Thursday, 7 January 2016

Nobody puts Baby in the corner

These are some of my favourite baby things of Serens! Hand knitted booties, beautiful soft sleepsuit and the best quote I've seen on a babygrow #NobodyPutsBabyInTheCorner.

As I mentioned in my previous blog I have a serious problem when it comes to getting rid of books, particularly my own (Although if I never see another Horrid Henry joke book again then I'll be OK with that)
My books really do feel like old friends, and this is possibly because during my early childhood I didn't actually have many real life friends,
I did once have an imaginary mouse named Marcus but that is a whole other blog! Books were and still are a huge source of comfort to me. If I pick up a certain book it instantly transports me back to a certain time and place.

Take any of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books for instance, they immediately take me back to being Seren's age at my Nains house, where my brother and I would play with our cousins.I'd insist that we act out whichever of the books I was reading at the time, and my Dad would play the villain (which he'd take great delight in doing making us all squeal) I always wanted to be the tomboy George and my poor brother was forced to play Timmy the dog more times than was probably fair on him.

The Diary of Anne Frank reminds me of sitting underneath the tree in the garden of our childhood home, I can literally close my eyes and remember every detail of that afternoon. My Mum would bring me out cups of tea and I'd refuse to move even when it got dusk,because I didn't want to put the book down. I think it was one of the first books I'd ever read where it didn't have the happy ending I had always been used to.
I was a sensitive child anyway but my Mum had to hide that book away so I couldn't see it, as every time I saw Anne Franks face on the front cover it would make me cry.

Adrian Mole reminds me of laughing so hard that my sides hurt, and again was one of the first books I'd read where the family wasn't quite 'perfect' like the families portrayed in so many of my childhood stories. Although the family in the 'Famous Five' does make me raise my judgey pants a little. Packing young children off to an abandoned island with nothing more than lemonade,corned beef sandwiches and a shaggy dog? Asking for trouble if you ask me.

Wuthering Heights reminds me of falling in love for the first time, Bridget Jones Diary reminds me of starting University, and the Yummy Mummy guidebook reminds me of when Mark and I first decided we were going to try for a baby. Then we had a baby. And I launched Liz Fraser's book down the stairs.
Turns out after being up all night with a colicky baby, getting up the next day to throw on some Clarins beauty flash balm and pop to Starbucks and then out for lunch isn't that easy after all. (I still have the book though obviously)

But my difficulty parting with books is nothing compared to how hard I find it to be parted from my daughter's baby things. It is quite frankly obscene the amount of things I have kept,
Things came to a head before Christmas when Mark had to empty the back of the loft. He bought down box after box of baby things, boxes I didn't even remember we'd had.
One entire box was for shoes, yes baby shoes (and it wasn't a small box either) Baby wellington boots for instance. Did I think I was taking my baby splashing through puddles at 3-6 months? Baby trainers, baby peep toe sandals, and even baby clogs. There were some lovely hand knitted baby booties too the only thing on her feet she did actually get the use of.

Then there are the clothes, so many clothes! Beautiful baby grows and cardigans, and some quite frankly ridiculous outfits that I only have myself to blame for. There is a lace and denim outfit that must have been purchased when I was seriously sleep deprived, or I was planning on entering her into a baby Dolly Parton lookalike contest.
There are all her cards from when we were expecting, cards from when Seren was born. newspapers from the day she was born, and yes even the cast that she wore after she had her hip operation.It was gross then, it's still pretty gross now.

As we looked at everything Mark asked me did we need to keep it all. And it made me wonder why I insisted on keeping literally everything up until now.
Originally I kept everything because we thought like many might do, that we'd have another baby straight away. But then Seren needed an operation on her hip at six months old, and caring for her for the following six months literally took up 24 hours a day. There are a handful of people who know how difficult those months were, but suffice to say there was no time to even think about trying for a baby never mind actually having one.
Then, well things didn't go quite the way we'd planned but again, that's a whole other blog for a whole other time.

As Seren got older these keepsakes became less about having another baby,and more about keeping the baby we had if that makes sense. If Seren is to be our only child how could I bear to be parted with any of her special things? But there is special and plain odd and lets face it the smelly plaster cast is odd.
Now Seren is growing up becoming so independent whether my nerves like it or not, she isn't a baby she is growing into an utterly and wonderfully unique young lady, As someone far wiser than me told me you can't keep holding onto the past, but embrace the future. So that's what I'm doing.

Now my Mother, who has threatened to never speak to me again if she appears in any of these blogs (but she doesn't do 'the internet' so how she'll ever find out I'm not sure) is good at many things and one of them is decluttering so she has come down to help me sort out all of Serens baby things.
Mark and I picked the clothes that were extra special to us and will be looking at turning them into a keepsake cushion (or cushions there were a lot of 'extra' special ones ahem)
If anyone has any good links to places that could do this I would be grateful!And anything we could give away to a good cause we have done.

The cards well I couldn't be parted with some of them. Seren was born after such a sad and difficult time for our family, that she bought us all a little bit of sunshine and the cards we received during this time were truly touching so I couldn't let them go, instead I've purchased a huge art file to store them all in which will hopefully stop them from getting as damp and musty too. I'm also going to do this to store all the many paintings and drawings she has done over the years.

The cast has gone! And so have the shoes - if I can give any new Mother out there any advice from me it's don't buy baby wellington boots or peep toe sandals, it may shock you but they won't wear them. I'm mostly annoyed that my Mother was here to witness the shoe collection gathering dust "I told you she'd never wear them" she said and she did. Damn it I hate it when she's right.

The problem is although this decluttering has left me feeling some sense of accomplishment now I've got to start on  everything else and you wouldn't believe the amount of cuddly toys up in that loft..



  1. I'm the same mrsrachelokelly. I've got Charlie's manky umbilical cord in a zip lock bag, in the attic....

    1. Amazing stuff! What will you do with it? Present him with it as his 18th perhaps? We considered perhaps planting flowers in the hip spica cast but the smell was enough to kill the things....

    2. I'm going to put it in a locket,for my future daughter in law....

    3. That's bought a little tear to my eye Ruth beautiful!