The Baytown Sun
Published Oct. 12, 2005
Having been parents for almost seven years, we've used many of your baby products. Our two children have gone through one swing, two strollers, three monitors, a couple of playards and a highchair. You make good stuff, and you've helped make our girls' early years easier. Thank you.
My complaint is this: I don't know how to get rid of this stuff.
Oh, I know we could give it to someone who needs it. We have done that with some of the clothes our 1-year-old is outgrowing at an alarming rate.
But some things I just can't let go.
My husband, who has never attached a sentimental feeling to an inanimate object in his life, does not have this problem. While I stash teeny baby socks in my jewelry box and stained sleepers in my hope chest, he has no problem carrying a baby swing out to the curb and leaving it there.
When our first child starting outgrowing her stuff, I had the excuse of "saving it for the next baby." Well, the next baby is here, and, if things go as planned (not that either one of our children was planned), she is also the last baby. So my excuse is gone.
We're still using the stroller, the highchair and the crib. The item at issue right now is the swing. We don't want to give it away because the latch on the seat is broken, and we would hate for some poor child to get an unexpected lesson in gravity. So we really just need to throw it away.
But this is the swing that rocked our first baby to sleep every day, then waited patiently in storage for five years before faithfully rocking our second to sleep. And we're supposed to set it out with our dirty diapers and empty pizza boxes?
Here's an idea. You should make all of your baby products so that they can be used as something else. They already make cribs that convert into toddler beds. Why not a baby swing that turns into a couch? Or a nice coffee table? How about a stroller that converts into a mountain bike? Believe me, parents -- at least emotionally unstable moms like myself -- would snap this stuff up.
Meanwhile, I've found a way to get rid of baby stuff without completely ripping my heart out. I've taken a bouncy seat, a baby gym and an Exersaucer to the nursery at our church. That way I can visit them every once in a while.
I am trying to work on my emotional attachments to my kids' things. I've been reminding myself that in ten years or so, when our daughter brings her prom date home and he trips over her Pack 'n' Play, well, that will just be embarrassing. So I need to work through this before then. Maybe your company could also offer therapy for mommies who buy your products. Throw in some Starbucks gift certificates, and we should be just fine.
Again, thank you for all your hard work.
Deana Nall's column appears every Wednesday. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.