Crossing the Aisle: Target Reminds Me the Baby Stage Is Behind Me


A woman shopping for kids' clothes.Like the suburban mom I am, I found myself on a Saturday afternoon at Target. We needed dryer sheets, so obviously, I was making my rounds from women’s clothes to shoes and then onto kids’ clothes. Entering the baby section, I remembered my oldest could use new leggings. 

The impossibly tiny clothes made me linger for a few moments. Picking up a newborn dress with a matching sweater, I could not believe my almost six-year-old was ever this small.

The nostalgia started, and I made my way into the toddler section. 

Now my almost six-year-old is a peanut. Or so I thought. We’ve been hanging around in 5T clothing for over a year, and it’s been working. However, I’d noticed her ankles becoming increasingly exposed over the last month or so. For a child who exists on snacks alone, she sure seems to keep growing on target. Picking up the 5T leggings, I could tell they would be too small right away.

Looking over the aisle to the “big kid” clothes was intimidating. Is she an extra small? A small? A size 6? Could I still get the same little kid leggings without dealing with pockets, seams, and zippers? Moms of kids who are sensory sensitive, you get me. 

Cautiously walking over, I felt protective. These weren’t clothes for a five or six-year-old. There are crop tops, v-necks, and characters from shows she’s not ready for. Overwhelmed, I grabbed a pair of leggings and retreated back into the toddler section for my three-year-old. 

He’s getting big now, too, solidly in 4T and growing fast (again, for a kid who eats gummies as a main food group, who knew). Combing through a few t-shirts, it hit me.

It’s not the clothes; it’s the growing up. I’m not ready. 

My baby is almost not a baby anymore; my oldest is on the verge of being a big kid. It’s a phase of my life that I don’t know if I’m ready to leave behind. Tears well up in my eyes as I write this, but I also acknowledge how much fun they are right now and how this is the first time I feel like I am savoring every moment. 

Crossing the aisle is the first step in coming to terms with the fact that my kids are getting bigger. The clothes get bigger, the problems get bigger, and hopefully, the love and the fun will get bigger too.

As long as she doesn’t start asking for the crop tops. 


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