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10. ON BABIES.
Oh, yes, I do--I know a lot about 'em. I was one myself once, though not long--not so long as my clothes. They were very long, I recollect, and always in my way when I wanted to kick. Why do babies have such yards of unnecessary clothing? It is not a riddle. I really want to know. I never could understand it. Is it that the parents are ashamed of the size of the child and wish to make believe that it is longer than it actually is? I asked a nurse once why it was. She said:
"Lor', sir, they always have long clothes, bless their little hearts."
And when I explained that her answer, although doing credit to her feelings, hardly disposed of my difficulty, she replied:
"Lor', sir, you wouldn't have 'em in short clothes, poor little dears?" And she said it in a tone that seemed to imply I had suggested some unmanly outrage.
Since than I have felt shy at making inquiries on the subject, and the reason--if reason there be--is still a mystery to me. But indeed, putting them in any clothes at all seems absurd to my mind. Goodness knows there is enough of dressing and undressing to be gone through in life without beginning it before we need; and one would think that people who live in bed might at all events be spared the torture. Why wake the poor little wretches up in the morning to take one lot of clothes off, fix another lot on, and put them to bed again, and then at night haul them out once more, merely to change everything back? And when all is done, what difference is there, I should like to know, between a baby's night-shirt and the thing it wears in the day-time?
Very likely, however, I am only making myself ridiculous--I often do, so I am informed--and I will therefore say no more upon this matter of clothes, except only that it would be of great convenience if some fashion were adopted enabling you to tell a boy from a girl.
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