Culling coats

And this is after the cull!

I’ve just had a coat cull. That’s coat, not goat.

The reduction in numbers of Billy Goats Gruff has been going on further north, and has led to a lot more controversy than my own small fight against clutter in the cupboard under the stairs.

I wouldn’t say the coats are “destructive and dangerous pests” but they do seem to breed, and they definitely make life in the mornings a little harder.

When you try to pick one coat, two or three more leap out shouting “no, wear me, me, me, not that one, me!”
Well not any more.

I’ve managed to persuade Hannah to part with three, and Ben’s agreed there are two which no longer fit him. As Hannah has refused to countenance wearing them,
“They’re boys’ coats Mummy” they’re in the e-bay pile, fresh from the Boden days with plenty of wear left in them.

Time was when Hannah had no choice but to wear Ben’s cast-offs.
She used to go out in blue babygros, blue hats, blue trousers and boy style Doodles featuring sailing boats rather than flowers.

“What a lovely baby boy,” people would say. I gave up correcting them as it didn’t bother me and she was too young to know. Then when she got older, she inherited Ben’s pink phase, so that suited her fine.

Now though, there’s no persuading her. And as my mother is liberal with charity shop coats from the finer reaches of Surrey’s stockbroker belt, I can indulge her whims.

But it’s not just the children who hoard coats like there’s a war coming.
I found five bobbly fleeces that Mike hasn’t worn for years.

I shall wash them and leave them in a pile for him to decide whether they should go to –
a) e-bay (I don’t see anyone wanting to buy them)
b) charity shop (a more likely option)
c) back into the coat cupboard (the most likely option of all)

We are a family of hoarders.
Well, Mike calls it collecting, but I don’t like to dignify it with that term.
He amasses things that are small, unnecessary and irritating when you step on them.

I merely find it hard to part with things that have been useful, well-loved, and are still redolent with memories. Call it nostalgic retention. Not as uncomfortable as the water kind, but more space hungry.

I fear Hannah has caught both Mike’s collecting gene and my nostalgia one. I bought her a new pair of flip-flops today, and tried to take away her old ones – black and grimy with half the sequins dropping off, and now a size too small.

“No I want to keep them Mummy, so I can remember how small I was.”
How small she was, last year, when she was five instead of six.

I pity whoever she decides to shack up with in the years to come.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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5 Responses to Culling coats

  1. I am a total coat hoarder … many of which are charity shop finds.

    I have been called ‘the Imelda Marcos of coats’ before now …

  2. Tracey says:

    LOL – “nostalgic retention”. Can I use that line? I’ve written about my ‘collecting’ tendencies myself, but not so creatively! Not coats.. not in the climate I live in.. but too many other things.

  3. Omega Mummy says:

    Listen, it could be worse. The things I could tell you about sugar packets……And Leo’s collection of inside trouser pocket earth (every pocket, every time). And old bikes. And books. Re shoes – one mother I know has framed one pair per child.

  4. lady macleod says:

    I have the opposite gene, if you have not used it this year or last week – out it goes! It became such a problem for Q (who must know your daughter) that she put her foot down and made me promise to throw nothing out until she had checked it first.

    Except keys….I cannot throw out a key. I mean you just never know do you? Whatever it fit, say twenty years back, could still show up.

  5. duwlichmum says:

    You know dear heart, this post appears to have made “a penny drop” with me.

    I mentioned to the au pair that there was so much I could sell on Ebay (clothes wise) but I can’t be bothered with all of the photography/wrapping/trips to the post office. I have just noticed our hall cupboard is rather extremely a lot tidier than usual… and my wardrobe too for that matter. Indeed, Ana seems to have purchased the entire summer stock of Primark – Mmm……

    Thanks for that!

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