There's nothing like the simultaneous change of season and a growth-spurt to suddenly render 70% of a child's wardrobe useless. We've recently encountered this very phenomenon - and have finally got round to having a bit of a sort out. This has got me thinking about the clothes sorting sessions of the baby and toddler years. I remember it always resulted in three ever-optimistic piles; clothes too small - to give away, those too big - to store away, and those items just right - always, frustratingly and mysteriously, the smallest pile.
I think we still have this three-pile system (in theory, anyway) but the necessity for those sorting sessions has thankfully diminished; our children's clothes are now sized in years rather than months, which means Buddy and Daisy actually wear out clothes now, not just grow out of them.
If I'm honest, the real incentive for today's sort out is this Saturday's jumble sale at my children's school; there's nothing like a conveniently close event to get me participating. And so, after nursery and school today, we tumbled the contents of their drawers onto the bedroom floor. And the three-pile sort began.
Buddy and Daisy dipped into this game intermittently. Daisy tried on some jeans for the first time since being out of nappies, and she modelled the lovely John Deere tractor sweatshirt pictured above, saying she would definitely wear it now it was too small for Buddy. And Buddy suddenly got a bit sentimental over a long forgotten pair of too-small grey tracksuit bottoms - insisting they still fit him, insisting he'd wear them (I sneakily put them in the jumble pile when he wasn't looking, of course). And together, somehow, we managed it; a great big pile for the jumble sale, a medium sized pile for children of friends and family (you know who you are), and a smallish sort of pile of clothes that fit them at present.
But the sweetest thing about today's sort out was unearthing two little boxes from the bottom of one of the drawers. These boxes contain Buddy and Daisy's first shoes; their first bootee-style shoes and their first walking shoes. If I'd come across these on my own, I imagine I would have had a bit of a cry - tearful, sentimental soul that I am. But as Buddy and Daisy were there it was a far more jolly discovery. They examined the shoes lovingly, they coo'd and ahh'd over their baby selves and their baby toes, and they put the shoes next to their feet to see how much bigger they were now.
When they had finished with them, they made sure I put the little shoes back in their little boxes and back in the drawer from whence they came, 'Not in the giving away pile, mummy. We want to keep them forever.'
And for these outgrown items, there was no sneaky putting them in the jumble pile when they weren't looking. Of course, I want to keep those shoes forever, too.