Monday, March 8, 2010

THE EVER-EXPANDING BABY



So I cleaned out my basement last week. It's the sixth time I've done it this year. But I figured, my mom is in town, so why not. Every time I clean it out or pick it up I end up throwing more stuff down there as the months progress. Then before you know it, it's time to clean it out again. Well this time I went full force. I spent an entire 8 hours down there going through every single box and bag. Every corner and crevice was cleaned out. Target had had a sale on packing bins a few months ago and I stocked up in anticipation of this day. I will begin the tale by telling you that it took me 5 hours to find the box of baby clothes that Christopher never wore. Now I don't mean that these are clothes that we were in excess of. I mean these were the 0-3 months clothes that he couldn't even fit in the day we brought him home from the hospital. These were the clothes that I had so neatly lined in his dresser drawers only to rip them from their places and to then throw them in boxes. The rest of his clothes since then haven't been organized as neatly. There's a shirt drawer, a pants drawer, a socks drawer, and a "whatever this could be" drawer. That's about it. But back to the basement. It took me FOREVER to find this box. Then low and behold to my surprise, it was two boxes of unused onsies, sleepers, hats, and socks that he never used. So I began the task of organizing his clothes.
Not only did Christopher bypass stages of clothing, but he outgrew most of them pretty quickly. The boy is hitting 40lbs fast. So before I knew it, I had seven large 30-gallon Tupperware tubs full of baby clothes. That in itself is insane. That also doesn't include the three other 30-gallon tubs I filled up with other items such as crib bumpers, bottles, a Bumbo, a bath seat, a bathtub, burp rags, cotton diapers, and so on and so forth. Then there are the three 60 gallon bins I purchased from The Container Store to keep all of his old toys in. There is also a car seat, a highchair, two strollers, a toy car, his pack and play, a wagon, and a few other bulky items that he's outgrown taking up valuable real-estate in my basement. I'm not so much as complaining as I am wondering how on earth can a child take up so much space? I certainly didn't know about (and no one told me) how much of a house a single child can occupy. I thought they were these tiny beings that needed a crib and a dresser. Maybe a little space in the living room for their toys. NOBODY told me that they take over your entire house. Brian and I weren't even in this house for a year before Christopher was born. I feel like we didn't get to even make it our own before we started tripping over toys and putting alphabet magnets on our fridge.
People talk about how much personal time you lose when you have a baby. But there was not a single peep about this space issue.


The second realization I came to - which mind you I had while I was driving down the Rock Road going 40mph and had to pull over and stop hyperventilating - was that Christopher is going to be a teenager one day. Holy Hell. Maybe I'm realizing this only now because Christopher has recently grasped the concept of conversation. Maybe I'm starting to see him as a person not a baby. But there I was, just passing Schnucks on the left when I pictured my son, my two-year-old, my baby, as a stringy-haired teenager. I swear I could see him as if he were standing in front of me. WHO TOLD THESE CUTE BABIES THEY COULD GROW UP??? Oh my God, he's going to grow up.

I think the farthest I ever thought of before was elementary school. Sure I've thought about dropping him off on his first day of Kindergarten, and maybe a few school recitals, but this was the first time I ever imagined him beyond puberty. I'm starting to think I'm not ready for that. And no, I don't mean today or tomorrow. I don't think I'll be ready for it in 15 years. I barely know how to take care of a two year old that constantly needs my attention. How am I going to deal with a teenager? I, myself, still feel like a teenager. Yes, of course I'm 28 and I'm not a teenager - of course my body knows I'm no longer a teenager. I certainly can't eat a Dove Bar without worrying about my hips anymore. BUT, my mind still feels young. And if my mind still feels young, how can I even imagine being the mother of a boy about to graduate from high school?
Nobody told me he was going to grow up.


I wish we could just hit a pause button. Actually, I'd go back a few months, before he learned the word "no". But I can't. Here he is, changing everyday right before my eyes. I don't notice the changes every day. But when you stop and look back (and look at the 6 giant bins in my basement), you see he's grown. And he's not stopping. I just need to take one day at a time and enjoy the little things. Because in fact, he is little, no matter how much I try to say he isn't.
-Sarah

1 comment:

  1. Nathan and I said after this Christmas (just due to the toys!) we are going to need a bigger house! Great post, and SO true! :) BTW - Christopher is adorable!!! Congratulations!

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