This is a picture of my dining room, picture perfect for that next hip dinner party.
For the past year, I have gone through the emotionally scarring experience of steaming, ironing, and safety pinning each outfit from my child's previous season to a wire hanger, ensuring that the hook is pointing to the left in order to sell it in a seasonal children's consignment sale. The goal is to make enough money to buy this season's clothing for both children.
I don't sell any of my hand smocked or high-end smocked clothing. I keep that for my grandchildren so that one day, in long awaited future, my daughter and daughter-in-law will have to to find a way to politely accept and use my lovingly stored family heirlooms despite the fact that children will probably be wearing Teflon spandex or some sun-proof spacesuit by then. In other words, my grandchildren better be wearing smocked clothing at some point or my birth certificate doesn't say Demopolis, AL. I realize this is a matter of opinion but I'm already forming scary strong grandmother opinions at age 35. But I digress...
My rule is that if I cry nostalgic tears as I fondly remember a time when one of my children wore an outfit as I try to put the outfit on a hanger, it gets to stay. The problem is that we are 99% sure we are a complete family. This makes the tears come more freely as I consider that each milestone with Helen is most likely the last I will encounter as a mother. There will not be another child to potty train after Helen. HOW SICK IS THAT? Do I need to remind everyone of the horrors of potty training Little Philip for 18 months???? I literally googled and opened a phone book to find a potty training support group. All I can say is that all those motherhood hormones are cruel little masochistic suckers sometimes.
My only imperfect and earthly saving grace is that hope that I make enough money to then, in turn, buy other children's consigned clothing, each with their own memories in each little stitch, with room to add more memories with my own children tucked neatly inside each outfit. And with even more luck, I'll make enough money to continue to invest in sewing and smocking instruction classes. Those are my new addiction and I eagerly look forward to those moments when I can buy fabric or take a class.
In the meantime, let me know if you want to come shopping in my dining room. We've got a car lot of toddler Tonka trucks in there.