Monday, August 5, 2013

The Baby Drawer

I made my first deliberate purchase for a future baby at the Sydney Royal Easter Show when I was 19 or 20. I'm going to say 20. I was wandering around the sheep and wool pavillion (back in the days when that meant half was display of sheep and fleeces, and half was actually relevant sales and information booths) and saw these absolutely gorgeous handspun and handknitted merino wool baby blankets. They had other things as well, scarves and hats and sweaters, but the blankets were just amazing. I bought one, and a skein of wool (the very fine cream merino yarn shown in the stash photo in my last post).  The wool went into stash, waiting to be used for something Really Special, which clearly has yet to eventuate.
The blanket started my baby drawer.

This lovely blanket made from organic wool was my first baby drawer purchase. 
The baby drawer is an extension of having a hope chest. My first item for my hope chest was a lace tablecloth given to me on the occasion of my birth by Mrs Squadrito, who lived up the street in Balmain.  I used the hope chest not so much as a 'for when I get married' but as a 'for when I have a place of my own'. The baby drawer has been the place to put things I've bought or been given or have tucked away to save from my own childhood.
For example, the cute metal mug was mine as a child, and the dress was worn definitely by my sister and possibly by me:

Whereas these I've bought over the last fifteen years:
Isn't that frog washboard the cutest thing ever?
I have to confess, having a baby drawer made a lot of sense until I had to explain it to people, at which point I worried it made me seem desperate. I remember being a bit apprehensive when I talked to my now-husband about it for the first time. But I've always liked planning for the future, and grabbing cute items when I saw them - who knows if I could find that frog again?

Suddenly though, I'm buying with an actual baby in mind, rather than hypothetical future baby, and that makes a difference.  One or two cute singlets and onesies in a drawer are swamped by the bags of second-hand clothes that helpful friends have provided. We went shopping yesterday and ordered several important items, including a pram and a bassinet.  And I've been going through the baby drawer with a new eye, assessing which items will actually be used.