It's all changed since I was a nipper!
Back then, kids (like me) didn't have a clue about fashion. I mean, I really didn't have a clue. Not only that, being (very) badly dressed was a staple ingredient of the whole 'childhood experience'.
Let me give you an example. Growing up in Manchester, with its trademark rain, the first decade of my life was spent feeling never less than semi-damp in purple cagoule. I was 13 before I realized most people didn't rustle when they walked.
I suffered all the major faux pas of the period, shell suits, bum-bags (fanny-packs to our American cousins) and cycling shorts (while nowhere near a bike) - sometimes all three at once. But this was all par for the course. As a kid, you wore what your parents put you in, and that was that.
Things have changed. Now I'm aware that my son Sam, as a toddler, is nowhere near old enough to choose what he wears. But that's not my point. My point is babies aren't just shoved into generic baby grows anymore.
They have mini versions of adult clothing. Sam's got, hoodies, ironic T-shirts, tracksuits trousers, chinos, cords, lumberjack shirts - you name it! Having an unfashionably dressed baby is just not done down at the local baby group. You'd be sure to be thrown out of the Wacky Fun House if your tot was sporting last-season's looks. Sam has far more outfits than me... and the collection is growing by the day.
In what (I think) is a telling contrast, I have very few fashionable clothes. Actually, I'm sure anyone who knows anything about fashion would say I have none at all.
I have a pile of T-shirts (some of which are old enough to remember the Clinton administration) a smaller pile of shirts (with dwindling numbers of fully-attached buttons) and some jeans. That's about it.
The idea of having time in the day to think about looking 'trendy' is ludicrous. To be honest, if I've not got a conspicuous sick patch on my shirt, I think I'm on to a winner!
This is a social phenomenon that I don't think has been properly documented:
Shabby Appearing Dad - Slickly Attired Kid or "SAD SAK" as I call it.
Are you a SAD SAK family? It's time to stand up and be proud.
Be proud of your stains!
Be proud of your un-ironed wrinkles!
Be proud of your unfashionable garb!
Be proud of your missing buttons and broken zips!
Be proud that your child looks like it belongs to a much more fashionable family than you do!
These days, finding any time to do the things most human beings regard as normal is such a struggle. I shaved for the first time in months yesterday - mainly because I was beginning to look like I was missing a basketball friend called 'Marshall'. I don't own a comb, I remember to put on deodorant on days when my morning trip to the bathroom isn't accompanied by screaming - this isn't often.
I'll be honest. I just don't understand how the trendy parents do it. You know the ones: women with perfect hair and makeup, men who look like they live in the gym and wear clothes that appear to have never come into contact with puke. They hang around in huddles rattling the keys to their hybrid 4x4's discussing how their kids have never eaten processed food.
If you're a trendy type, I'm sorry - not for offending you. I'm just sorry you're that type.
Personally, if I can get through the day without rocking in a corner I think I've done well.
If you're a SAD SAK do let me know. It would be good to know I'm not alone.
The Out of Depth Dad
For the unabridged version of this blog click here: https://outofdepthdad.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/are-you-a-sad-sak/