Parenting 101: Clearing The Clutter

As I write this, we’re preparing to celebrate two important birthdays in the Fabry-Cushenbery household. Tyler will be three and Ryan will be one. They are the best things that ever happened to me and I completely cherish them, but who knew having children also involved having so much stuff? My dining room-turned-playroom is home to a Thomas the Train table, Disney/Pixar Cars cars, baskets of books, and a cubby system that holds hundreds of additional toys. And that’s not even taking into account the toy box or each of the boy’s closets!

I can never seem to get a handle on the clothes, though. In a sense we were lucky that we had two boys—fewer clothes to buy! Items are transferrable, so to speak. But did this stop us from going overboard and buying cute new things for Ryan? Of course not. And as much as I reason with myself (Karin, he’s nine months old and he’ll only be able to wear that twice before he grows out of it), I sometimes can’t help myself. I think it’s a conspiracy by clothes manufacturers to make kids clothes so dang cute. Lord help me if I ever have a girl!

That’s why I’m in a perpetual state of sorting through drawers and closets, transferring clothes that no longer fit Ryan into storage bins and moving clothes that no longer fit Tyler into a sort of “holding tank” until Ryan can fit into them. Did you follow that?

This past weekend my husband, Andy, and I spent several hours tearing apart closets and drawers, oohing and aahing at the adorable items (still with tags) that Ryan or Tyler never had a chance to wear. It looked like a tornado tore through our children’s rooms. Andy even purchased those Space Saver storage bags for the occasion to hopefully condense a mountain-sized pile of clothing into a mole hill. Er, not quite. The result looked more like a bunny slope.

Then we went to the toys. (Cue the Jaws theme.)

We have toys in Tyler’s closet from two Christmases ago that have never been taken out of the box. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll get around to them. Right now, though, all he wants to do is play with his Thomas the Train toys. And Ryan, well, despite having probably thousands of dollars in cute, colorful, noisy toys, would rather play with the tiny piece of lint on the floor or the envelope that came in the mail.

So I could go on and on about how new parents and parents-to-be shouldn’t go crazy, buying up every cute thing in sight (remember, that’s what baby showers are for!), but that would be like the pot calling the kettle black, right? I’m ashamed to say it would. As a matter of fact, I’m already writing a mental birthday list in my head for Tyler and Ryan.

So my kids are a bit spoiled. I can live with that!

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