Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So long, old friend

I get ridiculously sentimental about baby stuff.

Every time I get clothes out to hand down, I pull each little onesie or tiny soft footed jammy out of the box, gaze at it, hug it, sigh, then fold it and set it back down. Wistfully.

How do I know the ritual? Because I have watched my husband imitate me doing it.

He thinks he's real funny.

So given my propensity to be attached to all things relating to my babies, the highchair has a special place of honor in my heart.

I remember picking it out at Babies R Us when I was pregnant with Shepherd. I liked that it was cream colored instead of white and the colors sort of matched my kitchen. And, it had this nice reversible fabric seat cover, instead of ucky vinyl.

Rookie mom. That fabric soon became the bain of my existence. Because ucky vinyl wipes off with a sponge. Which means the ucky vinyl moms miss out on the maternal joy that comes with digging day old sat upon mushed banana out of fabric.

Or, not. Since the only way to clean the thing was to throw it in the washer, well.

I'm sure it built up their immunities.

Nevertheless, four of my babies sat and ate and colored and painted and threw food on the floor and had their first birthday cake from this chair. Until they discovered that they could stand up, at which point they were swiftly transferred to the Eddie Bauer booster chair, one of my favorite products for the sole reason that the tray locks over their little legs as tightly as Fort Knox.

Because I consider one of the keys to my maternal success to be Physical Restraint.

Ike just gleefully learned he could stand a couple of weeks ago, so he has made the booster seat transition. The high chair was moved to the garage during the birthday parties, and there it stayed.

I considered selling it, but for starters that would require cleaning it. Ugh. Donate it to Goodwill? Not.quite.ready.for.that. I predicted it would sit in our garage for a good six months, until finally my husband or mother convinced me, probably quite untactfully, that I needed to let it go. And since it would by then be covered with garage dust and, well, who knows what else might have grown on it (did I mention I didn't clean it as well as I should?), I would probably be ready to say goodbye.

But last week, an email came from a mom in my Mops group. She had a family member with a nine month old daughter. Six feet of water in their Galveston home had taken everything they owned...could anyone help?

I immediately emailed back, I have a high chair sitting in my garage...

I'll be there tomorrow, she replied.

So, my high chair is gone. And I am so thrilled for the opportunity to help a new mom and a baby girl who lost everything in Ike. It's hard to let go of something - until you realize it's going to someone who had to let go of everything.

Just wish I had one with a vinyl seat to give her.

So long, beige colored fabric seated high chair decorated with antique bananas and squashed raisins. Filthy or not, you served us well.

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