hole in the knee makes for perfectly good play clothes, and I am happy to accept them and have handed them down. But you walk a fine line here. Don’t make people feel like you just couldn’t be bothered to weed out the rags.
7. Used diapers. Gross!!
8. Anything cause related. You know, it’s great that your kid was a “weepublican,” but not everyone is down with politically branding their baby.
9. Offensive shirts. That onesie that said “Daddy just wanted a backrub” isn’t funny. It’s insulting.
Come on, add yours? What has been handed down to you that drives you crazy? On the flip side, what are your absolute favorite hand-me-downs?
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