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Packing up the pretty

I remember having friends over one evening in our former apartment. We lived in a sweet, cozy cottage that sat on a larger estate property. The deep, antique farm sink was made of copper, and the stonework tile added the perfect amount of shabby character to the all-white interior we painted. A large, white shelving unit took up half the wall, and it was lined with stacked glassware, vases, our best pots and pans and most valued kitchen items. Everything we owned we displayed. I loved looking at it with all the natural light beaming in through the windows. I’ve never been a lover of cabinetry or closed-in spaces. One guest took a quick look around and immediately said, “This place is definitely not for kids.”

She was right. It wasn’t. There were no kids and no pets. It didn’t matter everything was breakable. I didn’t think in terms of danger or practicality. I just knew our home came with a warning: Don’t bring your littles because there’s absolutely no where for them to play in my home. For a while, that worked well for us, and then we got pregnant! Even still, I kept our aesthetic as we moved into a new home, putting off the babyproofing as long as possible. I don’t want to pack up the pretty, but sadly, it’s time.

My little wild child is on the go! She is moving and shaking all day long. She is fun and exhausting and too curious for words. You can’t keep her contained or hold her for too long. She’s ready to take on every minute of every day in our home that is not ready for her quite yet! It hit me a few weeks ago when I saw her try to reach for an electrical outlet through the bars of her crib. I scooted that thing into the middle of the room, even though she couldn’t reach it. It stayed there until we bought outlet protectors. That’s when I realized my home is no longer “mine” alone, but ours. And it’s in need of some adjustments.

This past weekend I had my mom watch her for a few hours, so I could start the process of making room to store everything that has to go (for now). I cleaned out two closets, switched the components of each (so that her closet only has baby things inside), threw away more than I want to admit and gave every item a new home. The wine glasses are up, the coffee decorations are no more, and the barstools currently live on top of the kitchen island. Our next step is putting her new crib together and combining a nursery for her and her baby brother. Oh, and buy a few baby gates, so we can once again open our doors!

I now look around and see a very different space. The canvas is the same, but it’s definitely bare. I’m not sure what people do for decoration in small spaces with two children? Good thing I exist in the airy, minimalist element of design. Even our houseplants are off limits because I can’t keep her hands out of the dirt! I suppose this is just a normal right of passage for parents … another phase of parenting you embrace and work with as opposed to against—at least that’s what I am choosing to do. Thankfully, there are so many amazing brands offering products that appeal to baby safety, function and aesthetic. These products also require a thick wallet, so we are slowly building our baby empire.

I’m looking forward to the next time—if ever in this space—we have friends over to our home. I will laugh if someone comments on how empty it is. Perhaps they will stroke my ego and use the word “clean” instead? We will see! For now, this is apparently her domain, and she rules from the ground up.

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