Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bumper crops and floating holidays

Have you heard about August 8th?

That would be "National Sneak Some Zucchini On Your Neightbors' Front Porch" night. Easily one of the most important holidays of the year since the vegetable multiplies faster in the garden than rabbits do.

Now, I don't grow zucchini but I have been the recipient of others' bumper crops. I've smiled politely as gardeners big and small proudly proffer bags of the stuff for me to puzzle over. I've grilled it, sauteed it, fried it, barbecued it, even baked it into bread, but mostly I find the stuff about a week later, liquified and rotting on my kitchen counter.

So I'm fairly certain if I actually grew zucchini I would have participated in this seemingly harmless prank. Yes, if I grew the prolific plant I might even lobby the people in charge of ratifying such celebrations to extend the merriment for the entire month.

But, like I said, I don't grow zucchini. What seems to grow uncontrollably, under the cover of night, at my house are baby clothes. We are drowning in perfectly lovely things for newborns. We're also swimming in outfits for boys ages six months to a year.

I'm not really sure how this happened since 20th century conveniences such as washers and dryers have taken away much the work involved in laundry, but I'm sure mass production and slave wages, which have made most goods relatively inexpensive, have everything to do with the superabundance, making baby clothes almost disposable. Almost but not quite because no matter how many closets full we have we tend to wear the same 10 items over and over.

I'm happy to do laundry every day if it means I can wear my favorite sweater over and over. While I'm at it, I'll just throw in the orange stripy snapsuit that I love so much on the Champ, as well as the brown polka-dotted skirt that I think looks so cute on Ittybit and that she MIGHT actually wear if I pull it out of the basket and marvel about how CLEAN it looks.

I do this washing of the same two loads of laundry day in and day out even though we have drawers full of perfectly good alternatives, most of which came handed down by people just like me; people who found themselves drowning in baby clothes and saw the opportunity to drop a few bags full on my front porch. Figuratively speaking that is.

Some of them asked sheepishly, almost pleadingly, if we needed baby clothes for the Champ. Some sent boxes of next-to new (and new) items cross country through the mail. Others waited until we were safely ensconced in their living room, eating hors d'oeuvres and sipping tasty beverages before they stealthily placed boxes upon boxes of their sons' baby clothes in the trunk of our car.

From first-hand experience, I know that what seasoned parents think when they learn of an impending birth. They don't really think: "AWWWW how sweet, a baby. What a blessing." Oh no, they're thinking: "If I play my cards right I can unload the metric ton of onsies that have accumulated in the attic."

Just this past week I learned that my husband's colleague and his wife are expecting twin girls. I did what all second-time parents do: I packed a zippered comforter bag (king sized) full of Ittybit's more presentable duds and left it NEAR his truck, telling him he could take it or leave it. I wasn't going to foist more clothes than anyone could humanly use upon him unless he was willing.

Score ONE for me. He took the bag.

It will be difficult to pick just one day out of the calendar year to drop baby clothes on the front porches of unsuspecting expecting parents.

Perhaps it can just be a floating holiday.

1 comment:

Fairly Odd Mother said...

LOL, you are so right! My sister just had a baby girl, to go along with her toddler son (who gets all my son's hand-me-downs). I quickly went through all the leftover clothes from the girls and sent her home with three GIANT bags of girl clothes---through 3T (this baby is 3 months old)!

But, I could use more zucchini----if anyone wants to drop some on my doorstep, let me know.