In 1913, Swedish-American engineer Gideon Sundback blessed the world with what is now known as ‘the zipper’. A marvel of an invention, it would surpass the fumbly and time consuming ‘buttons’ that had plagued mankind for generations.
Over 100 years on, manufacturers of baby sleepwear have yet to catch on to the trend. The majority of coveralls, or sleepers, or whatever you call them, we have ended up with are still stuck in the archaic ways of the past.
Now you’re probably sitting there thinking, ‘Dude… they’re just buttons.’ And you’d be right, if they weren’t arranged in elaborate geometric patterns that require an understanding of Pythagoras’ theorem to figure out.
There was one that had buttons going in diagonal lines and semi-circles that seemed so complex I half expected that a stargate to another dimension would open once I’d cracked the code. I feel like I could probably decipher the mystery behind crop circles now that I’ve spent a few weeks fiddling around with these fucking things. If the guy designing this stuff ever moves into footwear I can see the velcro on kids’ shoes being replaced by combination locks.
And it isn’t just the putting on of the clothes, it should be known that there are certain times when quick access is a necessity. Poo explosions require immediate attention. And the emergency rescue crew shouldn’t have to solve a series of devious riddles before they can get access to the scene and attend to the victim. It’s like being asked to translate the Dead Sea Scrolls in order to retrieve your Gmail password that you’ve forgotten for the 17th time.
I feel like somebody at the pyjama factory forgot that these things are designed to house a large screaming potato that thrashes about with the grace of a Bulldog on a pig’s ear. We’ve ended up with a few that require an engineer’s blueprint to get your head around.
Form and function, people. With the zipper ones, you just chuck em in the sack, get the arms and legs in place and zip ‘er up. Done. It’s hard to fault a good zip. Sure, every man’s genitalia has had a nasty brush with a hastily fastened zip, but you only make that mistake once. And them from then on, there is a strong mutual respect between a man and a zip.
What is so great about these fucking buttons anyway? What advantages does 27 buttons in the shape of a hieroglyph give a piece of baby’s clothing? Do they ward off evil spirits? I don’t understand it.
My advice to any new, or about-to-be, parents is to embrace the zipper and fuck the buttons right off. Unless they’re in a straight line, but in my experience they will more than likely look like a coach’s tactical playbook during the last minute of the Superbowl.