SINCE I left the city more than 20 years ago, things have changed. The world has whizzed ahead, but I do my best to keep up.
What I was unaware of, though, was the proliferation of shops selling designer clothes and other must-have items for the thoroughly modern child and/or infant.
It is incredible what you can buy for your little darling. How about a pair of sandals for your toddler at a mere $485 a pop? Or Haviana thongs for babies at $40? (Twice the price of adult ones for half the material - go figure.)
I was very intrigued at this unabashed display of excess and vanity, and thus it came to pass that a brief online search found toddler cocktail or formal party outfits, including Armani suits for the smart baby and ruched pink satin dresses for the lady baby. Both expensive, but why scrimp if you are going to a cocktail party, even if you have only just learned to walk?
And let's not forget the furniture the modern child needs.
The kiddy designer shops offer star-shaped poufs for $300 to brighten that special girl's life, a $2000 four-poster bed for your loved one and a $600 toy box for all their spotless toys (or maybe keep it simple with a $160 wall garland - after all, you don't want to go overboard!).
A story ran on the news about a mother of a three-year-old girl who sent another mother a bill for more than $500 to replace her daughter's boots, as they had become scuffed on a playdate at the house of the second mother.
The three-year-old had another 60 pairs of shoes at home, but the boots had to be replaced as they showed signs of wear on the soles. Well, that's a concern. Shoes showing signs of being worn. What next?
We know this because, to justify her indignation, the mother posted a photograph of the soles of the shoes on social media. When she was mocked publicly for her foolishness, she cried and said she'd had a difficult childhood. Really?
I had to strengthen my resolve to view the world with optimism. I will not bitch, I said to myself. I will not become heated about this. I will breathe deeply, look at the clouds and remember what really matters in life.
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