Monday, June 14, 2010

The Growing of the Children

This past Sunday I had a few quiet hours (!) in which Lindsey was at a birthday party. I offered to play games with Marissa; she appeased me for 10 minutes and then announced she wanted to play teacher, and could I kindly go away and not watch her? So off I went, with some time to myself while listening to the 4-year-old instruct her imaginary pupils on how to use the word bingo cards she passed out on the edges of our rug.

So I spent my hour finally tackling the girls' drawers. They had last been organized in October of last year, when it became apparent that our last lovely warm spells in September were not returning anytime soon, and that we would need to actually stock their drawers with long pants and shirts and pack away the shorts and swimsuits, lest they get pulled out to be worn by the girls despite the cool weather.

They are not very good at keeping their drawers neat and I have given up on straightening the drawers frequently. It's not worth it -- I've seen the way they paw through them looking for outfits. I have better things to do with my time than push that boulder up that hill.

So of course by the time I get around to changing the clothes seasonally, their drawers are a complete wreck. When I do laundry I simply put the folded clean clothes on top of the heaps that are in the drawers, and by the next outfit change you can't tell the folded stack from the rest of the chaos. Whatever, not my drawers.

This photo was taken after I had already emptied out half the drawer...which was just as chaotic as the half that you see here.

I began with Lindsey's drawers, because inherently many of the clothes that don't fit her will end up in Marissa's drawers. I ended up with a little heap of clothing to transfer over, but most of it will wait until winter to find their way into Marissa's drawers.

Don't Lindsey's drawers look nice, all organized? Aahhh! Order out of chaos!

Then, off to Marissa's room, where I pulled out all the shorts that wouldn't fit her this year, mostly 4Ts. And t-shirts -- my heavens, what is a 2T t-shirt still doing in her drawer?! I know it runs big but even so, she could NEVER fit in that now.

And then I came across this gem:

This was a gift from my mom and stepdad, I think. Marissa wore it a lot. And by "a lot" I mean she would throw a fit if we tried to have her wear something else. Even her teachers at pre-school would comment if she was wearing something other than this t-shirt. It's a 3T -- also too small.

I sorted, piled and folded the items that would be staying in her drawers, then began packing up the clothes that were leaving.

And that's when it hit me: these clothes are leaving our house. No children living here fit into them anymore.

My youngest has officially outgrown the toddler size, she's now wearing a child's size 5. Having just been to a baby shower over the weekend, I had a recent perspective of how very small my children started out, and they are so far beyond that already.

Five or six short months from now I will be going through this process again, purging the too small, the worn, the ripped, the out-of-season, to be replaced with bigger clothes for my growing children.

There was something bittersweet about this: I am happy that I have healthy growing children, happy to have the toddler tantrums behind us, the potty training, the frustration of trying to understand a 3-year-old's speech, yet it all went by so fleetingly. How much more quickly will the next season's clothing changes come around, quickening their childhood?

Don't tell me, I know: all too soon.

1 comment:

  1. My grandchildren's mother used to line up her dolls in her room and pass out learning materials and solemnly instruct her charges in what she had learned. Like mother, like daughter.

    As for the temper tantrums of toddler's. Sounds like the fury of young children will be in place of the tantrums. Oh well, better you than me.