Puzzled by the Poncho

There are times in life when I feel like I must have missed some of the important "girl" lessons. It's not like I wasn't paying attention - I just think those classes weren't offered in my house, my mother being of the El Camino driving/cowboy boot wearing ilk. I had to learn a lot of these things by trial and error. For example, I learned that you don't actually need to press down hard when shaving your legs (especially up the shin) and, even more surprising, you are actually supposed to wear a beige bra with a white shirt. It's all so counter intuitive. My sister is the girly girl in our family. I know that she knows all the "girl" lessons because she has tried to tutor me over the years about such things as dresses, make-up, curling irons and hot rollers. Of course, my fabulous sister has taught me many more things but, for this entry, we are focusing on the superficial stuff, O.K.?

My sister recently bought Zeca a tiny poncho. It's part of a whole ensemble...yellow knit poncho, jeans with little blue flowers and then a matching yellow turtle neck with blue flowers on the cuffs. The whole thing is cute. I can see the cuteness, really I can. It's the darn poncho part. There were no instructions with the poncho...just the poncho with it's little hood and the two slits on the front towards the sides. I considered skipping the poncho because I knew I could manage the turtleneck and the jeans but I wanted to take pictures of Zeca in the outfit because I wanted my sister to know we really like it and appreciate it. (You see, a few months ago, we had a nasty run in about a certain white tulle dress with various pastel bows randomly applied and I made a tiny little joke about Zeca going to the baby prom and my sister threatened to stop buying clothes for the children. I have seen the ungrateful error of my ways and don't want to make the same mistake. Well, and the kids need clothes, you know.) Anyway, I decided to persevere and I pulled the poncho over Zeca's head. That went well. Then, I tried to put her fat little arms through the slits - they wouldn't go. They only went about half-way up her forearms. I took it off and looked for other slits or arm holes that I might have missed during the initial inspection. Nope, the two slits and the hood. That was it. Where's a good sleeve when you need it? I put it back on and tried to push her arms all the way through the slits once again. No luck. Half-way. And she was annoyed. I took her arms out and just let her wear it more as a cape, thinking that perhaps the slits were decorative. I called Luisa who scoffed at me and said that the slits were actually pockets. I asked how they could be pockets when they were just slits and there was more scoffing and the insistence about the pockets. I maintained that the poncho was faulty.

I needed resolution on the issue, so, I called my sister. I explained the whole poncho scenario from the morning and mentioned that, perhaps it was me, but it really seemed like a defective poncho. Through hysterical laughter, she told me that the baby's arms should only extend halfway through the poncho slits. What? She repeated that the poncho slit should hit Zeca's arm between her wrist and elbow. Turns out, that is how the poncho is made. Really, it is made to look free-flowing and billowy and yet it restricts movement. Yeah, I still don't get the poncho.

I have never owned or worn a poncho but I have a bad feeling that I'll be getting one from a certain girly girl in Kanasas...