My husband has been helping with Emily's clothes more lately. Usually he has nothing to do with her dressing or changing as he's either at work or asleep when it happens. So he doesn't really know the clothing system I've devised where there are some things that Emily does not fit hanging in her closet and some that she does fit into. This is for two reasons. One - I don't want to pack things away to early. There needs to be a critical mass of clothes that are too small for me to want to break out the boxes and put away a new set of clothes. Two - there are things she will fit soon. Things like pajamas that will be perfect when Emily has another growth spurt, but don't fit now because her arms and legs are fat. If these are left in the box or drawers now, while she doesn't fit them, I will forget them when she is finally ready to wear them and once again my kid will be stuck squeezing into the same dang pair as always - or going naked. Poor Emily.
Of course I know what is part of what system, but my husband doesn't, so the other day he had to attempt to fit a bunch of different pairs of pajamas on her before giving up and handing the screaming toddler over to me.
All of this means it's time to pack. This morning we moved half of the 12 clothes into the bin and made sure all the 18 month clothes were out of storage. There is a giant lack of 18 month clothes so I also went through her 24 month sets and picked out the ones that run small. Circo, Garanimals, and Gerber tend to run smaller. This is all bitter sweet for me. First of all, there are far more casual play clothes in these sets. No more frilly dresses. There are some of course, but for some reason people think toddlers should wear shorts and jeans and play shirts. I personally think she should still wear lacy, frilly things. You can still climb a tree in frilly dresses - trust me I've destroyed enough lace to know.
It's also bittersweet because these clothes are designed to be easier for little people to dress themselves. Emily is already an expert at getting my shorts on over her head and she has figured out sleeves on her shirts. In just a little while she'll be pulling up her own jeans and picking out her own shirts. Gone are the days of me playing dress-up with my little doll. She'll want to put on what she wants and I'll have to nod and say "Okay honey. Good job." As exciting as it is to watch my child make her own choices and take care of herself it is also super sad. I spent a long year trying to remember to savor all this itty-bitty baby-ness. And I still feel like I didn't get enough. I need more baby snuggles, more hours with an tiny hand wrapped around mine.
So maybe I had a third reason for my clothing system: Keeping those little baby things around just a little longer.