Clothes from Gran

There is a tiny room in my house that used to be a study. I asked our landlords to remove the desk and some of the shelves before we moved in.

Now it is overrun by little cute things in drawers, on shelves, walls and floor. There’s even a cot there though that’s not where the creature will sleep for some months.

I don’t even have a whole cupboard to myself but this thing hanging off my middle has an entire room as her wardrobe and she’s not even born yet. What a diva.

All this after me saying that I didn’t care if her clothes prompted people to ask my son’s name for the first few months.

She’s still going to be wearing her cousin Leo’s clothes, to be sure. But now she also has dresses.

Some we bought in nearly new sales because they were only 20p and irresistible but the bulk of the collection is 25 years old.

My mother has brought my baby dresses from Trinidad.

Every now and then I sneak into the room just to look at them hung on a string and to open all the drawers to get my cute fix.

Then I touch one of the creature’s feet, which she predictably withdraws, and ask her to stop giving me itty bitty pains that haven’t led anywhere for the last three days and counting, and start pushing her way out properly.

Diva-like, she’s insisting on her own timing.

As we unpacked and hung the dresses, my mother gave each one a little stroke, each one obviously a memory. She kept going back to a little pink number that was her favourite.

And I saw in her the 25-year-old who 25 years ago had her first baby, who looked forward to dressing her up, whose baby often preferred to callously strip it all off.

If there is any justice, the creature will follow that family tradition, spiting my newfound excitement about having a live dolly. In fact, I used to dress up Molly, a doll my grandmother gave me, in the purple number. It’ll be particularly hilarious sticking the creature in that.

My mother-in-law has also donated some of Laurence’s clothes to the cause, lovingly sorting through a trunk of cute things her sons had worn. I imagine her also being transported back 30 years, when a tiny person changed things.

It’s taken becoming a parent to make me really see our parents; to see that they once were figuring this baby thing out; that they’re still working out how to parent us now.

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