Why I Will Never Regret Dressing my Son in Smocked Clothes

My son William is my first-born; he is the one that made me a mother. My husband and I truly had no preference on sex when we found out I was pregnant; we prayed only for a healthy child. I was never disappointed when I found out my first born would be a son. It was somewhat of a relief to know that we would at least have one son that would be able to hunt and fish with my husband and carry on the family name. I did not mourn the days I would miss dressing up my little girl. Because I always knew that my son would be better dressed than most people’s daughter.

My Son is Better Dressed Than Your Daughter

Dressing children in smocked clothes, bubbles, and knee socks is something that is very popular in the south. I would not say it is exclusive to the South, but it is safe to say that it is a tradition that is not going anywhere any time soon. And in my family, my son may have worn more smocked and hand-stitched clothes than my daughter. Was this because he was the first born and I had more money and time to shop? Or because I knew when she got older she would be excited about dressing up? I am not really sure. But let me tell you, he was the most beautiful little boy in the world and he was in some of the most beautiful baby clothes.

Sorry, Not Sorry

Let me tell you why I will never apologize or regret dressing my son this way. Not only was he a little boy, but also most importantly he was a BABY. I wanted to do everything I possibly could to make sure he never grew up and always looked like the baby he was. He had the rest of his life ahead of him to dress in dinosaur t-shirts and camouflage. And I had a plethora of heirloom Feltman Brothers outfits at my disposal courtesy of my mother-in-law (who possessed a 5T bubble that she had dressed my husband in as a child).

I vividly remember when I started to lose control of what he wore. It was gradual but obvious. This is when he started school at the age of three. His friends at school wore t-shirts with characters on them and gym shorts with tennis shoes. Suddenly everything we had was “cute” and he would not wear any of it. No monograms, and definitely no smocked clothes. He was also potty trained and had to be able to get his own clothes on and off at school with zero assistance.

Losing My Baby

We gradually replaced a few staple items and then I just completely gave up and went to Carters and the Gap and bought him all new clothes. Last Christmas he asked our family for camouflage clothes and a Hot Wheels racetrack. That. Is. It. … We still wear “cute” clothes for holidays and special occasions, but we now call them “handsome” clothes. This mostly consists of button down shirts with chinos on most occasions. We do have to start discussing it several weeks before the occasion so he knows what to expect and we have no arguing on the day of.

On his fourth birthday, we had his birthday party at The Prehistoric Park for the second year in a row. He let me dress him in a smocked dinosaur john john with a long sleeve blouse with a Peter Pan collar. He didn’t fight me; he even pretended to be excited about it. And that was it, the last time my baby, first born, wore anything smocked. I think that sweet little boy knew his momma needed just one more day with her baby.

Lauren James
Lauren is a native New Orleanian that was transplanted to Lafayette in 2008 by her husband of 11 years, Daniel. She has a B.S.N. from Louisiana State University – School of Nursing and a M.S.N. from the University of South Alabama. Her “paying gig” is as a Nurse Practitioner with a focus in Quality/Infection Prevention at a local hospital. Her other full-time gig is as keeper of her home and mom to William 7, Mary Kathryn 6, and Benjamine 2. Most of her days at home are spent picking up toys and socks off the floor so the family Bernese Mountain Dog, Tipper, does not demolish them. When she has a spare moment, she enjoys reading crime novels, playing board game with her kids, cooking and baking foods that are not on her diet, and finding any reason to celebrate by drinking her beloved champagne. To burn off a few calories and any leftover energy, the family enjoys walking or riding bikes on the shaded boulevard on which they live. Lauren has fallen in love with the people and city of Lafayette and is very proud to raise her family here and to now call it home.


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