Clothes are funny. I’ve spent much of my life as an adult female acting as if clothes didn’t mean anything. Then I went and had three females of my own. Then clothes suddenly became very, very important. Not because I like to dress them up like tiny baby dolls or miniature adults, but because clothes become mile markers.
“Oh hey, look! She’s wearing the puppy jammies! She’ll be sitting on her own soon, thank God!”
Last week I decided to finally admit to myself that Surrey could no longer wear 6 month size clothes, and must bump up to the better-fitting 9 month wardrobe. She apparently spent the entire month of December growing, because she ended up wearing 6 month clothes for exactly five weeks. I took boxes of clothes out of the attic along with the Christmas decorations, and as it turns out, I’ll be taking them right back up with the Christmas decorations — but honestly, probably not until around early February. Real talk, folks.
A month is nowhere near enough time to wear everything I have on hand for any size clothing. Keep in mind that I am currently working with the combined wardrobes of two previous girl babies PLUS additional clothing purchased for the current one. “But Janel, don’t you just pass that shit down? What is this you say about combined wardrobes?” Listen, pal. Even though I had a complete set of clothes the first time around, you have to take into account…
(number of grandmas) x (number of granddaughters*) = (shit-ton of clothing in your attic)15679853
Believe me when I tell you we have a whole lot of grandmas and a whole lot of granddaughters up in here. Ergo, I have a whole lot of clothing, despite the fact that I had an adequate supply about two babies ago. It is certainly a blessing, and the person that will inevitably inherit this department stores’ worth of children’s clothing will have undoubtedly hit the jackpot. However, in the meantime, this means that Surrey has a whole lot of clothes to work her way through. Waaaaay more than could be used within a month.
I have found that packing away children’s clothing is a task best done quickly, and with as little pondering and reflection as possible. The times that I have done it without being pestered by children or while holding a fussy baby in my arms were difficult. I found myself getting sentimental about particular items of clothing. The dress that Phaedra wore to Rob’s childhood friend’s wedding. The romper Bella wore to Sunday dinner when she rode around and around in the red wagon that every child in our family has rode in. The onesie with the cute tutu I bought when I found out I was having another girl because I just couldn’t resist splurging on one fancy new outfit, even though I knew I needed more frilly girls clothes like I needed a hole in my head. The slower I put clothes away, the more I find myself leaving certain articles of clothing in the drawer, on the hanger. It might still fit, I’ll think. Just for a little longer. Just one more time.
Not today. No time to get all weepy and gushy. I got babies to tend! Children to bathe! THINGS TO GET DONE!! As I quickly pulled clothes out of the drawers and rifled through the stash of brand-new clothes, I realized that she didn’t even get to wear several brand-new items. They were really cute, too. Even worse — the cute (truthfully, borderline weird) outfit I bought for Surrey at a student-run holiday market at work was one item that had gone unworn. It is a white onesie with an abstract picture of a baby on the front rendered in fabric paint. It has a crazy pink hood attached to the top with Velcro. I spent waaaaaay too much money on it. AND SHE NEVER WORE IT. I tried to pull out my standard defense when I sense myself getting sentimental about packing away baby clothes. “You’ll see it again, on the next baby–”
Nope. Not this time. This time, the clothes are being packed away for good. I’m not going to see that weird little outfit ever worn on any other baby that belongs to me. And that makes it that much harder to put away that outfit along with the cheap little stained onesie with the blue doggie bones on it that Phaedra wore in that baby picture I absolutely love where she’s smiling and looking at me like I’m the center of the entire universe.
That’s why I’m taking that weird too-small outfit and shoving my chubby baby into it and making her rock the shit out of that crazy fucking hood for at least an hour. It’s either that, or have another baby. And I am NOT doing that, folks.