Katie McCarthy: Buried by baby's belongings

September 19, 2013 

What to keep and what to toss?

This question haunts me. I'm no hoarder, but I have a hard time parting with certain things: items that special people gave me, items with an iota of sentimental value, items that might have some use again in the future.

The evidence is stashed in Rubbermaid bins in the closet of our office. In my daughter's closet. And probably in the attic, too.

Journals from junior high school, the tacky dolphin an old friend bought me in Florida, remnants of past Halloween costumes, the black feather boa I got on my visit to New Orleans more than a decade ago -- because who knows when I'm going to find an occasion to wear it again? -- all these mementos must be saved. Even if I haven't looked at, let alone used them in the six years since I moved here.

My husband and I used to joke that we only added a dog to our family -- how did we outgrow our home?

So now that we've added another person, well, anyone who's had a baby knows how that goes.

Babies don't have to take up much space -- they need a place to sleep, some sort of high chair for eating in, things to keep them occupied and clothes.

Those last two are the clinchers.

Until this week, when I finally found some storage baskets that fit my (rather specific) requirements, an entire chair in our living room was out of commission due to an avalanche of baby toys.

And the exersaucer that allows me to run out of the room to throw laundry in the dryer without fearing that my daughter is putting the dog toys in her mouth -- again -- is essentially another piece of furniture.

If tossing out random items from my past proves difficult, can you imagine my internal dialogue as I sort through the clothes my little one's outgrown?

"Oh, but I loved her in this one! I'll just hold on to it for now." For every. Single. Item.

I'm not going to lie, there are two large storage containers in her closet -- right next to my teen-angst-ridden journals -- full of clothing ranging in size from newborn to 9 months. I've not given away a single onesie.

She grows out of them so quickly that many look brand new. And each time she goes up a size, I worry that she won't have enough to wear.

Silly mommy.

Not only do I buy her clothes as often as I find something too cute to pass up, she's got three sets of grandparents with a grandbaby they are more than happy to spoil.

Needless to say, nary a week goes by without another package arriving on our doorstep.

I justify holding onto her clothes because we do plan on having another child, and what if it's another girl? Wouldn't it be great not to have to buy more clothes? (Ha ha ha, right.)

Some day, I keep telling myself, I'll sort through it all. One pile to keep, one pile to toss.

Anyone want to bet on which will be larger?

Katie McCarthy, kmccarthy@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8515.

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