I’ve been thinking about layettes. For those of you who have never thought about layettes, I’ll describe them for you. A layette is the first fashion wardrobe given to a newborn child. It is usually a blanket, pillow case, booties, sweater, panties and assorted accessories. If made by hand, the layette is crochet or knitted.
Boy babies are given blue layettes, and girl babies are clothed in pink. Sometimes, the infant is given a yellow layette. Yellow – why yellow? That is because the layette was purchased prior to the birth of the child. There is no explanation for the yellow color, other than to match a rather jaundiced complexion.
There has not been a change in layette fashion for a thousand years! It is now time for a change. I suggest the opening of a “Layette Boutique”.
The fashions for layettes will be regal. A parent can buy yard of rich, black mink to wrap the baby. Hand-crafted, calf skin booties and jewelry of all sorts; gold earrings, precious stone necklaces, pearl head-bands. No more washed out blue or faded pink. The maternity doors of Bellevue Hospital open and a little prince or princess is presented to the world.
Another issue comes to mind, and that is the contrasting styles of death and dying as opposed to birth and living. Funerals are led by police motorcycles, follow by flower cars and shining black limousines. Mourners are dressed in their finery. Who comes out of the hospital with a newborn? The father goes to the hospital and pays for his wife and child. The wife is weak, and woozy. She hasn’t been out of the hospital for days – her head is spinning. Father doesn’t know how, or who to hold first.
They drive home, alone, no fanfare – no public acclaim. When they arrive at home there is frequently a family gathering, but rather subdued – no grandeur, no cops, no politicians, no theatrics.
Why not blast the horns, ring the sirens, shoot the pistols. A child is born. A child wrapped in silk – magnificent Tahitian silk. Joy to the world. A child is born. Whose got the pampers?
Copyrights, 1980 Tom Golden.