The 60/40 Conundrum: When Listening to Your Skin Makes Sense

Only pure cotton ever touched my babies’ skin. Anything 60/40 or treated with flame retardant I stuck back on the rack, mostly because I myself am extremely sensitive to textures. My instincts told me that if I needed clothing that was smooth and pure, my babies did, too.

How I survived panty-hose I’ll never know. For me, it’s got to be natural, because I feel “synthetic” at a cellular level.

Around Christmastime I bought a new pair of pajamas. A pair I firmly believed to be 100% cotton. The fabric felt so comfy in the store, but when I wore them to bed, I soon found that I wanted to rip them off.

Only I didn’t.  I wore them because I believed they satisfied my requirement for high-quality fabric, and nobly suffered through – which is what we often do when we believe something to be of value. Maybe someone tried to convince us, or we heard a commercial.

Think sugary breakfast cereals that your kids convinced you to buy. Think every little toy you knew would break the minute you got it home. Think the BS the neighbor gave you when she promised to bring your kid straight home after the movie. And all the times you really knew better and didn’t follow through.

It was the same unsettled feeling that came over me when my older daughter went to spend the night with a girlfriend, a spoiled brat who gave her constant grief at school. I knew it had to be a set-up but let her go anyway.

Refusing to accept the fact that I was pretty much freaking out over these cotton pajamas, I kept wearing them. In fact, I alternated them with my other pajamas, also 100% cotton – not sexy but warm and functional. I washed them again and again and added natural fabric softener.

But the minute I climbed into bed, they made me nuts. Completely denying my intuition,  I tossed and turned , sometimes getting up in the middle of the night to put a camisole on underneath. In the morning I felt like the The Princess and the Pea: skin irritated, tired and grumpy.

One night as I lay there, I grasped at a nebulous thought.  What if. . . Maybe I should . . . Check the label.

Leaden-brained, I wondered if I could overcome my inertia.

I turned on the light, found my reading glasses, and removed my top. The results made me giddy. The label said 60/40, poly-cotton. I instantly hopped out of the bottoms and threw both pieces in the closet, damning them to hell.

All that time I had believed them to be 100% cotton. How had I misread the fabric contents in the store? Why had I not trusted my skin?

Perhaps I had confused the jammies with a similar pair on the rack whose label said 100% cotton.  Because of my preconceived notion I had forced myself to wear them and made myself miserable.

I always trusted my instincts with my kids, rarely second-guessed a decision. And I’m glad of that. By trusting the “gut” now, I learned early on, parents save miles of heartache later.

But how can parents know for sure what to do?  Whether to follow a mother-in-law’s advice encouraging them to let the baby cry it out;  a friend’s suggestion to send a child to preschool; or pressure from a teeny-bopper to spend the night at a friend’s house?

Don’t fall into the trap of self-censorhip.   

The answer is always inside us. We really shouldn’t need to check the label, do research, ask others what they would do. We only need to let our instincts guide us, listen to our parent’s heart. Listen to our skin. And then do what we think is right. FFG

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *