When my first son, Jonah, was born, he wore those cute footy pajamas. As he got older, his pajamas came in sets. I was very good at keeping these all together. Folded, neat and tidy. And, my son was always in matching pajamas.
When my second son, Samuel, was born, I realized this was insane. To simplify things, I kept two drawers (cloth bins really, as a cubicle unit with bins is what we use for a dresser). One for Jonah's pajamas. One for Sam's. No folding. Just stuffing. At bed time, I pulled a set of pajamas out of each drawer, and voila! Two boys, dressed for bed.
By the time my third child, Catherine, was born, her brothers had grown to wear the same sized pajamas. There was no longer a need to separate them by boy. So, I took my two pajama bins, filled one with all the tops, and one with all the bottoms. No folding. Just stuffing. At bed time, I pulled two pieces from each drawer, and voila! Two boys, dressed for bed.
Yes. I know. I'm brilliant.
Where I failed, and where my brilliance was immediately extinguished, was with the boys themselves. Early on, I was dressing malleable (though squirming) little people with no interest in the matter. As my boys grew, they developed personalities. And, opinions.
"They don't match," Jonah said, and wrinkled his nose in disgust.
"Suck it up, little man," was my loving reply.
To his credit, he did attempt, thereafter, to dig out his own matching pajamas. But, as no one else bothered, it got to be impossible. I felt for the kid. He just liked it better when he matched. And, truth be told, I like it better, too. Not enough to actually fold pajamas, but I was open to suggestions.
A friend of mine gave me her secret. She matches up the tops and bottoms and rolls them together. I thought, What a great idea? So I tried it. It turns out "rolling" pajamas, is just another way of folding pajamas, into the shape of a roll. I gave up after three pair.
Then...What is that glow? It is getting brighter, and brighter. Yes! I got my brilliance back!
Clothes pins! I sorted the pajamas into matching sets and clothes pinned them together. A little more trouble than just stuffing them in the drawer, but not much. Yay, yay, yay!!!! At bed time, the boys themselves pulled out a matching set of pajamas, and voila! Two boys, dressed for bed.
All was right with the world.
That was until several moths later when my middle child decided to assert his independence by having a different opinion.
"Nooooo!" squealed Sam. "No matching!"
I was speechless. I looked him straight in the eye. I gave him my cross face. And, I just blinked at him. Speechless.
Fine. Fine, fine, fine! FINE!
Two drawers. One for tops. One for bottoms. I will make sure they are clean. Beyond that, you are on your own little people. First come, first (self) served. Any whining, you will sleep naked. I have spoken!
[As I write this, my two boys are on a trip with their Nana and Grandpa. In their suitcase, are two Ziploc bags, one containing three sets of matching pajamas, and one containing three random bottoms and three random tops, labeled accordingly. That's motherly love, right there.]