The planets aligned today and it was time to clean Jarrah's room. This is something I do infrequently, preferring to view the piles of toys and clothes everywhere as "shabby chic." But today I realized that there was very little floor space left, and she's starting camp next week, and it's summer and...it was time.
The first order of business was weeding out the too-small clothes. I have recently been disabused of my belief that her underwear size would remain "absurdly small" until college. Apparently, she is going to need some that are slightly less absurdly small. Same with socks. I went through the racks, yanking all the 3T (and most of the 4T) shirts off the hangers. Hell, most of the 5Ts have got to go. On a roll, I whipped through the drawers, gathering up a pile of hair ornaments that could outfit an entire ballet school. Then I decided to brave the drawers. Yikes, most of them were filled with diapers and diaper paraphernalia: wipes, wipe cases, changing pads, bibs, and the infamous blue bags. I felt so strange gathering all this into a pile and throwing it in a box. Digging deeper in the closet, I discovered an entire bag of plastic pants (never even used those) and a huge box of bottles and nipples. Guess all that can go, too.
Moving on to the bookcase, I realized that most of the board books are too babyish, but just in case I arranged them all on a high shelf which she can't reach anyway. Then I lovingly created a system for the other shelves: Scholastic paperbacks on one, hardcover storybooks on another, collections and treasuries on the bottom. We'll see how long my system lasts. I swept all the junk off the top of the bookcases--most of it ready for the trash. I plucked out the size 9 shoes (my girl has some big feet--nearly 11 already) and threw them in one of the bags, too. I took all the nursing blankets and changing pad covers and put them aside for someone else. And I stuffed all the crib sheets into the drawers vacated by the diapers.
Now the room was looking pretty bare, and Jarrah seemed tickled, like it was a hotel room she was visiting for the first time. She settled down in her easy chair to do some reading, acting like she'd never seen her books before. And I made up my mind that today would be the day we gave in and bought her a real bed.
I am sore amazed how three years has exhausted my need for nearly my entire baby arsenal. A few days ago, I brought out the stroller for the first time in a while, and her head pokes into the shade, feet dangling to the ground. All that diaper stuff I'll never need again. Clothes she's outgrown forever--an entire department at Target is off-limits for us now. I turn the bibs and changing pads over in my hands, trying to remember why I needed them. The stick-on placemats I brought to every restaurant. The tiny case with her personal fork and spoon. The ubiquitous Costco wipes, without which everything I touched would have been sticky.
It amazes me that there is no going back. Whatever I once had a use for, I simply, now, do not. And instead of needing more stuff, we need less. She can use what I use. Even my cache of sweet toddler toothpaste needs to be donated--she's a pro with the mint now. I think back fondly on the many cannisters of Gerber veggie puffs I bought and carried, and how enthusiastically they were consumed. That seems like a lifetime ago.
We did finally get that bed. We've looked at it before, so we knew what we wanted, but it was somehow hard to take the plunge. It's like keeping her in that sideless crib a few more months kept her little, even though her feet moving ever closer to the edge of the mattress kept telling us otherwise.
The new bed, which will arrive in two weeks, is truly a big-girl bed. It's birch, and sleigh, and has a trundle underneath with another mattress, for sleepovers. I dreamed of that kind of set-up when I was a child; I wanted Jarrah to have it. No matter how late she and her friend stay up whispering and giggling, they can sleep in comfort, even in our tiny house. That makes me happy.
And David and I are looking forward to the biggest perk of all: a big bed means we can climb into it at storytime, instead of perching nearby. When I think about reading together in bed, I forget to be sentimental about the past, and I start getting excited about everything still to come.