Anyone who has more than one child and lives in a climate that has distinctive seasons can probably relate to the plight of mamas all across America who must wade through large plastic tubs full of clothes to find next season’s garments for each of their kiddos. The picture above is my little village of tubs (with a cardboard box of cloth diapers standing sentry.)
Today was the day..like it or not…that I HAD to find next season’s clothes. Once upon a time, this was fun for me. I oohed and ahhed over each little outfit I pulled from the masses. I could not for the life of me figure out why my friend w/ 9 children thought this chore was drudgery. I LOVED it! However, as our family has grown to 5 dear children, I am beginning to understand her misery.
I still enjoy looking at the clothes (sometimes I didn’t even remember having certain garments), but the sheer quantity overwhelms me. I pick one side of the room, open the first tub, and start piling–
Can’t-believe-I-didn’t-send-this-to-Goodwill-or-the-Trash-last -time-I-looked-through-these-tubs Pile.
My tubs are not organized the way some people do..by size. Here is my oh-so-eclectic way of organizing…Baby Tub (contains gender neutral baby items) Too small for DS #2 tub, Too small for DD #3 tub (no one to pass down to yet), Too big for DD #3 tub (otherwise known as Too small for DD #2 tub), Too big for DS #2 tub (otherwise known as too small for DS #1 tub), Too big for DD #2 tub (also known as the Too small for DD #1 tub), Too big for DD #1 tub, and too big for DS #1 (this is actually a trash bag in his closet–don’t get a lot of hand-me-downs for a 5 foot tall 9 year old.) In amongst all of this, there are also 2 tubs w/ “normal-sized mama clothes” and 2 tubs of maternity clothes. (NOTE TO THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T SPEND MUCH TIME ON INTERNET FORUMS AND SUCH…DD means DEAR DAUGHTER and DS means DEAR SON ;o) –and that little thing I just put there at the end of “SON” is a wink–look at it sideways–no, turn your head to the left–there, see it? eyes, nose, mouth? No? Nevermind.)
Now, I had hoped to go through these tubs w/o any help (from little people, that is). I put the toddlers down for naps, got school started w/ the older 2, and headed into the storage room to attack tub town. I think I got a whopping 5 minutes before I was ambushed. The 3 yo announces she is not tired, and the 6 yo whizzed through her studies and wants to help. They both “help” mama by pulling out clothes from the tubs and puting them in the Doesn’t-Fit-Yet Pile before I could look at them. My 3 yo was very expressive too. She told me many times, “OH MY! THIS is my FAVORITE shirt, MAMA!”–right before she tossed it out of my reach. My 6 yo kept asking why things in her sister’s tub didn’t fit HER anymore. And both of them thought climbing all over the tubs was great fun. Eventually, they decided going through 19 million tubs was not all that entertaining, and they left. However, it wasn’t too much later when the 1 yo shows up, pacifier in mouth, blankie in hand. My oldest ds was done w/ his math by that point, and decided the toddlers needed to be cowboys and ride buckin’ bulls (otherwise known as sister and brother). Of course, all bucking bulls and cowboys need an audience, so they didn’t take their antics elsewhere, they stayed right there and played rodeo in a fresh pile of clothes that fit. Do I care? No. Just PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not mix them up w/ clothes that DON’T fit!!!
Finally, the chore is finished. I have a HUGE mound of clothes that fit SOME child. (Yes, I gave up trying to keep them sorted according to WHICH child they fit). I call in the troops to haul the clothing upstairs and on to the couch. I would like to tell you that I immediately put all these clothes away in their respective closets and dressers, but that would be a lie. So, here they are…tomorrow’s chore.