The Jumperoo was the first thing to go. Via Gumtree. I don’t think I will ever forget its theme tune, or the excitement on all three of my children’s faces as they jumped around in it. But it’s been a while since any of them fitted in it and it’s not exactly a small thing to store.
Next it was the baby car seat, which all three of my children travelled home from hospital in, looking oh so tiny and perfect. It’s gone to a friend who had a surprise pregnancy after getting rid of all their own baby stuff. I felt so sad when it left the house that no more of my babies would get to sit in it.
Nine pairs of Little Miss E’s shoes have found new homes via eBay, with several more pairs ready to be listed. Not her first pair though, I wouldn’t dream of parting with those teeny little pink size 2Es. The Peppa Pig wellingtons she was obsessed with when she was two are now adorning the feet of another little girl who lives down the road. The happy nappies and wet suits they wore to their baby swimming classes are enjoying themselves in other swimming pools. Well, the ones that were worth selling, anyway. Some of them needed to be binned after being well-worn by three children.
Toys they no longer play are starting to be sold, or given to charity shops or friends with children younger than ours. Aside from the ones I can’t bear to part with, that is, which are boxed up in the attic with the dream that one day my children’s children will play with them.
I’ve kept pretty much everything my children have worn, played with or slept in. That’s just the kind of person I am. Luckily, we have a good-sized attic – but even I can see the mountain of stuff is getting too big and I don’t want to be a candidate for one of those programmes about extreme hoarders.
We never found out in any of our pregnancies whether we were expecting boys or girls, so we held on to all of it because after Miss E and Little Man we always planned for there to be another, and we didn’t know what we’d need and what we wouldn’t.
But now…. yes, now, my baby days are over. After much thought, our third baby is our last. And now that he’s approaching the 22-month mark, the time has come to clear out the baby stuff we no longer need.
All of Little Man O’s clothes are being re-worn by his younger brother Toddler Boy I. But as he outgrows each size, I can feel the tears in my eyes as I pack it all away, knowing that’s it. It makes me just as sad that no one in our little family will wear Little Miss E’s clothes again. I still get pangs of longing for another baby – I think I am just one of those eternally broody people. But deep down, I know our little family is complete (barring any happy accidents, of course!). Deep down I know I’m lucky my children are growing healthily and I’m in the position to be able to pass on their old stuff.
And so the big sort out has started. Some of my children’s favourite clothes have already been made into beautiful patchwork memory bears, which sit proudly in each of their bedrooms. There are a few extra special outfits I’ve kept in their memory boxes, because I always want to be able to see how small they were. But the rest of it…. ah, the rest of it…. is in the process of going.
I’m taking it slowly. A few things at a time on eBay, Gumtree, and various local selling sites on Facebook. Some of it is going to charity shops or clothing appeals for those in need.
There are so many memories steeped in all these clothes, toys, books and baby equipment. I know a lot of people don’t feel this kind of attachment, and I know some of my friends laugh at me for how sentimental I am, but that’s just me. I’m sure I’m not the only one!
Simply looking at certain outfits brings the emotions flooding back. I can vividly see what my children were doing when they were wearing them. It’s the size of the clothes that gets me most though. “Wow, I can’t believe they were once small enough to wear this.” is the phrase that I keep repeating in my mind. I know everyone says it, but time really does fly by when it comes to children. I can scarcely believe my daughter, who needed tiny baby clothes when she was born weighing 6lb 6oz, is now six years old and two-thirds of my height. (It’s not hard, I’m very short!). And each time Toddler wears hand-me-downs from Little Man O, I look at my big boy and wonder where the time has gone since I was dressing him in these same outfits.
But as attached as I am, I know it’s pointless it all sitting in the attic gathering dust. Such lovely clothes and toys deserve to be appreciated once more.
The big plus side from this clear out is that I’ve started a special savings account for the money we’re making from our sales – and it’s growing quite nicely.
I’m hoping we’ll soon have enough for a family holiday somewhere exciting. I’m sad about the memories I’m giving away with all of this baby gear – but what could be more fitting than using the proceeds for an opportunity to create even more happy family memories in our future?
Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels so sad about passing on their old baby gear?! Do let me know in the comments section below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page, or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy
For more of my blog posts on parenting, see the Family Life section of my blog.