Bitter and sweet.
November 30, 2009

The first time Charlotte outgrew an item of clothing, I was over the moon.  My heart swelled with pride in her growth and I told everybody I came in contact with that she no longer fit into newborn onesies.  Grocery cashiers.  Bank tellers.  Delivery people.  Telemarketers.  EVERYBODY.  Never before has a woman spent so much time with a smug grin on her face just because her tiny little baby did what all tiny little babies do: GROW.

My daughter is now four months old.  It has been over three months since that first burst of pride, and even though I still brag whenever she fits into a new round of onesies, you will be pleased to find that I have stopped telling strangers.  Oddly enough, they don’t seem to care.

Since it had been, you know, EONS since Charlotte had worn some of the clothes in her drawers, over the weekend we decided that it was high time we packed away those too-small onesies.  All of them.  Every last one.

The task should have taken an hour.  Instead, it took two days.

The truth is that I found it unbelievably (and startlingly) heartbreaking to pack away those clothes that once fit my tiny little baby.  Yes, I am thrilled that she is healthy.  Yes, I am happy that she is thriving.  Yes, I know that babies have a nasty habit of growing up.  But she’s my baby!  MY BABY!  MY ITSY BITSY TEENSY WEENSY TINY LITTLE BABY!

(Didn’t she get the memo?)

So while everybody else in my country had a nice relaxing weekend filled with football games and beer and turkey leftovers and covertly dumping Great-Aunt Sally’s gross cranberry sauce down the drain, I sat around sniffling like a fool.  Holding onesie after onesie up to my nose and inhaling as long as I could in search of some last memory of the tiny little baby that was.

That is, I did that for a day and a half until my husband pointed out that the onesie I was breathing in had never actually been worn by Charlotte at all.  After that, the whole packing-away thing went much more smoothly.


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  1. By Buckeroomama on November 30, 2009

    Someone once suggested that I make a quilt out of the outgrown clothes… A great idea, but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to cut into those wonderful little onesies.

  2. By Nili on November 30, 2009

    My lil guy is now 8 months….I can hardly take it it!  Last week I went through his stuff and packed away all the 6 month sizes as well as receiving blankets and some hooded towels….I can hardly believe it….the rate at which babies grow.

  3. By Sarah on November 30, 2009

    I was perfectly fine packing away those baby clothes into storage totes the first three times, packing them up the fourth time into the goodwill box was quite another story. I’m tearing up about in now…

  4. By Michelle on November 30, 2009

    Pretty soon you will blink and she will be two!  I can’t even begin to tell you how quickly the time flies with little ones.  Enjoy every second.

  5. By Joanie on November 30, 2009

    Buckeroomama, a friend of mine made a quilt without cutting the clothes! She sewed each piece in it’s entirety onto a block and then put the blocks together. I’m considering doing that with some of my favorite outfits for each of the boys rather than give them away or stuff them in storage for eons.

    And I get the same ache every single time I pack away all the teensy weensy stuff. I’m really looking forward to yanking it all out again.

  6. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on November 30, 2009

    Buckeroomama and Joanie - A friend of ours made a quilt for one outfit from every size.  She sewed the onesie in its entirety onto a square and used that as the centerpiece.  The pattern and other colors were all chosen around that onesie.  I’ve been thinking about doing that with the onesie Charlotte came home from the hospital in.

    Its just, well, the onesie she came home from the hospital in is sacred around here and I have trouble with the idea of sewing it at all.

  7. By Natballs on November 30, 2009

    hahahahhaha. i like the last paragraph

  8. By imthiaz houseman on November 30, 2009

    ha, love the last paragraph! it goes by so fast. it seems like just yesterday my daughter was 4 months.

  9. By Stephanie on November 30, 2009

    I feel your pain. While Junior hasn’t nearly outgrown anything yet, I feel the sadness, already. When we brought him home, he was 7.5 pounds and for some reason he got lost in his sized Newborn clothing. It all said 5-8 pounds and his 7.5 pounds was LOST. Swimming in miles and miles of clothing it seemed. That is.. until yesterday. I noticed yesterday that now he’s getting to big for them. He’s filling the length nicely, however, the width is still overabundant. He’s a tall and lean boy. On one hand I can’t wait for him to get into the next size up, that way he has more cloths (long story) to wear, but I love his little newborn sized clothing. It’s precious.

    Long story: our family births BIG babies, so we didn’t think he’d even fit into newborn cloths, so we failed to purchase them. We only have about 10 or so things that fit him so he’s often in the same thing he wore just a couple days before. We then realized, once he was born and COULDN’T wear 0-3m cloths, that we’d have to pick up some Newborn items. Those were still too big. THankfully it’s all working out, now and he’s getting up there. Much to my distaste.

  10. By laura @ peacoat on November 30, 2009

    i did this over the weekend, too!  well, i’m just on my first round of growing-out-of-onesies, but i was so surprised that it made me sad.

    it’s just a bunch of stained cotton!  but still.  i cried.

  11. By Elly on November 30, 2009

    Oh goodness, I had no idea that such random moments existed! <3, thanks for sharing, hey. :)

  12. By kbreints on November 30, 2009

    LOL!! Hilarious!

  13. By gretchen from lifenut on November 30, 2009

    I don’t get so weepy over the clothes any more. I think the Mt. Everest pile of laundry I’ve done over the years has squished that corner of my heart.

    Sad, huh? ;)

  14. By Elizabeth on November 30, 2009

    I detest the task of keeping my children in clothes that fit them.  Ugh.  I thought two kids was bad, now there are three and the littlest one is in the throes of the outgrow-a-new-outfit-every-day stage.  If only I had that many cute clothes, seriously…

  15. By Molly on December 01, 2009

    I did the EXACT SAME THING!!!!! And I kept all her clothes for over a year. At about 6 months I went through them and cried when I picked up the newborn clothes, smelling them, trying to remember her small little body.

    Then…at 15 months I went back through the clothes because a friend of mine found out she is having a baby girl, and I couldn’t even remember which ones I had cried over. So I saved out a few of my favorite outfits and packed up the rest and gave them all away the next day. I felt sorta guilty! And as I was driving away I almost wanted to turn around and ask for them back!

    Ah, the longings of a mother’s heart are not always rational or easy to understand.  :)

  16. By on December 01, 2009

    Oh this post hit home for me.  I actually take *photos* of my kids’ clothes!  (nuts! I know!) I was sad to pack them up after my first, but I knew I’d re-use them for my second (because I was pretty dang sure I’d have another boy, and I did!)  Packing them up this second time is killing me.  Curiously heartbreaking.  My Mom is a quilter, so I’m saving my VERY favorites for a quilt that we’ll make ‘one of these days….‘

  17. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on December 02, 2009

    Aww… and I bet they still have that baby smell too, which has got to make it even harder!  Have you thought about making a quilt or something out of them to preserve them for other uses, something she can have when she gets older?  I’ve always wanted to do something like that - I just have to learn how.


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