Y'all, the amount of kid stuff we have accumulated is giving me hives. I don't know what to do with it. And my son isn't even three years old.
I'm not sure that my problem is a problem that very many people have. I mean, we all know that typical American families with kids acquire a lot of stuff, much of it large and plastic and decked out in obnoxiously bright colors. I think we're doing better than most in that regard, actually, because we have very few large-ish toys, and we don't have any area of the house where toys and kid clutter have taken over.
But this isn't a post about clutter or organization. It's more about having perfectly useful and lovely outgrown baby and toddler items that we should either keep or give away, and I can't figure out which to do. I get the sense that most families either (1) keep having kids and therefore keep getting use out of all that kid stuff they've acquired, or, probably more commonly, (2) come to a decided-upon end point for having more children, at which time they divest themselves of the various child-rearing accoutrements.
So what happens to the folks who want more children, when the additional kids just aren't happening? What's a reasonable amount of time to wait before selling/donating/handing off that pricey baby swing, or the stack of bibs, or the mountains of outgrown clothing?
Right now we just keep on accumulating, boxing up the outgrown and praying we need it again. We've been able to lend big items like Nate's bassinet, swing, infant car seat, Bumbo seat, and the like. But, one by one, each item has found its way back into my garage. Those kids, man. They just insist on growing up so quickly.
Letting go of the baby stuff right now feels like giving up hope. Like admitting defeat. Which is ironic, because in most ways I feel far, far more at peace with our situation than I have in a long time. Truly, I do. And I've jokingly said, more than once, that we'll probably hold onto this stuff for years, finally give up and give it away, and then end up with a surprise miracle pregnancy. Which would be great! We'll take a baby any time! And we'd laugh about God's sense of humor and sense of timing and would rest assured that we really didn't need all that stuff, anyway.
Because, in the end, it really is all just stuff. It's not as if God would withhold another child because we had the gall to sell the Jumperoo. My head knows that fact just fine. But my heart's hope still feels wrapped up in boxes of tiny clothes packed away in the basement.
I'm not ready to let them go just yet.