Sam used to have a “pack and play” playpen that long-time readers may recognize from old pictures. She became separated from it a while back when we left it at my sister’s house in anticipation of just using it on the next visit, which never happened for one reason or another. Well, a few weeks ago I get an e-mail from my sister. It turns out that she had set up the playpen so some visiting friends could put their own toddler down to rest. Only that sleepy toddler was experiencing extreme gastrointestinal distress of the kind usually reserved for sick elephants. And it turns out that this child has a bit of an artistic streak, so short version: the playpen was befouled in a most thorough fashion –a fashion involving deliberate smearing, cramming, and grinding. So my horrified sister apologized profusely and told us to pick out a new one for the new baby so that she could buy it for us.
Seeking to save her a few bucks, Ger and I decided to try and buy a used one instead. So yesterday we went to some kind of “Baby Mania” event, and if you can just hold the words “huge baby-related yard sale” in your mind for a moment you’ll probably start to understand my trepidation going in. It was basically a one-day swap meet where people could take the dried up husks of their old parenting equipment and sell them for pennies on the dollar to people like us who didn’t want to pay full price.
As we pulled up to the event and saw the ocean of penny pinching parents swarming over the second-hand goods, I started to worry that once we got in there some crazed, new mother in a faded jumpsuit would grab Samantha, hold her up in front of me and scream “HOW MUCH FOR THIS? HOW MUCH?” And I’d be totally speechless, because I’ve never given the question adequate thought. It’s also the kind of event where you have to assume that everything has at least trace amounts of other kids’ filth on it, but you have to think “How much poop is too much?” because poop or no that exersaucer is a steal at five bucks.
But actually, it wasn’t that bad. We walked out with a number of things, including a little fire truck that represents the best $0.75 we’ve ever spent judging from Samantha’s enthusiastic enjoyment of it. No playpen, though.
Here’s some pictures:
I like this one because of the precarious mounting of the tire swing and the way she looks like she’s about to launch herself into disaster. This one also makes me smile, but mostly in memory of what she was doing when I took it. Ger had left one of her “Chick Lit” books on the counter and Sam picked it up to study the cover, which had a cartoon of two fish kissing. Sam then sat down and flipped through the book, stopping at each page to point at one random word and say “Fish…” and then to point at another another and say “Kiss…” She did this for like 10 minutes. Apparently it’s a book about fish that kiss, and apparently Sam found it to be a page turner.