I learned very quickly after Mason was born that dressing a baby is no easier than changing a diaper. When babies are born, they have no control over their bodies. They flail here and there and everywhere. They discover things like fingernails and feet by sheer luck. Because of these movements (which slowly become more processed at nerves grow their myelin sheath), dressing an infant is like trying to guide a greased pig into a slaughterhouse.
Eventually, I got used to disrobing Mason for bath time, as well as helping him squirm into clothes each morning (usually with Holly’s help). Most of the time in Mason’s first months, he wore body suits that were simply zip-and-go, or button-and-go. These suits are a godsend because you just make sure feet and hands go where they should, and the rest just falls into place. I was not prepared for the next level. The diabolical, maniacal, farce of an invention that quickly became a top source of embarrassment. The exploiter of my cluelessness as a first-time dad. The bane of my existence as a wardrobe choice. The start of laughter for all others who heard of my embarrassing adventure with it.
A onesie looks so innocent. A deceptively simple-looking garment with three or four buttons that, when snapped together, form holes for legs. Most come with cute prints and sayings on them.
Do not trust the onesie, my friends. Tangle with it, and you’ll soon be standing behind your partner like a dog with its tail between its legs, watching Mom unravel the tube top you’ve just adorned upon your baby, fixing it so easily she laughs and shakes her head in disbelief that anyone could ever take something so “simple,” and screw it up so royally.
Yes, I said “tube top.” One evening, it was time for Mason’s bath. Holly had to pump, so I was put in charge of undressing him. Mason was dressed in a lovely blue and white striped onesie. How cute. To the changing pad we went. The steps were simple:
1) Un-snap buttons on onesie.
2) Remove arms from sleeves.
3) Pull onesie over arms and –
What the…?! Arms? How did they get there?! Damn it…
4) Attempt to replace arms in sleeves to no avail.
5) Try to tug onesie down over Mason’s diaper, also to no avail.
6) “SON of a BITCH!! HOLLY! HELP!!”
Holly had just finished pumping and came to see what I’d done this time. She took it in for about one second, and started laughing so hard she had to lean against the wall to prevent herself from falling over. Here was poor Mason, laying on the changing pad, graced in the blue and white striped onesie, stuck between his diaper and his arms, just like a tube top. Mason didn’t seem to mind his new style, he just lay there kicking his legs like he always did. I just stood there, head hung, watching Mason lay there while Holly collected herself and, within about 10 seconds, had his arms back in the sleeves and the onesie removed the proper way. She turned to me and started laughing some more. I sulked my way to the bathroom to assist with Mason’s bath, and later on, told the world via Facebook what I had done. It made me feel a little better to know that others found it just as hilarious.
It was while Holly was correcting my blunder that I realized the mistake I had made. I won’t leave you in the lurch…I share this with you so that you may never know my shame. When removing your baby’s arms from the onesie, do not remove them through the space for baby’s neck! This is known as the “Tube Top Maneuver,” and will cost you your dignity at Thanksgiving Dinner for years to come. An easy way to remember this is a little rhyme: “Arms at the sides, and the onesie abides!”
Beware the deceptive, dastardly onesie.