The High Chair

I’ve always been a fan of yard sales. Apparently what you call them hints at where you were raised- yard sale, tag sales, garage sale. I have memories of going with my dad to yard sales- once excitedly finding a Mr. Potato Head! We would hit up the annual town fundraiser, sometimes filling up a garbage bag and paying by the pound. Out of college, I hit up craigslist and estate sales to help furnish our first apartment. The habit continued into grad school and even when I was making a decent salary in my first job, I still was drawn to the yard sales. I often would pick up furniture left out for free on the side of the road, so I am no stranger to other people’s discardings.

After we had our big ultrasounds- the anatomy scan and the heart ultrasound- the ones that told us Mabel didn’t have any of the typical birth defects tht often come with Down Syndrome, I finally felt comfortable enough to start buying some baby supplies. Chris tacked down some secondhand cloth diapers on Craigslist and we nabbed a bunch of those. We drove an hour to buy the carseat we wanted from another ad on Craigslist. We made a trip to try out rockers at Babies-R-Us. We started a registry on Amazon. But when Chris came home one day with a high chair he picked up off the side of the road in our well-to-do town, I couldn’t find my usual warmth for this secondhand find.

Chris was confused. “We’ll bleach it,” he said, knowing my affinity for the cleaning product might sway me. I had already narrowed down the high chair I wanted, looking at reviews and prices. I think in my head I wanted to pick out the high chair special, not get whatever we could find. I agreed to hang on to it, figuring I’d eventually sway him into getting a new one. Until we deep cleaned it, it sat in the basement.

A few weeks later we were given the news that we might not need that high chair. The low fluid diagnosis at 27 weeks did not bode well for our baby and so we absorbed the words of the doctors when they said she might die.  Her kidneys weren’t working and the resulting low fluid would make her lungs small- perhaps too small to support her.  We stopped buying baby supplies. I cancelled my baby shower. We hid our registry. The high chair got moved to the basement.

A few months later, Chris packed up all the baby stuff and hid they in the attic, so I wouldn’t see the painful reminders of my dead baby. The high chair, though, stayed in the basement, tucked deep into the utility room so I wouldn’t cross its path when I did laundry.

Chris and I had a day off this week and ended up using it to simply do housework we had been avoiding. One task we crossed off the list was bringing the big pile of clothes and housewares to Goodwill. I threw the highchair into the car. I wasn’t fond of it before, but now I resented it, a symbol of what I did not get to have. Chris relented and we schlepped everything off to Goodwill. After unloading the bags and boxes, the highchair was the last item he brought to the storefront. He returned to the car with it in hand.

“They don’t take baby stuff.”

So we still have the highchair. I know of a few places that will likely take it, but they will take some extra coordination and trips.   We might just find a dumpster and ditch it, which we both hate the idea of because it’s in fine shape and there are people who would gladly take it.

I now hate that high chair. It’s haunting me.

What haunts you?

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19 thoughts on “The High Chair

    • something I’ve thought of- and frankly that’s probably what we’ll do- it’s the effort to coordinate it (and the scary thought of someone asking its history!) that is holding me back.

      • Although I have unloaded many a stuff on the craigslist free page, this might not be the best one to post there. Not only the questions interested people might ask about its history, but knowing that most people will be oblivious to BL and might babble on about their baby.

        I would have a friend or relative take it off your hands and trust that they would pass it along appropriately. I can do this for you if need be.

      • You are too sweet. thank you. It didnt even cross my mind that people might want to talk about their baby when picking up a free high chair (duh!) Craigslist is off the list now. plus people want to know the history- so I say my husband picked it up off the side of the road but I cant look at it because the baby that was supposed to sit in it died. doesnt go over well.

      • Related: I remember an ad in my college’s classifieds for a wedding dress “never used.” My roommates and I stared at it for a long time, exchanging devastated looks. That’s how I feel with the few items we acquired, “Baby clothes: never used.”

      • this is totally powerful. “high chair: never used.” (though technically this chair was probably used by previous owner, so its not true in my case, but that just might be the best descriptor and saddest one ever.)

  1. What a nightmare that you couldn’t even give away the high chair when you were ready to deal with it! How obnoxious! There’s already enough to deal with everyday you’d think the universe would at least make this easy.

    We moved all of the baby stuff out of our room and into the nursery that we created after Thomas passed away strangely enough. The nursery gives me hope, but it’s not as much in my face as when we had all of the baby stuff in our room. I am reluctant to return anything or take things down because I feel it underminds our goal to continue to grow our family. I have a friend that is also ttc on her own and her therapist actually recommended her to start putting together a nursery to keep her motivated and keep her morale up during the treatments, which was validating to hear.

    What does haunt me right now and being very much in the Halloween theme of haunting, is seeing the Halloween costumes everywhere and not having a kid to indulge in the holiday with, but I would have by now. Adult Halloween parties are hard for us to come by since almost all of our friends have kids, so now we feel left out of this holiday. Not to mention the winter holidays coming up! Ugh!

    • interesting about your friend’s therapist’s suggestion. I could see how it could be right for her in her situation. Don’t know totally if it would be right for me, but a interesting concept. makes me think.

      and yes- the halloween triggers…the first of all the holidays. the first I may ditch, in fact. we’ll see.

  2. Damned high chair. I’m sorry.

    All of the car seats intended for Zachary haunt me. The framed quote in C.T.’s bedroom which says “Sometimes being a big brother is even better than being a super hero”. Shit, yes, that was great for 2 weeks, wasn’t it darling? Until he was snatched away by a microscopic piece of bacteria. All of the things I reluctantly curated for him in December, as my ALREADY bereaved mother mind spoke these words…. “He’s going to live. Lord, please let him live.”

    • oh, how sad about the sign for CT. ugh- how it spills onto your living child. it must have taken so much to let yourself open up and buy things for a baby in hopes he’d live.

  3. Just as a suggestion – maybe you could list it on Craigslist (in the free section?) and have someone come by your house for it. If you post the listing and set it by your driveway, I’m sure it’ll be gone to someone who appreciates it in no time!

    • probably what we’ll end up doing- its the effort that hinders me, and the thought that someone might ask about the history of the chair (gulp). but craigslist works great- we unloaded two broken ellipticals over the winter that way.

      • If you feel CL is best for the high chair, you could always add a line or two about the history to, hopefully, ease the minds of others while being respectful of yourself.

        “Never-used high chair was intended for our daughter, but it doesn’t fit our home as we hoped/planned.”

        “We really liked the high chair, and it’s never been used. However, it just wasn’t the best for us.”

        We’ve given away a mass amount on CL and 2Good2Toss for free. I always add, “thanks for giving it a good home” which usually is remembered more than the text description of the item.

      • I’m thinking about donating it to one of two non profits nearby- one helps refuges resettle here and are often looking for apartment supplies. the other is for homeless women and children, giving them shelter and then setting them up into apartments. Now it’s just a matter of doing it (or finding a dumpster…)

  4. where do I start? I still have the bed, frame, stroller, and bouncer in my garage. I do not know what to do with them. I bought all new but have passed return date when I finally got around to summon my courage to do this. They constantly reminded me what has been lost in my life. Sigh…

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