Since Pete’s about to be up to his ankles in drool and spit up, I thought I’d answer a question that comes up surprisingly frequently in our email inbox. How do you deal with the combination of young kids and nice clothes?
The answer, to be honest, is pretty simple: you put your gosh-darned baby first. And take some reasonable precautions. To wit:
- When you’re feeding or burping your baby, or your baby’s eaten recently, take off your coat. It’s probably dry-clean only, and it’ll be an expensive hassle to get clean.
- The same goes for your tie. Ties can’t really be cleaned, so a stain is pretty much fatal. (Technically you can dry clean a tie, but most dry cleaners will crush it in the process.)
- Use a burp cloth, and be quick to deploy it to problem areas. Don’t get arrogant and think you’re the zen barfmaster who can anticipate these things. A cloth on the shoulder can save your shirt.
- Don’t be afraid to change when you get home. I presume that if you’re wearing dry clean only clothing it’s mostly to work. Put on a t-shirt and a sweatshirt when you get back to the house. Something washable. Your infant will not judge you.
- Be prepared to have a little barf on you, and to do some extra laundry. This is what moms have been doing for centuries, and honestly – it’s just fine. It’s milk, not poison.
Look: having a baby barf on you can be quite trying. Sometimes I wonder if my baby even cares about my shirts. Sometimes I feel like he only cares about bright lights and my wife’s bosom. Overall, though, it’s worth it. (Bringing life into the world, I mean.)