This weekend, I cleaned out my twins’ closet. My son is giant, 20 pounds at eight months, and pretty much skipped straight from six-month clothes to 12-month clothes. I missed a box, stored under the bed, of hand-me-downs that he had already outgrown, and there were things in the closet I knew didn’t fit him anymore. My baby girl is still a little thing, but there were still onesies she had outgrown in her drawers. Fortunately, both my sister and cousin need boy and girl baby clothes, so I have someone I love to give the twins’ clothes to, knowing they’ll go to good use.
I love cleaning stuff out and straightening things up. I like organization, and I hate when there are things around we don’t need or use that just sit in the closet month after month. It drives me crazy. So as the twins got older and older, I’ve been practically shoving bulky baby items out the door. The two swings. The two Boppys. The two cradles and two Bumbo seats and two Podsters. And I cannot wait, in four months or so, to go cold turkey on the 8,924,474 baby bottles and the five separate pieces (for colic) per bottle that have been cluttering our counters, cabinets, and dishwasher since last June.
But still, packing away the tiny baby clothes was not an easy thing to do — it was a little heartbreaking and so very bittersweet. I almost didn’t do it. Then I looked at the small, 1930s-era closet, which has to fit all of the clothes for twins, and I realized I need to let go. I put those Feltman Brothers tiny white and blue train-embroidered bubbles with their sweet little stitching and little buttons in the big Rubbermaid bin. Before I closed the lid, I stared at them for a few minutes.
I can’t even say I remembered back to when my older son wore them because I don’t remember when he was that little, ever, even though, I know, know, he must have been at one point in time. How did he get so big, so fast? How is he almost four?! I looked at the little tag and the number on it and almost sobbed, I will never have a three-month-old again. I will never introduce a baby to her older siblings again. I will never make that first trip home from the hospital again. We will never have another first sitting up, first rolling over, first standing, first tooth, first smile. I have baby names (George, Charles, Michael, Mary, Marguerite) that I still want to use, darn it!
I have always been a baby — infant — person. My husband does better and enjoys our children more the older they get and the more he can interact and joke around and play outside with them. I’m the one who dives into the deep end of babyhood. Once I got pregnant, I had decently easy and comfortable pregnancies (except for those last few weeks with the twins). And I deeply loved the sweet anticipation of welcoming a new baby, of rolling possible names over and over in my head, planning a nursery, the endless dreams of what a new life brings, the quiet long days in the hospital with a newborn — I will always cherish those days in the hospital — when the whole world stopped and it was just me and my baby.
I always wanted three children and now we have had four babies (our much-wanted third baby turned out to be twins!) And I can say that after twins, I have had my fill of children. We are tapped out on lack of sleep and grownup conversation, daycare, and formula expenses, endless Disney Jr., stepping on LEGOs, crying and hunting down pacifiers. Most days I can’t even handle the four we have, and so the thought of having another child — no matter how sad I am about never having another baby — makes me panic. I don’t want any more kids.
Still, I’ll always want another baby and all the sweetness that comes along with it.