Ahem. So, I'm anti-clutter. Unless we're talking about my babies' clothes, that is. I just can't/couldn't let go of the teeny tiny things. Well, I can, but it doesn't come easy. So as the months went on and each baby grew and grew, so did the piles of boxes of outgrown baby clothes. Sure, I tossed the poop/baby food/mystery stained items and donated what I could bear to say goodbye to forever (and only a couple of times did I stand at the back door of my SUV yanking a few beloved pieces out of the box as the Goodwill guy stood waiting for me to hand over my stash). And surprisingly, I've done (marginally) better with Vivi's outgrown things. #1: because second time moms aren't as sappy about every single moment (I guess because we subconsciously know the really good stuff is just ahead? Maybe?) #2: because Ayla and Alice were born, and passing things down to pretty baby girls I love makes the giving up more fun, less torture. But Anderson's stuff? OMG, yall. Mountains of handsomely striped BabyGap onesies and little carpenter jeans and outfits with puppy dogs and dump trucks on the front. But then came our move, and faced with the task of moving a family of four cross-country, I confronted this hoarded stash of baby clothes head on. I got it down to one (humungous) rubbermaid container per kid. Okay, the lid didn't exactly fit on A's green bin (didn't exactly = not even close = needed a big garbage bag to stash the overflow = or two garbage bags) and V's pink bin only snapped shut when I sat on it (and, uh, it was only months 0-6). But I did it! One container (sort of) per kid.
Now, I'll occasionally eye the green bin (and accompanying contraband bags) in the kids' storage closet and pull it all out intending to man up and pare down. Except, every single time, I get distracted by the ghost of babyhood past. The little baby blue pajama gown he wore for his newborn pictures! The navy and white striped outfit he had on at his post-baptism party, the one grandpa said made him look like an inmate! The red and white onesie he had on the day he first visited great grandpa and great grandma's farm! So every time I take out the green bin, I end up teary eyed at all the memories of first-time motherhood and with no less clutter than I had when I began. Or marginally less clutter. I did make some progress today, with a neat little stack to send off to J's cousin who just had a baby boy and another small bag for Goodwill. But I'd only gotten halfway through when Bug came over to see what I was doing and grabbed from the green bin one of my very favorite things - the little plaid hat- and yanked it out. "Babeeee hat!" Then he put it on his head and then I cried. Because it didn't fit. Because he's a grown man and not a baby and wasn't he just a baby like TEN SECONDS AGO wearing a little plaid hat on the beach, the one that matched his little plaid snappy baby pants and now he looks like a GROWN MAN in a baby hat?
Sniff, sniff. So away (again) went the green bin. On top of the pink bin, which now also contains months 6-9 and doesn't actually snap shut, either, and only sort of closes when I stack the heavy green bin on top of it. And the bigger problem is, as well-fed kids tend to do, my babies keep growing. And so does the pile of stuff around the bins that would go in the bins if there were room in the bins. Pretty soon, A&E's going to come calling. "Episode 76: The Lady In The Woods With The Baby Clothes."
I can't be the only mama with this baby clothes hoarding problem, can I? What are you supposed to do? What do you do? WWJD? Do you hang onto all the stuff just in case you should ever have another baby of that sex? (Which is what I tell myself I'm doing with these bins- keeping it for my hypothetical future baby.) Get rid of it all? Share it with friends until you need it back? Dip it all in gold and mount it on the wall? WHAT?