The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

The Milestone in the Underwear Pile


It occurred to me last night that parenting turns the mundane into milestones, causing strange emotional reactions. I had one of those while we were folding the laundry during “Desperate Housewives” (as we do every other Sunday night.) I had folded a tiny pair of Dylan’s underwear, and was putting them on his underwear pile when the hubby noted, “Awwww. Dylan has an underwear pile now.”

We’ve been in the throes of “potty training”/”potty learning” for the past week now, and Dylan has transitioned from diapers to underwear most of the time. Needless to say, it’s been a week of outfit changes, and a bit more laundry on Dylan’s part, but he’s getting it. For the last few days, he’s kept his diaper dry when he had one one, and kept himself dry when he had his underwear. Last night, the big deal was that he did No. 2 in the potty, something he’d only done at school to date, which earned him a Thomas the Train sticker.

I found myself getting misty-eyed that Dylan has an underwear pile. It’s just another sign that he’s growing up, and isn’t really a baby any more, even though I still think of him as one sometimes. (And in many ways he’ll always be our baby, to me.)

Of course we realized that it means the day we change our last diaper is on the horizon, and the diaper genie will be a thing of the past. But I still had a slight lump in my throat over the new underwear pile in our lives. It signifies the beginning of something, yes. But it signifies the end of something too. Something precious I’m sure I’ll miss just a little bit.

But I won’t miss diapers. Period.


  1. It’s funny what pops up as milestones as your kids grow up. It’s not always the firsts like we expect, first words, first steps, but the lasts that get me. No longer in diapers, no longer in a carseat, no longer needs me to help with the car door or seat belt, no longer needs a high chair, no longer holds my hand in the parking lot, no longer needs special thermometers! This coming flu season it occurred to me that I no longer need to buy children’s medicine. All the kids are big enough to take small doses of adult medicine and all of them can swallow pills. I know my job is to prepare them to leave me, but it’s still emotional to see them doing it so fast!

  2. I hang out with a bunch of guys at the cigar store and we’ve actually talked about the day each of use realized we’d never have to change another diaper. It’s a major day. It ought to be celebrated every year.