At Target today, and I just started talking, okay, ranting to this stranger in the isle.  People must think I’ve got a screw loose, but honestly, why on earth NOT talk to people.  You know?  That’s what I think anyway.  I know, I know, I should have never left the south.

So any-WHO, the kids and I were picking out bookbags and lunchboxes because, well, they were there, and with our two-week vacation in August, back-to-school shopping always has a way of creeping up on me.  I had successfully steered my 5-year-old daughter away from Hannah Montana and High School Musical, which I considered quite a victory (I have nothing against either, but my daughter is FIVE.  I just think Tinkerbell is more age appropriate, call me crazy.) for her backpack choice, and we were picking out a cute little generic green and pink patterned lunchbox, when I noticed that within the cute pink and green pattern was a skull and crossbones.  It was so subtle that I actually thought I was imagining it.  Surely those were just odd-looking flowers.

But my son wandered over and confirmed my suspicions – a skull and crossbones it was.  That’s when I turned around and started venting to the poor unfortunate lady who happened to be in the aisle at the same time I was.  She and I commiserated briefly over the declining state of children’s gear today before she went on her merry way.  My daughter and I picked out a benign gray and pink lunchbox with no offending pattern, and we went on OUR merry way.

But I ask you.  WHAT ever happened to flowers and hearts?

That’s all.  Carry on.

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46 Responses

  1. I volunteer at a Christian Thrift store once a week. I found a girls’ skirt that was pink and cute, that had two BIG cherries (one per bun, if you will) on the rear with the word “fruit” on it.

    I threw it in the trash.

  2. I do understand your POV, but I love the skulls & crossbones. I do. It’s totally what I would have had. I also like the skull/crossbones baby fabric. I know, I know. I just am not a floral kind of gal and never have been. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, just that I’m the other side of the coin.

    Now. What I don’t hold with is the stuff like blackbelt is talking about. I hate words on kids’ butts! And dressing them like they’re older than they are. And letting them highlight their hair at age 5. And…all that other stuff. But I do like the skulls. 🙂

  3. You are so singing my song (and my she-twin is going to be seven in September, and perhaps prude that I am, she’s not conversant in Hannah Montana or HSM…and in truth, she’s expressed disinterest) Bratz are verboten in this house, and last year we had quite a similar experience to yours today!

    Happy Bunny is that cute illo that makes snarky (unacceptable for a 6 year old, in my view) statements like “You’re right; it’s all about me,” “Yes I know how cute I am.” I dunno, I just don’t like the message. Last year when we were backpack hunting, Sarah liked the bunny, and in her pre-reading days, I had to explain that while the bunny was cute, the message was not…the bunny might be “happy” but he was rude, and that’s not right.

    So as we deliberated in the aisle attempting to select an age-appropriate pack, an unwitting mom and daughter picked up a Happy Bunny pack to examine, only to be beset with my daughter like a plague of locusts — giving them almost verbatim the explanation I had given her. They put it down. Small victories! 😉

  4. I can picture you and that woman.You are always entertaining when you shop.
    I’ve already got the school gear. I avoid all the questionable stuff by sticking to L.L. Bean. They have cute stuff and durable. Lands’End school gear is good, too.

  5. Seriously! I totally agree! I HATE that skulls and crossbones are “in style”. I was looking for a shirt for my husband, and I found all these great long sleeve collared striped shirts. I look at the back and on each one is a skull and crossbones on the rear shoulder. I don’t get it!

  6. oh, YES!! my dd has to have a tote bag for next year… there were only 2 options in all of Target, one of which had the skull!! thank heavens she liked the other!!

  7. My 8 year old niece has a two piece bathing suit (a bikini for an 8 year old?!?!?) that is pink and black with skull and cross bones on it. Yeah. Not on my daughter. Two strikes and yer out!

  8. I don’t get the skull and crossbones for little girls either. To me skull and crossbones always signified death whether flown as a pirate flag where it originated or as a warning on labels. Why would I want my 5 year old wearing that? I guess I’m just not a great fashionista when it comes to the younger set.

  9. I saw that exact item today. I saw it from across the aisle and when I got closer I couldn’t believe that. Not for my 6 & 7 year old girls! Camp Rock is hard enough to ignore.

  10. I agree with being disgusted about the trash that is at the store now for kids. I could not believe it when I saw children’s thong underwear the other day. Let them be kids for crying out loud!

    I do have to say though that my girls wear two piece bathing suits. They are both very tall for their age and very slender. I can not find a one piece that doesn’t fall down showing their fronts while at the same time being to short and causing wedgies and showing way to much of their bottoms. I am very thankful that they make two piece suits and I can get them something that (while it shows the midsection) covers all their private parts.

  11. I totally and utterly and completely agree with you! Usually I forgo trying to find something in the store and go direct to LandsEnd.com – however this year I purchased the book bags AND lunch boxes to match from . . . dare I say . . . Hannaandersson.com. I think they did have cute flower backpacks too! I have a catalog right here . . . Yes, flowers, leopard print, flowers and stripes, polka dots and flowers, quilt like squares and a heart. They also carry boy “themes” of which I purchased for my boys – I don’t think they would really appreciate flowers and such. The backpacks are rolling $55.50 or messenger style $29.50 or regular backpacks $29.50. The lunch bags are $16.50.

    No I don’t sell or represent Hanna Andersson, I have just grown to love that company because their clothing wears like iron and is 100% cotton – which is great for my kids that have eczema.

    Sorry the comment is so long!

  12. As if that’s not bad enough, I’ve seen baby clothes with those motifs. Who puts their precious little baby in a onsie with a skull & crossbones on it?

  13. I was actually checking out those same ones at Target today. I’d like one for me, but I’m not as crazy about it for my 3.5-year-old.

  14. UGH! At least with boys you kind of know to look for blood and gore FIRST ~smile~ but with girls you kinda think you’re safe cuz after all it’s PINK.

    Creepy manufacturers.

  15. I talk to people at the store all the time also. Drives my husband and son nuts. I am always willing to give my opinion on a product – DH says I really need to get a job selling something 🙂

  16. Oh my! I am so out of touch! I am glad you are boycotting the Hannah M stuff. But I didn’t even know that skull, etc is avante garde for kids. What next?? Moms today have a huge challenge. Don’t give in!

  17. I usually don’t talk to people in store, but sometimes I do, and go on and on. Later, like you, I wonder what I was thinking.

    I wish children didn’t have to follow adult trends. It doesn’t seem fair to them.

  18. This reminds me of a few years ago when my cousin was about 9 or 10. My aunt and I had that conversation with her when she wanted to get a shirt that said, “Yes, but not with you.”!! She had no idea of the ACTUAL meaning of it-and it was a kid’s size!

  19. I’m finding it hard to find clothes that my preteen can wear without showing off all her assets, if you know what I mean.

    And though the skull and crossbones might appeal to some? I’m with you – I’d have left them on the shelf for someone else.

  20. I just asked my MIL to get some lunchbags for the girls (1 & 3 y.o.)… and specifically said that it needs to be not covered in corporate junk. I should tell her to get to a Land’s End or L.L.Bean! Great advice.

  21. We had this same experience a couple weeks ago looking for backpacks and lunchboxes. Luckily, my almost 5 year old only tried once to talk me into the Hanna Montana or HSM gear. Skulls and crossbones would also be off limits here!

    I completely agree that we need to do whatever possible to let our kids be kids as long as possible. I’m just hoping that this trend of mini-adults will end soon!

  22. I couldn’t agree more. We’re lucky we live close to LL Bean where there’s not one backpack or lunch pail with a character on it. Just butterflies and owls. Plus, they have life time guarantees. It’s a shame our children are constantly assaulted with such questionable images nearly everywhere they go.

  23. I buy the generic stuff, too. I just think it will outlast their fickle love for any character.

    The skull and crossbones are kinda weird.

    I talk to people all the time in the stores. Just yesterday, I was ranting about having Jamie Spears on the cover of a magazine with her new baby. Yes, let’s make it seem really cool to have a baby at 17 out of wedlock. Not that I am some old fashioned crank or anything. So, all moral issues aside – it is just hard for a 17 year old to have a baby! It’s all peaches and cream. This lady was just staring at me after my rant.

  24. I couldn’t agree with you more! We were at Disneyland last week, and there was a pink Mickey Mouse hoodie with crossbones on it for my 6 year old. I couldn’t believe it.

  25. It’s crazy! I just looked up pirate stuff on etsy for the baby–baby pirate stuff…

    ANYWAY. Everything was skull/crossbones with a bow in it’s “hair” for girls. How strange!

  26. I have already told my girls that we are not buying backpacks with any characters on them. That way I can avoid any argument and hopefully get them to use the backpacks for a couple of years. The skull and crossbones show up everywhere these days.

  27. I personally don’t like the skull and cross bones on anything. I might be old fashioned, but that’s never represented anything good in my world. I refuse to let my kids get anything with it. A major battle sometimes with a teenager.

  28. What? I think that is the worst motif I have seen in trends lately (or quite possibly EVER). It’s just to pirate-ish and even morbid for me. Oh and UG-LY (in my humble opinion…)

  29. What ever happened to Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Tinkerbell, Minnie Mouse, or just flowers and butterflies? It’s bad enough that I think we’re settling on camo for my 6 1/2 year old son. I just haven’t seen anything that’s first not too big for him and second still age appropriate.

  30. I thought we were safe from controversy when my daugher fell in love with Hello Kitty. But then we saw a line of HK things where HK was dressed like a hooker! Now if she wants a HK think it’s MUST be cute and sweet and NOT provacative. She’s only 4, fer cryin’ out loud!!

  31. I love it…you talk to people! Why I can’t imagine you talking to a stranger! HA! And live in the south…you know it BFF! 🙂
    I so agree…why can’t a little girl be a little girl any more.
    I am SURE I would have done the SAME EXACT thing!

  32. Oh I know – my 5-year-old is getting into the whole Hannah Montana and High School Musical thing too. Sigh. I guess it’s just the start of what’s to come… 🙂

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