Over the past three and a half years I’ve gotten rid of a lot of baby items. I kept quite a few of my son’s favorite toys, super cute clothing and big ticket items like bouncy seats and highchairs, but a lot of other things were passed on to others. I thought we might have another child, but I didn’t want to keep everything around forever.
I did keep my son’s activity mat. You know those little rainbow shaped contraptions that hold toys your infant can attempt to kick and grasp. I can’t remember exactly who bought it for us, but I received it as a gift at my baby shower. It was priced around $75 when I received it, so it seemed like something I store for the future. As soon as my son outgrew the need to use it I wrapped it in plastic wrap and stored it in an upstairs closet. It remained in that closet, (safely stored), for years.
When my nesting craze began I dug through the closets and gathered as much of the baby related stuff as I could find. When the remodeling project began I decided to corral everything into one place and settled on a small corner of our sun room. There you can now find my son’s old shoes, baby clothes, infant to toddler toys and one or two pieces of baby equipment still wrapped in plastic wrap.
A few weeks ago after work finished on our basement we moved our cat’s sleeping quarters into that sun room. He’s the type of cat that roams around from room to room so every evening I place him ever so gently into his little bed, shut the door and wish him goodnight.
One morning I noticed some torn plastic resting on the floor in the sun room. I figured the cat may have gotten restless and torn a few pieces off. It was clear he hadn’t eaten the plastic so I wasn’t worried that he would get sick and it was such a tiny amount that I simply picked it up, threw it away and forgot about it.
This morning I noticed a HUGE pile of plastic resting on the floor. Not only had the cat ripped nearly all of the plastic off of the activity mat he had actually torn the mat itself. White tufts of cotton batting were scattered across the floor. The fabric itself is also filled with large teeth and claw marks.
This is not the end of the world. As far as I can tell the fabric slits will still hold the arcs in place and odds are I can place a blanket on top of the mat so a baby can still lay safely on there. Despite knowing much worse problems could exist in this world it is one of those kick-yourself-in-the-pants type moments. After two to three years of holding on to something my cat attempted to destroy it in a matter of minutes.
I’ve written many times about the decision to lend or sell versus keep. It took my husband and I awhile to conceive and I think deep down I worried that getting rid of my son’s outgrown belongings was a sign that I didn’t want any more children. I realize that sounds insane, but in some crazy superstitious way it made perfect sense to me at the time.
Now as I look at the torn and tattered baby equipment scattered across my sun room I wonder if I should have sold these items as soon as my son outgrew them. ugh.