Since the thought of replacing those items filled me with dread, I held on to them until Munchkin was born 2 1/2 years later. I pulled the items out of storage the second they became age appropriate, but even though Munchkin is only 11 months old, I bid all the swings, chairs and bumbos adieu last month and I couldn't be happier.
It's not that Munchkin didn't like the baby-geared playthings, it's that, as a little sister, she has so much other stuff to play with. As a baby, Monkey didn't have the pile of toys we have amassed in the corner of our living room. Our apartment didn't have a rug when he was born, nor was it as baby-proofed as it is now. Munchkin started to walk two months earlier than her brother and doesn't want to be restrained, but roam free. Where is the fun in sibling-hood if a little sister can't terrorize her big brother with the threat of wrecking his train tracks, his block towers or peace and quiet? Oh wait, that's my peace and quiet she is wrecking.
The biggest reason I'm happy though, is that it not only feels good to be free of baby stuff, but I'm ready for the next phase of parenting. I have donated maternity clothes to a terrific mom-to-mom swap, passed on baby clothes to fellow moms and eagerly given that baby gear to friends. Making room in my closet for clothes that fit me before kids, before nursing, before gaining the baby weight I'd have to lose is freeing. Boxing up Munchkin's baby clothes reminds me that she is still little, but only a baby for one more month. We'll soon enter the phase of one nap a day, new words and furniture climbing. Before we know it parallel play will turn into two kids playing (and fighting) the way only siblings can. There will be no more nursing, no more cribs only sippy cups and toddler beds. It won't happen right away, but it will happen and I can't wait. I'll miss embracing my chubby baby snugglebugs, but I can still hug a squirmy toddler and pre-schooler, even if they don't always hug back.
Now, who wants to take this last box of baby toys?