*For anyone who likes to look at baby clothes: this post inadvertently turned into a mini-guide to my favorite baby clothes, so enjoy! If you don't like baby stuff, this post will probably bore you so badly you'll impale yourself on a pencil.
We cleaned out Piper's closet today. I put eight pairs of never-worn shoes into the give-away pile. Er, rather the "What the Fuck Do I Do With All This Shit Now?" bin. The WtFDIDWATSN bin is currently a large Ikea laundry hamper; it used to be a shoebox, then a larger shoebox, then a large shopping bag, then an empty box from a mega-pack of disposable diapers. I keep chucking more and more stuff, as I seek to make dressing her easier and the distance from our families makes me feel less compelled to hang onto every fugly outfit they buy her.
Or maybe it's that we're lazy. I love a cute pair of tiny shoes as much as the next mama, but I am also deeply devoted to the path of least resistance when it comes to dressing a baby. When Piper was tiny, we had frilly, foofy outfits with matching bibs, booties, and blankies galore, but I battled the grandmas like hell to put her in onesies or t-shirts every chance I got. My mom bought pair after pair of miniature mary-janes, stacks of bonnets and bloomers with ruffles, or rompers with matching bibs and socks. My MIL brought things, too, although not nearly as many because my mom bought so much, I think my MIL felt crowded out. The things my MIL bought were occasonally cute, but mostly seemed to convey the impression that Piper was going sailing, yachting, or lounging at the country club on a regular basis.
My mom is obsessive with the baby clothes; she'll go into Kohl's and drop $120 a pop, lugging out a sackful of clearance-priced Carter's outfits, half of which will never see the light of day. I've begged, pleaded, and implored her to stop doing this kind of stuff. At first, I told her over and over that I'd rather have ONE cute dress from Tea Collection or Kate Quinn Organics than 10 cutesy-wootsey rompers, 20 pairs of pants decorated with fruit, or more stuff with frogs on it that I will never even put her in, or which, due to the sheer volume of clothing she has, will be worn once and then just take up closet space until they're outgrown. I can't even get her to shop at Old Navy, even though I've raved about how cute their baby clothes are (and, oh, the shoes!), and if you shop their clearance sales, just as cheap as the stuff she brings home from Kohl's, Wal-Mart, and Penney's. I've tried explaining that I'd rather have quality than quantity; that it doesn't matter if "it was only $3.50!," it's a wasted $3.50 if I'm not going to put it on her or if you buy so much stuff I can't even cycle through everything once before it's outgrown.
That tactic did not work, so now I've taken to begging my mother to, instead of buying one more shirt with a frog on it or another dress or more pairs of "ruffle-butt" tights that she will never wear, to please, PLEASE put the money into a college fund instead. "She'll need a college educaton a lot more than she'll ever need another pair of ruffly socks," I tell her.
It's not working. She is getting better; she still sends boxes of stuff, but she's at least listening to my preferences about what to buy. I tell her "t-shirts and bottoms; she's just too busy and too wiggly to wrestle into onesies anymore" or "solid colors are best, she has a lot of patterned stuff it's too hard to match to" and the things still arrive, but I put most of them into rotation without wincing too much. I still haven't convinced her to start buying plain, solid-color AA tees and Baby Soy separates, but *sigh* maybe someday. And as many things as she buys that I don't like, she has subsidized my Babylegs habit quite a few times. Those little suckers are so frickin' cute, and they funky-up any outfit, in addition to being easier to deal with than all the clothes that have 264 snaps on the legs. I chucked quite a few of those kind of pants after several times having to haul a half-dressed baby out of a public restroom because she wouldn't stay still enough on the (filthy, within-grabbing-distance-of-the-trash-can, and never-quite-flat) wall-mounted baby changer. Anyway, back to the Babylegs. They are like crack to me, and I will not disclose how many actual pairs Piper has (or how many more pairs of kneesocks are sitting around here waiting for me to DIY some more), because the number is embarrassingly high.
My next move is going to be to my mother to save her money and spend it on gas to come visit. Maybe that will work: "Wouldn't you rather be playing with her down here than shopping for her up there?"
Now I have to figure out some way to deter my MIL from buying hairbows.