I have a two year old son who is beginning to reflect my words and actions. This is a major developmental milestone as my wife and I work with him to acquire vocabulary, express his feelings in a productive way, and do poo-poo-pee-pee on the toilet. This is also the time when we can begin to impose our outdated interests in fashion, music, sports team loyalties, and popular culture on our human creation.
So far, I’ve saved my son the world of video games because you’ve seen the world of video games? It can be a bit much. A few weeks ago I received a package from Bumkins with a selection of baby and toddler equipment. Ordinarily I would burn the lords of non-carbonated mountain dew and Dorito dust “gamer gear” as an effigy, but it was a rough year and I thought Hey, if the hummus is keeping my kid away, why don’t you try?
After a few weeks of testing, I can confirm that the Mario bib kept the hummus away from my son.
For the non-parents in the audience, Bumkins makes baby and toddler accessories that are sold for a small premium as they often feature family-friendly properties from DC Comics, Nintendo, Disney and Sanrio. The designs are subtle and comfortable compared to most toddler clothes, that is, to appeal to parents.
In fact, my favorite piece in the collection is not used by my child: it’s a trio of see-through travel bags with a print that is overflowing with Mario and peripheral characters. I have accumulated tons of trash by never leaving my desk for the past nine months. So I decided to use these bundles like I would use pencil cases in elementary school. Bowser, Toad, Peach, and some Goombas are currently turning the clock over a series of dry-erase markers that I pretend I’ll be using on my pristine dry-erase board at some point.
But this is not about me. This is about my son and his preference for chickpeas and tahini. The synthetic fabric of all Bumkins products is thin and resembles a rain jacket. Food sticks to it so strongly that goosebumps won’t roll off onto the floor, but will come off easily under a tap. The bibs and mats are machine washable and so far they have all kept their color. You should take a child’s childhood. I cannot speak to their durability in a home with more than one human child, although I can confirm they keep a small dog’s occasional interest up.
They have no odor, they fit neatly in my backpack (neat, I mean, I can shred it into a tiny bundle), and I don’t see other people these days, so I’m not ashamed to easily cover my child in my fandom. That all means I like it.
Does this mean I will continue to insure my child with video game products? No. I will spare my child until they are older. Then my stories of Sonic vs. Mario sound strange. Until then, I’ll wear him countless Mickey Mouse shirts, the iconography of a fandom and a company that nobody has any problems with.
I child. We have fun here.
Hey one last thing: Bumkins is also selling a Game Boy silicone teether for $ 14.98 on Amazon and it’s both adorable and feels like the culmination of millennial player-parenting culture. I know this is not a good conclusion. The inverted pyramid was thrown out the window. But if I hadn’t mentioned this detail, I would never have forgiven myself.