Out one door …

Being the mother of a toddler in a too-small house without enough storage means military discipline when it comes to STUFF.  There is just so much of it.  I used to think other moms were so thoughtful when they would pass along things for Darling Bebe.  Now, I’ve come to understand that there’s a strong dose of self-interest involved.  And all it does is spell M-O-R-E W-O-R-K for me.

Like the “good friends” who were “so generous” that they gave us a Big Wheel, tricycle, bicycle and dump trucks.  The Darling Girl is far too young for these.  They’re very nice, but I have NOWHERE to put them.  I know the real ulterior motive was to get them out of their garage.  So now they have been in mine for 4 months.  That’s right, they gave them to us in the dead of winter.  Perhaps so they could put their cars in their garage?

I’ve my own strategies for coping, or trying to.  I always have boxes going:  one for consignment, one for charity, one for things daycare can use after DB moves up to the next level (so she won’t see them and think of them as hers).  Things that come in the house either get put away or into one of those boxes, and subsequently leave the house as soon as possible.

We attended a kids’ party on Saturday at a household with 2 children older than DB.  We came home with a giant trash bag full of toys that the overworked mom had set aside for DB.  Going through it all after DB was safely asleep, 3/4 of the toys were far too young for her.  So after I cleaned them all, they went into a bag for daycare.  Those went out Monday.

Tuesday morning, I took some toys and clothing to the kids’ consignment shop.  They don’t pay well, but they take toys.  There, I had to go through the clothing sizes because now – in JUNE – they would only take summer clothes in sizes over 24 months.  OOOOOKay.  Then off to my preferred consignment shop with the other clothes to get THOSE out of the house.  Mission accomplished.  Stuff gone.

Tuesday night, I returned home from the supermarket with DB to find two poster-sized books and a box of Shirley Temple videotapes on the back step.  Two unwieldy books that DB will tear to shreds, and videos she can’t/won’t watch for YEARS.  From my MIL, apparently.


I could just cry.


3 Responses to “Out one door …”

  1. m4k2004 Says:

    I used to have a sister in law that did this to me. We had boys, alternating at that (1 for her, 1 for me, 1 for her, 1 for me). We ended up having 4 boys and she would pass things to me, I pass them back to her, her back to me. Well, one day she decided that it was just easier to buy new stuff and passed me EVERYTHING she had ….and my husband and I were living with their mom because their dad had died and she didn’t want to be alone. I got fed up. I only had one room, no where to put all that stuff (plus the baby bed and toddler bed for my two boys). I finally just did exactly what she did to me…..she told me she was too lazy and frustrated with swapping stuff back and forth. so when she went to bring me another load. I looked at her and told her I was feeling the same way. We laughed and then we helped get everything together and both of us took it to the Goodwill. My point is, some of those things you can use, but not all the time and it isn’t fair for you to have to take on the work of getting rid of your own stuff plus everyone else’s. Tell them politely that you have enough work and appreciate the hand me down’s but you need to get everything in order and ensure that the goods are usable in your household.

    • nutmegowl Says:

      Nicely done.
      Unfortunately, spousal cooperation is also required. And all he can say is, “That’s so generous!” (He also comes from a home where clutter covers everything, and he is, at this point, uninvolved in running the household owing to other responsibilities.)

  2. Luann Says:

    My sympathies! We were super lucky when BL was born – we got two strollers, a crib, pack ‘n’ play, all the major items as hand-me-downs. Only things new were carseats and his highchair. I welcomed the bags of things that people would bring, at least until he wasn’t a newborn anymore and we started getting things that were too small or too girly or out-of-season. At one point (during the renovation) I had about 10 boxes of things that he’d outgrown and/or were hand-me-downs gone wrong. After sorting stuff for his younger boy cousins in Texas, and his very fashionable girl cousin in Hollywood, charity, and trash, I had it all cleared away. And within a week new piles were starting. I now am extremely selective with what I bring in/allow in to the house, and even more so with what I pass down to the cousins, just to try and stop the madness!

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