The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Monday, February 14, 2005

If my kid ends up in therapy, you can blame Pottery Barn

Evan has lived in this house for just over a year now. We've been calling his bedroom "his" since Julia vacated it two months before his birth. His clothes fill the dresser drawers, his lovey lies waiting for him when he's not in his crib. And yet, hanging on the wall over his changing table, there are still 5 charming letter hooks that spell out the name Julia.

I really did intend to swap the Julia hooks out for Evan ones when he moved into the nursery. But of course as luck would have it, Pottery Barn Kids discontinued the hooks right around the time Evan was born. I searched frantically for several months, haunting eBay and conducting elaborate Internet searches to try to find a similar product. Nada. If I were just looking for a cute way to personalize the room, I could buy regular wall letters without hooks on them, or even replace them with something else entirely. But those hooks are frankly very useful. I have pull toys hanging from two of them which serve as excellent diaper change distractions and a big fabric organizer hanging from another two which holds everything from diaper cream to the bulb syringe snot-sucker to tags that I've yanked off clothing and stashed up there to keep them out of Evan's reach. I've come to depend on those hooks, and I don't want to give them up.

So when it became clear that I wasn't going to be able to find a similar enough replacement, I just kind of left them there. For a while, I told myself that Evan didn't know the difference and it made Julia happy to see her name written places, so everyone was happy and it was no big deal. But lately, every time I walk into Evan's room and glance at those letter hooks, I feel guilty.

I consider the fact that my son slept in a pink sleepsack for the first several months of his life to be an example of thrifty hand-me-down costcutting on my part, and I don't feel the slightest bit guilty that dozens of toys that used to be Julia's have been reintroduced as Evan's. He rides in her old car seat, eats in her old highchair and even chews on her old teethers and I think that's all fine and grand. But the fact that his wall is adorned with his big sister's name in giant white letters, well, that's exactly the kind of thing that's going to land my kid on some therapist's couch some day. And when he calls me to confront me about his latest breakthrough and to tell me that those letters symbolize how he's lived under his sister's shadow all his life, I'm pretty sure that "but where else would I have kept your moccasins and your rectal thermometer?" is not going to be the answer he's looking for.


At 1:56 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

So, my first thought upon reading your entry today was "Does she know Wal-Mart sells those letter hook thingys??" ;-)

To this day I regret that Evan did not have a single "boy" blanket as an infant. I refused to buy one, and apparently the wave of giving blankets as baby gifts stops after the first child (plenty of gifts for the second one, mind you, just not ONE single blanket). Since my experience, I've conciously given baby blankets to second children that are a different gender than firsts. Do I now need to add name letters to my list of gifts for second children?! ;-)


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