Over the last few weeks, be it because of needing to clean for hosting, needing to clean just to free up space, or needing to clean because sometimes I come home and want to blow my brains out because it feels like my house is a sneeze away from becoming a subject on an episode of Hoarders, my house has been doing some purging.
Mostly baby related things that we’re long past needing anymore, and although there’s a tremendous amount of relief whenever we manage to unload a piece of furniture, or a large item, or a box full of clothes, toys or other kid-related things that have long since been outgrown, upon reflection, it’s still bittersweet and inevitable that it would not go unnoticed by me that things that were once mainstays of when our kids were babies and infants, are now no longer part of the home, symbolic of the passage of time and that my kids are growing up.
In the past, I would just drop all these types of stuff off at the local Goodwill, get a donation receipt, and claim as much as possible for tax purposes, but as I’ve learned over the last few years, unless I donated like, my entire home, donations hardly have any effect, if any effect at all on one’s tax refunds, so my thinking lately has been, if I’m getting rid of stuff, I’d prefer them to go to people whom might actually need them for their intended purposes, and not end up getting thrown out by a charitable corporation.
However in spite of the altruistic intentions, fewer things is as maddeningly frustrating than the process of trying to give shit away. I mean, the stuff is absolutely free with zero strings attached, but it also works against the givers, because of the zero money involved in the transactions, receivers also feel no real obligation to come receive, and the flake percentage is higher than Shaq’s chances at missing a free throw.
But that’s beside the point, the point of this post is that in all the purging we’ve been doing, I recognize the fact that we’re getting rid of some pretty substantial thing in my home’s history over the last 3+ years at this point, with two notable things that are at the forefront of my mind when reflecting over this recent purge.
Since #1 was born, we had a bottle sterilizer that lived on the kitchen counter for over three years at this point. When we had a second kid, we actually came upon a second one, courtesy of the manufacturer, sent to mythical wife when she was making videos on YouTube. But having two kids raised on breast milk, we needed these sterilizers a lot, multiple times a day at the heyday of having a newborn and an infant at the same time.
And they lived on the counter, 24/7 for years. Eventually we got rid of one, and I was glad to give it to a colleague who was having her first kid ever, because I know how great I loved having the sterilizer early on, to ensure that my kid’s bottles were as clean as could be, but the thing is, they were always there.
No matter how disastrous the residents of my home clutter up the counter and make me want to jump off a cliff sometimes, whenever it is eventually cleaned up, the sterilizer stayed. Everything worked around the position of the sterilizer and at least once a day, it was running, cleaning bottles and other sterilizer-friendly kid bowls or cups or utensils. It was a mainstay of the home.
Well, it’s gone now. Mythical wife has gotten on yet another Great British Baking Show kick again and this time, it’s manifested into actual desire to bake, and when she gets on a kick, she goes full retard and now we’ve got a brand new Kitchen Aid jesus mixer that everyone who bakes loses their shit over, and being the less sentimental between the two of us, she didn’t hesitate to jettison the sterilizer from the counter, seeing as how the kids are using cups that really need to be sterilized, especially since they’re drinking regular cow’s milk from them, long past the days of breast milk.
And the counter still looks weird to me sometimes, not seeing the giant white box underneath the cupboard anymore. But we didn’t need it, and it was off to the charity pile for it, and it was picked up by someone that allegedly had a five month old, and hopefully they’ll get great use out of it as my household did.
And next we have the high chair(s). Despite the fact that my kids could still very well use them, they, and really I mean #1, but then #2 has to do everything that her big sister does, has gotten into that stage in her life where she’s clearly three going on 18, and refuses to sit in high chairs and boosters, and will lose her shit at even the notion of being denigrated into sitting into a baby’s seat.
The thing is too, I eventually grew to hate the last high chair we had, because the legs were spread so far out to give it as wide as base as possible to be safer from tipping over than any other high chair, but it actually took up more surface area than it appeared to, and when it was used regularly, not a day went by where someone didn’t trip over the ultra-wide standing legs because it didn’t look like it was that space-consuming. I fucking hated when I was the victim of it, and when the kids spurned the high chairs in general, it sat in a corner where it could do the least bit of tripping.
Well, it’s gone now. Along with our old transitioning high chair/booster seat, because my kids refuse to use that one too. And just like that, my breakfast nook has gone from having boosters and high chairs displacing the normal chair(s) against the wall or absconded by mythical wife into her office that already has multiple chairs in it already, we’ve got a table with four ordinary, regular, grown human being sized chairs.
And unsurprisingly, I got some feelings about it. Nothing I won’t get over after I post this but it’s still a little bittersweet to see some pretty mainstay things in the house for raising my kids being given the boot, but at least with these specific things, they’ve all been successfully unloaded to other parents and people whom I hope manages to get continued good use and a successful second life, raising kids as they did my own.
Because my kids were born so closely together, it wasn’t difficult to treat the last few years like one really long and continuous birth and raising, because there was a good bit of overlap when both girls needed the same stuff, and I could stop and look at my life and just see myself with two babies. But now that they’re both basically thinking they’re full-ass grown adults now, but most importantly, out of diapers, it’s been time to say goodbye to a lot of baby stuff now, and time to be me and reflect and reminisce on it. I’m satisfied with every inch of surface area we can liberate in my home, and frankly it’s harder to give shit away than it’s hard to say goodbye to a lot of baby stuff. But as much as I do use dad brogs to complain about how hard my life is and how over I get parenting sometimes, it’s times like these that are reminders that time is most definitely passing, my kids are growing further and further away from the babies they once were, and if I keep blinking to brog and bitch, I’m going to miss everything on the way to sitting down with them to guide them through their first job applications because oh yeah, my kids will be working.