When it comes to storing personal history I find people tend to fall into one of these two camps; they are either hoarders or throw away-ers. There doesn't seem to be an enlightened middle way approach to managing ones belongings. It's either keep it or chuck it. Black and white. Well Younger Dad is a sentimental hoarder while I on the other hand am a self righteously proud throw away-er. However on this grand occasion of the super sized sort out the roles appear to be reversing.
Younger Dad was tasked with emptying the dusty relics residing in the loft. This weekend he cleared the roof of all the empty cardboard containers; various sized boxes he kept in case of an ebay sale or vaguely 'just in case they might come in handy one day'. Then, and accompanied by enthusiastic squeals from Little A, he piled all the boxes waist high in our lounge before methodically flattening them and finally transporting the whole lot with almost reckless abandon down to the local dump. He hasn't started on his objects d'IT, the foisty camping equipment or the dinosaur hamster just yet but it's a refreshing start.
I on the other hand had to sort through Little A's old clothes, baby equipment and toys. I found the process rather heartbreakingly emotional for the following two reasons ....
I just don't want to let go of the physical memories of my baby. Little A turns two this weekend but once upon a time my arms held her delicate newborn frame in tiny little baby grows and miniature vests. Each cotton baby grow, woolly cardigan, and tiny sock represents a fleeting moment of her precious growth. I laid all her old clothes out on our bed sorting the different ages into separate piles; newborn, 0-3 months , 3-6 months, 6-9 months, you get the picture. Upon completing this task I stood back with my arms crossed and gazed upon the scene of jumpers, trousers, leggings, romper suits, dresses and under garments stacked on the duvet. Honestly, the towers of baby clothing rendered me silent as I became lost in a sea of flashbacks from Little A's first years. I duly picked up individual items and deeply inhaled their cleanly washed smell, tears gathering in my eyes. I then chose the best practical pieces, sentimental items I really love and beautiful clothes bought from friends and relatives to keep from each era. The discarded chaff will be donated to a either the NCT or a charity. Unfortunately I just don't have time to sell it all on ebay.
It shone an ultra bright spot light on the decision to have a second child. This is currently creating alot of background static in my head. You see I'm 41 so time is a-ticking but I'm still not quite sure whether I want another baby. Life is starting to take on a hue of normality again. Do I want a repetition of the last two years? Younger Dad certainly doesn't. Do I really want to risk another severe depression in pregnancy with a toddler? Do I want to go through post traumatic stress and PND again? How would a second child affect my marriage? On the other hand I worry about Little A being an only. I constantly think about her being alone in the world. Younger Dad keeps reminding me that clearing out a few things does not mean we wont have another baby.
So in the mean time I will hang onto some of Little A's clothing, the co-sleeper cot, the bucket bath, the slings I actually used, the bouncer chair, the play gym, the breast pump and a few other bits and pieces I found very useful.
I won't however be keeping this visual monstrosity. Practical, YES! Easy on the eye, an emphatic NO!
Are you sticking with the one child and if so what are your reasons for this decision?