We are making every effort to stay in our 3 bedroom, 2 bath house as long as possible. Because space is an issue, I've become a bit fanatical about getting rid of stuff that we are no longer using. Or, stuff that we are not using as much as we should (or that I think we should).
I have become the anti packrat.
This mentality has been both a blessing and a curse. On the upside, I'm highly organized. On the downside, I've gotten rid of stuff and then kicked myself because it turns out we really DID need that item. Such as a pair of shoes. Or ... a kitchen table.
Because we don't have the room, and I can't stand to let things pile up, I've never been able to hold on to stuff long enough to participate in a yard sale. Usually, once I have a garbage bag full of stuff we're no longer using (or wearing), I'm off to Goodwill. My frequency at these "Goodwill Runs" has me on a first name basis with the guys at the drop-off station.
Baby equipment is a different animal. Most of these items, we've purchased ourselves, and spent a small fortune on. I'm not as good about giving away a $90.00 exersaucer that I bought less than a year ago ... or a $280.00 crib set that looks brand new. Going against my very nature, we've been stockpiling baby equipment in our garage ... with the intention that we would participate in our community-wide yard sale, held the third Saturday ... every May.
My friend Debbie, who lives less than a mile down the road, missed the deadline for registering for the community-wide yard sale, so asked if she could throw a few items of hers - in to our sale. Considering she has 16-month old triplet boys, you can probably imagine the volume of baby paraphernalia we had on our driveway.
Our garage door opened at 6:15 AM, so that we could start moving everything out to the driveway. Witnessing the rush to our house once the garage door was open, has convinced me that there are people in this world, whose #1 goal in life is to be the first one to hit a yard sale on Saturday morning. These people mean business. Within seconds ... the first cars stopped. Charlie's dusty power tools (router, drill press, circular saw) were the first items to go.
What surprised me the most is that there were teams driving around our neighborhood, scouting out all the different sales. They would communicate with one another via walkie-talkies and Nextels. I overheard one of the conversations. It went something like this: "Breaker 1-9, Breaker 1-9 ... we've hit the MOTHERLODE for baby equipment. I'm counting SIX mobiles! Multiple walkers, exersaucers, bouncy chairs, swings, crib sets, and good Lord ... is that a breastpump?!"
We'd sold off half of our stash before the babies even woke up at 8:15 AM. I got everyone dressed, set their highchairs up in the garage, and brought the kids out to enjoy breakfast watching people pick through the equipment that was so critical for our success their first year of life. People would walk up to the house, eye all of the baby gear, look at us perplexed and say "Gosh, you've sure got a lot of baby stuff, don't you?" and usually before either of us had an opportunity to respond, one of the kids would catch their attention and they'd say "HOLY SMOKES! I SEE WHY!!!"
I'm not one to judge ... usually ... but one woman's attitude irked me. This 40'ish something woman, with long braids, birkenstocks, and a tie-dye shirt that read "Hug A Tree" was perusing the table with *baby stuff for under a buck*. She picked up one of our dishwasher baskets, the kind of thing you can wash sippy cup lids, pacifiers, nipples, etc. in ... and asked "What is this?" I told her that it was a dishwasher basket and it worked great to clean nipples. The woman actually looked DOWN HER NOSE at me and said "Well, if you'd breastfed, you wouldn't have a need to wash nipples ... would you? There is nothing better for your baby than breastmilk."
I'm not going to get too sidetracked with my philosophy on breastfeeding ... but I will say that I'm glad I did it, as much as I could. I also am not ashamed, in the least bit, that our babies consumed formula. I figured out three months in to their young lives, that if I was ever going to sleep - they needed to get nutrition from a source other than me ... ALL THE TIME.
I appreciate that there are so many advocates for breastfeeding out there, but if there is one thing I cannot stand ... it is a "Holier Than Thou" attitude. Especially when it comes to breastfeeding a baby. I swear I think some women pull that crap just to make themself feel superior. Or whatever.
When this woman made her snide comment, she had not yet seen the "Board of Directors" lined up eating their breakfast in the garage. But within a few seconds, William flung a waffle at her - and her gaze fell upon our magnificent trio, perched in their highchairs.
She looked back at me and said "Oh my ... are those ... triplets?" Charlie stepped in and said "Yes, they are triplets. And my wife just weaned them from breastfeeding three months ago. We also used bottles sometimes and that's why the dishwasher basket came in so handy."
She gave Charlie this really weak smile and said "Wow, I am impressed." To which Charlie responded "I'd never try to make someone feel bad because they didn't breastfeed their child. I think most mother's have enough insecurities already, without adding to it. Know what I mean?"
Really - that's why I love the man. The only thing else that I wish he would have said was "So, put THAT in your peace pipe and smoke it."
Overall, we had a good day. The kids had a great time seeing all the different people, and enjoyed one last play date with their retired toys set up in our driveway. So as to not confuse anyone, I would say "The baby is just modeling how the Jumperoo works. She doesn't actually come with the item."
Because we were ready to get on with the day and it was starting to get really hot ... we shut down the sale at noon, All told, we raked in $287.50. Not a fortune, but not too bad, either. We wound up giving a lot of stuff away ... including 70 baby bottles and nipples and a huge collection of Nuby sippy cups. I've decided I didn't like that brand, after all. (I'll be giving an update on our Operation Bottle Wean later this week). Any items that we didn't sell - - were promptly carted off to Goodwill.
We'll be filling the space in the garage that was left by all of these items, soon. Infact, we ordered a new kitchen table that will be delivered, this week. Because we want to start sitting together as a family at meal time, we'll be using booster chairs during feeding. Which means, the highchairs will be moved out to the garage.
And thus begins the cycle of stockpiling baby stuff ... again.