The technology available to us these days is nothing short of amazing—like prosthetic limbs that look and feel like real ones, homes that monitor themselves, and iPads that keep a toddler sitting still for more than three minutes. So I’d like to know why, with all these advances, some savvy scientist hasn’t whipped up the dream of every parent who doesn’t like tossing money out the window: indestructible kids’ clothing. Why is this not a thing when it so clearly should be?
Apparently my kids’ very gazes are abrasive, because they can wear holes in even the most “rugged” apparel faster than a cheese grater lined with razor blades. They make their jeans weak in the knees—literally—and in record time. One day they’re sporting crisp, new, un-faded denim, and by the next afternoon it looks like somebody unleashed a pack of rabid hamsters all over their pants. I don’t get it.
They haven’t crawled as a primary form of locomotion since babyhood, but I swear that’s got to be what they’re doing all day at school. Do they get from class to class on their hands and knees? Scuffle to lunch on all fours? Spend entire recesses with nothing between their bony knees and the stain-y grass but their once-pristine dungarees? I suppose that would make sense, seeing as their shoes also look like something I picked out of a dumpster.
“Psssh. It’s practically sandal weather!” I scoff when my son mentions that there’s a gaping hole at the end of his (WTF didn’t I just buy these four months ago?!) Nikes, wiggling a toe for emphasis.
“But my feet get cold!”
“So wear two pairs of socks. Get the dingy white ones so they’ll blend in.”
While we’re on the subject, I’d like to know who said it wasn’t a good idea for kids to keep wearing bibs into, say, adolescence. Because if I had a dollar for every jelly or popsicle or grease stain dribbled down the front of their shirts, I may have nearly enough to fund next season’s wardrobe. (Theirs, not mine.) I am also curious as to how one can suddenly develop a hole in the shoulder—the shoulder—of a perfectly good T-shirt. Or why the collars start looking like they’re being nibbled on. Are they being followed by a swarm of hungry moths whenever they step out the door? That might also explain why their backpacks disintegrate at a rate only slightly slower than their clothing. By the end of the school year, when it’s almost shorts season and I refuse to buy another book bag for a month of use, my children are practically held together with duct tape and hope.
I’ve tried to convince them that those heavy-duty knee patches are where it’s at, fashion-wise, but they just look at me with unabashed skepticism. (For some reason, you wear clam-diggers and an oversized sweatshirt and Crocs and socks one time to school drop-off and suddenly your kids never trust your style authority again. Hmmph.)
I’m tired of removing items from the dryer with bated breath, praying they held together for just one more wash cycle. So please, scientists and inventors of the world: Help us. You’ve given us material that will stop a bullet in its tracks, but nothing able to withstand whatever bullshit shenanigans kids get up to. I’m hereby offering up my entire life savings to anyone who can invent a viable, durable solution.
But I mean, don’t expect a lot. I’ve spent most of it replacing kids’ clothing and shoes.