Thursday, October 13, 2005


The sentimental pack rat

I spent a good portion of one morning this past long-weekend sorting through the boys’ clothes, having finally capitulated to the fact that summer is over once and for all.

Even though there are two years between them, I can now mostly sort things directly out of Tristan’s drawers and into Simon’s – largely because I’m lazy and Tristan’s drawers are cluttered with stuff he grew out of a year ago.

Sorting stuff out of Simon’s drawers makes me a little bit sad, though. As I place each adorable 18 month sized pair of shorts into the carton, I wonder if I’ll ever be unpacking them to repopulate a third child’s summer wardrobe. I wonder if I shouldn’t just pass it all on to Noah, my gorgeous nephew, or Amelia, my daughter-by-proxy and possibly the cutest baby girl to ever wrinkle her nose at me.

Some stuff I do pass on, because so much was given to me and I like to be part of the endless churn of baby hand-me-downs. (Sometimes I wonder how the retail stores stay in business, what with garbage bags full of gently-used kids clothing being traded every day. Then I step into a store full of adorable jeans and bright striped jerseys, already reaching for my credit card, and I realize it's suckers like me who keep them in business.)

But some stuff I just can’t part with, because I’m a sentimental sop. Like the green and black striped Kushie’s sleeper I bought for Simon over a year ago. When I first bought it, it hung on him like a potato sack, but he wore it until he resembled a big baby sausage whose casing was about to burst. And there is the reindeer sleeper that I bought for Tristan for his first Christmas. (For weeks, I imagined him crawling around amidst the wrappers and boxes and gifts wearing that adorable sleeper. That was the year we spent all of Christmas Day in the ER battling Tristan's 105F fever.) I loved that sleeper so much that Simon wore it last spring, out of season for reindeers but no less adorable.

There are now at least five containers of baby goods stacked precariously in Simon's closet. There are two Rubbermaid bins full of baby clothes and supplies like towels, blankets and burp rags. There are three, maybe four recycled Pampers boxes of outgrown clothes for winter in 12 months size through summer in 2T size. That doesn't count the bouncy chair (those things don't store well), the mobile, a plethora of gates, and more than one basket of rattles, links and chew rings... all of it being held in abeyance of the Big Decision. It would probably be easier if we would just make a decision and stick with it. But not yet.

Yesterday, Beloved dressed Simon in a striped GAP turtleneck that was one of Tristan’s signature shirts for two years, and somehow that shirt transformed my waddling baby Simon into a little boy. How did that happen? I never said it was okay for him to stop being a baby.

But he sure makes an adorable toddler.