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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Time Travelling & The Pack of Big Pants

In our infinite wisdom we have decided to move ourselves.  It’s a ridiculous idea. We’ve got two small children, a house full of clutter, and the builders have already started work.  The sensible thing to do, the thing any sane person would do, is to call in a firm of movers and packers, get the full service treatment, causing themselves minimal stress and hassle.  But no. We’ve decided to do it the hard way.  Not only does it cut down on cost, (providing respite for our not so elastic budget), it also means that we can sort through our stuff as we pack it, thereby streamlining our possessions.  So, whilst I’d love a houseful of chirpy removal men merrily wrapping even the smallest selection of cocktail sticks in tissue paper, I have begrudgingly conceded, much to my husband’s delight, that there are some merits to this approach.   A proper clear out is long overdue.

At 9pm on Saturday night, when most normal mortals were settled in front of the TV with a glass of wine in hand, or better still, out in the big wide world doing exciting, potentially life enhancing things, Husband and I set about tackling The Tardis; a gargantuan piece of fitted furniture in our lounge.

Brown boxes, packing tape and black felt tip pen at the ready, I dug deep to try and find the required enthusiasm for the task. Three hours later, I had enjoyed myself far more than expected but achieved very little; instead, I had journeyed back in time, rediscovering items from the past ten, even twenty years.  Poignant reminders of good intentions, relics of forgotten dreams, memories bought to the foreshore that had swept so far out to sea, that without that prompt, I might otherwise never have remembered them. Items that time and progress have rendered obsolete, stuffed away as Husband and I ‘moved with the times’, suddenly resurfaced from a cupboard with Narnia-esque depths.

Ah yes, the ‘Italian for Beginners’ course; which I planned to listen to in the car on my hourly commute to work each day. Still in the box.  That’s the reason I only know two words of Italian.  Degree Certificates. Proudly worked for and won; the passports to bigger and brighter things, stored for safe keeping in plain brown envelopes. An old hi-fi, in three parts.  Four generations of ipod, from the first, resembling a brick, to the relatively more recent slimline Nano.  Paper proofs of Estate Agents details, old homes bought and sold in a real life game of monopoly. Hoards of old photo albums bursting with carefree, happy faces; images typical of a couple without children; a photo of him, a photo of me. A few of us together when we commandeered a stranger in a street, or on a holiday beach; ‘Can you take one of us together please?’.

DVD’s, CD’s, Dictionaries, The Holy Bible. Empty boxes for cameras long gone or upgraded.  A host of board games. When all we ever really play is Cluedo, at Christmas.

A box for the charity shop, a box for ‘keeps’. Another box for the charity shop, as we shed the skin of former years.  And finally, we were done. A satisfying but sentimental journey.

Sunday.  More packing and sorting to be done.  I decided to approach the chest of drawers in our bedroom; specifically, my underwear drawer which has been unable to close since the invasion of double cupped nursing bras.   What can you tell about a woman by her knicker drawer? Mine is a mausoleum to M&S briefs.  Bras of various colours and sizes, including some with ‘air bags’. The odd pair of ‘fancy pants’ - invariably uncomfortable, thus worn only once. A black suspender belt from c.1993, worn as part of a fancy dress outfit (cringe). Plus a multitude of other items that don’t fit the description of underwear at all. Receipts, hiding evidence of the odd guilty shopping trip, anniversary cards with sentimental words, the odd box with precious jewellery. And also, The Pack of Big Pants.

Everything has a story. Even an unopened five pack of humongous briefs.

The Pack of Big Pants was purchased when I was pregnant with Pip.  Someone told me that should I need a caesarean, it would be prudent to be in possession of some large comfortable knickers. A five pack of bellybutton huggers was duly shopped for. They came with me to the hospital, and after a successful natural birth with Pip, were returned to the drawer.  As EB’s birth approached, three and a half years later, I sought them out and placed them at the bottom of my hospital bag.  I hoped that if I took them with me, I wouldn’t need them.  I didn’t.  Coincidence? Or maybe they'd become my lucky charm.

Disposing of my collection of uncomfortable fancy pants and ancient bras was not difficult.  Be ruthless, I told myself; post breastfeeding it will give you a good excuse to revamp your undergarments.  I approached the task with efficiency, it all seemed incredibly easy. Until I got to The Pack of Big Pants.


"Are you really going to throw us away?" they asked; "Are you sure?"

"Oh, my trusty, faithful friends. It's so hard. I.just.don't.know." 

We always dreamt of having a big family but sometimes things just don’t work out how you hope.  The stork sack appointed for deliveries to our house was not emblazoned with the word ‘speedy’. Yet,  here we are now, eight years on, with two wonderful boys.

Deep in my heart,  I know that there will be no more babies after EB.  That he really is my last hurrah.  Acceptance of this fact will probably be a slow dawn, something I need to adjust to, that I let creep slowly over the horizon. 


So far, my de-cluttering mission has been highly cathartic. But, I've decided to keep hold of The Pack of Big Pants for now.

Some things take longer to let go of than others.

15 comments:

  1. So glad you didn't bin them - let them hang around the back of the drawer as a never say never. Who knows - by the time you move again you might even be happy to start wearing them ;-)

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    1. I'll certainly be at a different life stage when I'm wearing the big pants for everyday. At least I hope so!

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  2. How cathartic indeed to be chucking out old knickers that are well past their sell by date and grey looking bras (or is that just my drawer?!) I think having a new baby and trying to get your 'vavavoom' back again afterwards is a great excuse to purchase new undies! Well done :)

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    1. Always good to have a good clear out. Thanks for commenting.

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  3. This did make me chuckle, it's funny the things that sometimes hold meanings to us. I also think you are slightly mad to move yourselves, where do you find the time!? But a great excuse to de clutter (perhaps we need to move to get me to do so)! x

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    1. I'm further into it now, and I can confirm that we are 100% mad to move ourselves. It's a nightmare!

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  4. This is why packing takes ages! In this house, anyway. All the things that it's impossible to throw out. Just in case. I'd chuck them and if you do have another baby, just buy new ones. :-)

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    1. As a seasoned mover, it is a relief to know it takes you ages too Polly. I thought it was just me :0)

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  5. Love this. It is amazing what can retain sentimentality...and I bet they can retain an awful lot! I still have a maternity denim skirt, but that's just because it's comfortable and great for cake days! Not the same though...

    I find having a good clear out cleansing in a spiritual way as well as a practical one!

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    1. I agree, a good clear out can be very spiritually uplifting. I love the fact you have a special skirt for cake days!

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  6. I was smiling all the way through this post - it was very funny. Ah, the big pants - I had a lot of belly button huggers - in beige! Beige! And I am so with you on the contents of your knicker drawer - I've found some very odd things in mine - including a small packet of plant seeds! Glad you found the whole exercise so cathartic. When we move, we are going to have to have a clear out en mass too! Lovin' the badge on the top right hand corner of blog!!!!! Fab post! X.

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    1. I think every woman needs at least one beige pair of knickers, essential for under white clothes, although actually, when do we mums wear white clothes? Time to plant your seeds OM, spring will soon be upon us!

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  7. Ha! I can confirm that post c-section, I wear the biggest knickers known to man. And retaining The Big Pants? You can't be feeling broody again already?!

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    1. Not broody, just not quite ready to accept (yet) that this is the last time :0)

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  8. I too have the huge pregnancy pants but must confess that I do wear them! Our new little baby arrived in November, and north of the border it gets very, very cold here in winter! Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Big pants rock.

    mammasaver x

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