My Family

Baby Clothes

I have been going through all of Alex’s outgrown clothes, sorting them by size and putting them in plastic under-the-bed totes. I’m trying to get organized with baby stuff before the next baby arrives.

I have about 4 months to do it, which is plenty of time. But I want to get it done TODAY.

And I’m looking through all these teeny tiny outfits…with little tiny line drawings or embroidery of little tiny animals or boats or trains on them…and I am swept back – not so far back, but it seems like so long ago – to when Alex was a newborn. When he was small enough (was he really??) to fit into these little cotton garments.

Little onesies, with the snaps everywhere – which caused me some concern during Alex’s first month, because I still had awful carpal tunnel sensations and my fingertips just couldn’t even feel the snaps as I fastened them.

Little tiny boy clothes – lots of blue…a little pair of blue and white seersucker overalls that he wore that first summer…a little striped one-piece outfit that had a big green hippo on the back…a little Seattle Mariners “uniform” that Bill’s brother Ray and his family brought us…and those tiny shoes, and tiny socks…

And the one and only outfit I received as a shower gift that Alex never wore…it looked too girly. Not terribly girly, really – no ruffles or pink or flowers…it’s cream-colored…with little animals of some kind…but the girly part – to me – is the rounded collar. And so he never wore it. But this next one will.

And so as I’m looking at all the little tiny clothes, so much blue, I’m also imagining Baby Girl in some of them. Most of them. Her brother’s hand-me-downs. Little overalls, denim and seersucker…little lightweight summer pj’s – the baby sacks, with no legs – just a bag-type arrangement with elastic at the bottom so you can hike it up to change the diaper.

But she will have to have some new clothes of her own. Baby girl clothes.

Now, I am not a pink person. Or – even worse, a pale lavender person. Yellow is okay. I decided the baby room would be blue and white before I gave birth to Alex, and I didn’t know I was having a boy. But I like blue. I like green. I like bold colors better than pastels. I am not fond of purple in any shade.

But.

I can feel, despite myself, the tide changing. Not completely. But I will have to buy Baby Girl some cute little girly things. Some pink. Some ruffles. Some shiny patent leather shoes that she will wear once and then grow out of the next day.

A part of me watches this in horror…but some things cannot be fought. And I find myself, especially as I sort through these impossibly tiny baby clothes, knowing that Baby Girl will wear pink, and ruffles, and little white tights and shiny shoes and other things that I haven’t even thought about yet.

I think it’s a form of insanity.

I didn’t play with dolls much as a little girl. I don’t think I had a Barbie. If I did, she wasn’t all that important. I was not a pink girly girl. Neither was my sister.

And yet – my sister’s daughter, Natalie, is a pink and purple, Barbie-loving, girly girl. No one knows where she came from. She is unexpected. The first purple crocus pushing through the stubborn snow of very early spring. Purple and pretty and – tough. An early memory of Natalie: She is around a year old, maybe a bit older…and she is standing, perfectly straight and at ease, on the arm of the couch. Still and confident, as though she may decide to do a back flip in a moment…or may not. That is Natalie, too.

So this Baby Girl of ours…whoever she turns out to be…whatever colors she is…will wear some of her older brother’s clothes (because let’s face it, they don’t wear out as quickly as they are outgrown, so I might as well use them again) and will have brand new girl clothes as well. She will be bombarded, I think, with very cute girly outfits from the start, as she is the first girl baby to come along in a while on either side of the family, and all the females on both sides seem pretty excited about the whole thing.

And I feel a growing…something…within me. (No, it’s not the baby – I recognize her from the nudges and kicks she dishes out) With Alex I felt it throughout the pregnancy, because it was my first pregnancy, and everything about it was new and magical. Now, a lot of what I’m going through is familiar and magical…and bittersweet, since this is the last time I plan to be pregnant. But at the same time, there is a different magic to it, a different sense of excitement building that I didn’t have with Alex. With him – I was going to have a baby – which was exciting enough.

This time, though, as of a few weeks ago, I am having a girl. And it has altered the view a bit. I’d be just as happy to have another boy – it’s not that. All I’ve ever asked for has been a healthy baby. So as long as I get that, I don’t care so much about the gender.

But the fact that I know what I’m having…well, that’s different. I have all this time now to contemplate this child growing within me. To think about the fact (95% certain, according to the woman who did my ultrasound, which is pretty good, I think) that this one will be a girl. Not a boy, which I have now had nearly 19 months of experience with, but a girl.

And I guess it’s the knowing that makes this different. I can imagine her, specifically. I didn’t really imagine much beyond “baby” when I was pregnant with Alex. I’ve got more information this time around. And I think it’s starting to affect me now. It feels so weird to refer to the baby as “her” – but the more I do it the more it settles into my mind…it’s a “her.”

Long and rambling post, I know. I am incoherent. I’m having another baby in about 4 months. And it’s a girl.

I will have a boy and a girl. I have a wonderful husband – and I adore the father he has grown into. And I am still amazed sometimes to look around at my little family and realize that they are mine. And that, apart from the 40 hours a week (more like 45) spent at a job that I really don’t love, and don’t even always like, I am happy and content most of the time.

I still want/need to find my “me” niche also…something that I can do creatively, productively, and get paid for…but for now, everything creative and productive and “me” revolves around my little growing family.

And that is plenty. It is enough. It is exactly right. I cannot ask for more.

P.S. I just looked at the picture of Alex and me at the top of this blog…the little outfit he is wearing – it’s hard to see it clearly in the picture, but it’s a little navy blue one-piece outfit (Baby Gap) with little gold line drawings of suns and moons. It was first Natalie’s. I loved the outfit when she wore it, so my sister saved it for me. And so Alex wore it next. And Baby Girl will have her turn too. Hee hee hee.

3 thoughts on “Baby Clothes

  1. Damn, you sure can write. I’ve only just become aware of blogs and read maybe a dozen, but you are far and away the most literate and interesting. (Maybe I relate as a still fairly new dad – 2 girls)(girls rock!)

  2. My sister had a boy to start with. Then another boy, and we knew he was a boy way before he came. Odd thing was, I couldn;t picture a baby any different from the first. I kept trying, but I couldn’t imagine *how* the second baby could be different. Maybe he would laugh more (oldest brother James didn’t laugh or smile much and still doesn’t, though he is a fine young man). Maybe his eyes would be a different color.

    But I couldn’t picture a completely different person.

    HAH! Andrew was different from the moment he came into this world. He laughed at everything (in spite of a stomach condition that prompted a lot of throwing up the first few weeks). He was round and jolly. And even though he had the same color eyes, they were different from James’ eyes. I learned from Andrew how incredibly unique every human being is.

    Julia came next, and it was a delight to have a little girl. And she is the girliest girl you ever saw. But so is my sister.

    The way each of them has discovered his or her world is amazing.

    I’m glad your pregnancy is going well. Your daughter wil be born in the Year of the Monkey—active, restless, curious, and mischievous!

    Jeri

  3. I posted “Baby Clothes” on January 9th, if that’s what you were asking…if that’s not it, I’m not sure I understand your question…

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