As you may know, my wife and I have two kids. We decided that we would stop at two during our initial planning, and the fact that we got the full girl/boy set on our first and second try, respectively, made sticking with that decision easy. Now that Grace is 3 and William is almost 2, we're left with a mountain of stuff we either aren't using anymore, or never used to begin with. So, it's time for a yard sale.
Earlier this week we were going through the pile of discarded baby stuff in the basement, and by "pile" I mean "enormous mountain."
Back when we were preparing for the arrival of Gracie, our first little bundle of joy, we bought every device and contraption that was up for sale. From typical items like swings and a changing table to the foreign-sounding Boppy and Björn, we loaded all of it into the cart. The sales staff saw us coming, too: My wife with her bump and me with the panicked look on my face, a panic I tried to soothe by collecting equipment. "The baby on this package looks happy," I'd say. "We need this."
Now we've got a bottle caddy, a bottle sanitizer, a bottle warmer, a WIPE warmer (that one is pretty embarrassing in retrospect), several swings and walkers, masculine and feminine diaper bags (I admit that this was my doing), activity tables and so on. In short, all of the gear that we amassed for Gracie's arrival. My gaze drifts from the pile to William, our second, and I have to laugh at how different his first year was.
If Grace dropped her binky, it immediately went into the sanitizer. I think I wiped William's on my jeans before sticking it back into this mouth. Grace was changed on a beautiful oak changing table, which was fully stocked with fresh diapers, (warm) wipes, antibacterial Lysol cleaning wipes (for those little accidents), Burt's Bees non-talc powder, small toys for distraction and clean sheets for the little cushion. Today I changed William on the living room floor.
Now, I don't want you to think that poor William has gotten the short end of the binky. We just realized, either through experience or the development of our own confidence, that we didn't need all of the stuff. I can remember the look of amusement that would pass over the faces of veteran parents when they saw us tromping around with all of the gear and I'd think, "What are you snickering at? It's called taking care of your kid, Jack! My baby is set! We are prepared, man!" How sweetly ignorant I was. We probably overprepared just a bit, but it came from the right place: Wanting to be sure we could do the best for our baby.
Still, there's one thing I'm proud of. During one of our spend-a-thons we bought this cute, decorative box that holds your baby wipes. There's a slot in the lid into which you can slide a photo of your darling. When Grace was very young, she absolutely hated having her diaper changed, so I placed a photo of her screaming her head off, her onesie half-snapped, into the slot. Before she was born, our friend's mother said to us, laughing, "How long do you think you'll be using that? I give it three weeks before you just toss the thing all together."
As you may have guessed, that's it pictured at the top of this post. The Wipes Box, as we call it, still gets used every single day. Two of the corners are blown out, the cellophane has peeled off and the lid doesn't close correctly, but we've gotten every penny's worth out of The Wipes Box, which holds, at any given moment: wipes, a comb, a brush, hair detangler, hair bands and anything else tiny.