Friday, June 6, 2008

Dress codes and diapers

The horror of it dawned upon us when we eased Sonny out of Mum's carrier.

There we were, in the middle of our neighbourhood polyclinic, with a child clad in a Winnie the Pooh shirt and - below the midriff - nothing but a set of diapers. Mum had failed to finish dressing him.

There was nothing for it. Sonny saw the doctor, and suffered the attentions of a lab technician, in that state of dishabille. Now, some might gush that, with a six-week-old baby, no dress codes apply. But is that really true - even assuming that tropical weather, or at least high summer, makes catching a cold a minor concern?

To take one extreme, suppose we were to produce Sonny in public with nary a thread on him. Would not the average person expect, at the very least, that there be some very good reason for such a display? Perhaps the baby has an illness that necessitates a thorough sunning, you might tell yourself.

On the other hand, one does not expect an infant to be turned out in slacks and jacket, even for formal occasions (from which he is probably best kept away in any case). So what are the parameters that would define 'baby dress sense'?

The first thing we'd venture to say is that these are surely pretty elastic. At home, of course, the parents' writ is absolute. Things would also be fairly relaxed at, say, get-togethers with friends. However, the likelier it is that your baby will be 'on public view', the more we'd want to him to be - as a default setting at any rate - in more than just his underwear. A romper, say, or T-shirt and shorts, would suffice.

Diapers, then, wouldn't cut it. Which leaves only the question of why we exposed Sunny to start with.

Obviously Overwhelmed Parent Syndrome (Oops), we say, would be a decent diagnosis.