Sunday, February 19, 2012

Out of Control

I like to think that when Sophia was a baby we had a pretty much "grown-up" house. You know, the occasional baby accessory lying around, but for the most part you could walk in and not immediately go "Wow, they definitely have kids!"

Today when I tripped over one of Jude's many different baby seat options, I had to acknowledge that was no longer the case. Our house is a kid house. I try to disguise it, but there is no denying the truth!

Fastforward to today, and here's the count, just for things Jude can sit in:

~Bouncy seat
~Round stationary activity seat thingy

Thank God for hand-me-downs, as most of those items were, while the rest cost a grand total of $15 at yard sales. But this list doesn't count the high chair I carried down to the basement today that he is not quite big enough for, or the booster seat already in the basement waiting for him, his bath seat, or any of the strollers in various sheds and basements (We have four, yes, FOUR strollers!). Seriously, it is out of control!

What is really ridiculous, though, it that we "need" all of those things . . . the bouncy seat is great for when I am moving about the house getting things done, as I can bring him anywhere I go. Great for being able to get a shower in when he is awake! The jumperoo is just fun. The kid loves it, and watching him gleefully jump higher and higher is addictive. The Boppy pillow is to help Jude learn to sit up, the activity seat is where he sits when I am doing dishes or cooking, he sits in the Bumbo when he eats his rice cereal and fruit, and he takes his naps in the Pack'n'Play so that he and Sophia don't have to nap in the same room. Whew!

What did people do before all of these modern conveniences came along?

Back in the day, having a kid didn't necessarily mean that you had kid crap everywhere. In fact, a family friend was just telling me about when she had her first child, 30-some years ago. They had a few baby clothes, some cloth diapers (Not the cloth diapers of today, people . . . the old fashioned long flat ones that had to be folded and pinned, sans rubber pants!), something for the baby to sleep in, and that was about it.

So are we better off, or were they?

I'm really not sure. My mom sometimes marvels at the abundance of baby "conveniences" these day and says she wishes she had this or that 30 years ago. I don't know that I plan to get rid of any of Jude's little seats anytime soon. And I really don't plan to go washing my cloth diapers in a barrel over the fire in the backyard.

But thinking about this has me wanting to simplify, and while I'm not sure exactly what that looks like, you just might be hearing more about it in the coming weeks and months. I do think it will involve some more frequent drop-offs at Goodwill, and who knows? Maybe I'll find that I really don't "need" all the items on my list (or all the other lists in my life!) so much after all.

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