When I was little, I misheard things a lot. I guess most kids do. There were just two kids in my family – me and my little brother, Aaron. I used to get irritated with Mom because she always ran Aarons and never Aprils. Say this out loud: I need to run some Aarons. Make sense? Took me forever to realize what she was really saying.
Another thing I misheard was the phrase for clothes passed down from child to child. Hamdeedowns. I liked getting them, but I don’t remember them coming my way often. I was the oldest of 24 cousins on one side, and no cousins on the other, so no luck. I don’t remember our families being friends with families who had older girls able to pass their clothes down to me – no hamdeedowns.
Coming into parenthood, hamdeedowns were still a novelty to me. When C (a.k.a. #1) was born, he was the 3rd kiddo on my husband’s side. There was a boy cousin and a girl cousin. The hamdeedown parade began. I thought I was on top of the situation, even when A (#2) came along. By this time, another girl cousin had been born, so I had hamdeedowns coming in a little faster. We cycle hamdeedowns around in our extended family. So when cousin #6 was born – a boy, not mine – I sent the boy clothes that way, and my sister-in-law reciprocated with girl stuff.
But things quickly spiraled out of control.
I got preggers with #3 (J). When we found out we were expecting a girl, my sister-in-law told me to hang on to all the girl stuff from #2 to use for #3. Since I knew we wanted at least one more kid, I also hung on to all the boy clothes the SIL returned from her young ‘un. So, quick run down: I had boxes of clothes in sizes newborn up to 8-ish for both boys and girls. All seasons. Shoes, too. It felt like as soon as I cycled last season’s clothes out and this season’s stuff in, it was time to do it all over again. Because I got the clothes folded nicely in boxes, I felt the compulsion to store them, nicely folded and sorted by size and season, in Rubbermaid boxes. I know that every time I drag out the clothes, it strikes fear into Steve’s heart. It takes over our living room for several days, weeks if I get distracted by other tasks.
3 kids x 4 seasons = 5 bazillion boxes of hamdeedowns in my shed that I have to deal with every 3 months.
Then I got pregnant with #4 (Baby K). When I was 3 months pregnant, I told Steve, “Assuming this one comes out healthy and ok, I’m SO done growing babies.” She came out healthy and ok, much to our relief, and I was officially done. Because we knew she was a girl, I started getting ready to dump our boy clothes. Almost as soon as Baby K popped out, I was giving away boy clothes. I thought it would clear out more space in my shed than it did, but I’ll still take it. What I didn’t realize was that I would also be hamdeedowning or returning baby girl clothes.
I know that every box of kids’ clothes that goes out my door will never. come. back. sigh What a good feeling. I thing the hamdeedowns are still coming in faster than they’re going out, but that’s ok. It’s saving us beaucoup bucks. Seriously. I have 3 girls, and the two who care what they wear have drastically different tastes. Baby K is happy just to hang out in her diaper, but I guess they frown on being nekkid in school. I think winter will cure her of that.
Why am I writing about hamdeedowns today? Because A & I went through 7 bags and one box of clothes today. I think she ended up with only 1/4 of the stuff going into her current wardrobe because the other stuff was too large, but that didn’t dampen her enthusiasm. She tried on most everything and did her runway walk. Every time. eye roll But I don’t care. I got the bags and box out of my garage, sorted into sizes, and back into the bags. I’ve run out of boxes. I should have purchased stock in Rubbermaid back when #1 was born because I’ve put a lot of money into plastic.
I’ve started thinking about the next seasonal clothes shifting. It’s coming soon. We’ve run out of boy hamdeedowns, so I’ll actually buy #1 some new clothes (a rare occurrence), but I have 3 girls-worth of stuff to deal with.
2 seasons (summer & fall/winter) x 3 girls = Hurricane Hamdeedown. We’re going to be drowning in textiles. My poor living room won’t know what hit it.
Anybody need some 12 month girl summer clothes? Despite the fact that some have gone through at least 5 kids, they’re still in good shape.