Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Once upon a nervous breakdown

I'm not afraid of thrift stores. In fact, I quite enjoy the thrill of the hunt, pushing my way through rack after rack of other people's discarded stuff, sifting for gems. And I often find them.
Which is why it was such a shock to me to find myself breathing shallowly outside a kid's consignment store yesterday. I had to walk through the Beverages & More next door (smart!) to calm down. (Side note: I miss booze now!)
Allow me, kind reader, to back track. It all started when my mother in law said something "Hey, have you gone to Once Upon a Child? You should, you know. They have cribs and stuff there. And it is cheap."
"What an excellent idea!" the husband and I decided. And so we went.
The first thing that hits you in the face when you open the door of one of these establishments is the screaming. Oh, Lord Almighty, the screaming. It bounces off the walls of this tight confined space, and you can hear the babies scream "THIS IS GOING TO BE HAPPENING TO YOU IN LIKE FIVE MONTHS. WAAA HAAA HAA HAA!"
Underneath the screaming, you can hear Disney Princess songs being piped in. You see, there is no escape from their horrid taffeta clutches. Not even for your ears.
Cast a look around, and you will find new cribs pushed up against each other all the way to the walls. The walkways are tiny, and littered with discarded toys. Hey, look, there's all sorts of new furniture. And lo, it is not cheap.
We did find some icky used strollers folded up under a display. But, ewwww.
Teenagers with giant pregnant bellies walk the aisles in ripped jeans.
The walls are lined floor to ceiling with mostly pink clothes. Take one off the rack to examine, and be blown away by the savings and/or stains. Or perhaps just think to yourself "Dang. Baby clothes are expensive." It really depends on what you pick up.
Wander around for a bit, and you're sure to ask yourself "What's that smell?" That smell, my friends, is children. And it is not a nice smell.
Crowded, loud, disorganized, smelly, overly pink...in other words, picture a nursery from hell.
"I do not like it here." I whimpered to my husband.

It took me a few minutes after the sensory overload had died down to figure out that this place preyed on a lot of my worst fears about parenting. Namely, that the rest of my life is going to be loud, disorganized, packed to the gills with crap, smelly, overly pink, and that there will be a Disney Princess peeking out from every corner.
I've been reading a lot of blogs, and growing enamored with the idea that there's more than one way a house with children looks. Even if they all tend to be messy. (That's okay, really! I mean, have you seen my studio? I can handle a mess. Also, pink.)
So if you'll need me, I'll be hunkered down at my sewing machine, crafting up bibs and blankets and whatnot. Savoring these precious last few months of control and good looking things.

And! If you know of tutorials or sites about making baby stuff, PLEASE post those links below!


Barbara Prime said...

How to keep this short...
1. Best place for used, decent baby stuff is craigslist. You might need to keep looking, but it's worth it.
2. Best place for baby clothes is hand-me-downs from friends or relatives. If that's not an option, thrift stores you actually like.
3. Babies really can be loud and smelly, but they make you laugh so much the bad stuff stops mattering very quickly.
I had some of those horrible panicked moments when I was pregnant, but after a year and a half being a mom, I think it's going to be okay :)

debi said...

Barbara, that was such a sweet post and soooo true. I am a grandma now, to a 4 month old boy, we all go thru some VERY weird times, strange thoughts, regrets, etc. They only last for a moment and all is well with the world when your baby gives you that first smile!!!

Absolutely Small said...

Barbara: Thank you for the tips and words of wisdom!

Debi: Thanks for the advice!

^_^ Both of your sweet comments are very much appreciated!

SewSweetStitches said...

Ugh I also despise Once Upon A Child. Their stuff is overpriced crap. If you can find a baby consignment shop that is not a franchise, they're usually nicer. (And I meant a baby CLOTHES shop... ehehe)

Anyway, sorry I don't have any links to share. I'm too mired down in loud, disorganized, packed to the gills with crap, smelly, overly pink, and filled with Disney Princesses world of child-rearing to make things for my kid.
Boy did you ever hit the nail on the head! It's EXACTLY like that. But still worth it :)

Absolutely Small said...

Oh, thank goodness it's not just me! I usually like consignment stores, so this was a shock.
Anyway: no disrespect meant! I KNOW my house is going to wind up that way, it's just a matter of time. :)

MonkeyDogStudio said...

I don't have kids, so I haven't tried this, but I think it's an awesome idea. http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Baby-Romper-from-a-T-Shirt

Absolutely Small said...

Oh, awesome! I'll give that a try. Thanks for the link!

Talu said...

I'll re-post when I find some useful links to share, but I wished I had known you were told to go to 'Once upon a child' I could have told you that you would not like it. It's the worst used thrift store ever, and I've been to quite a few. I don't need to tell you details, you already know how bogus it is, but ... you're experience was understandable even to someone like me, parenting is not horror, it's like what the ladies before me posted. And if you have a girl, she'll like something she's exposed to, so if you expose her to non-stop Disney princesses and Barbies, then she'll be really into them. You're still in control. Besides in 3 or 4 years it will likely be Disney fairies in Space or something like that. LOL!
I think (if you have a girl) that she'll be A LOT like you my dear friend. I'm very happy for you!

Absolutely Small said...

Aw, thanks June!

Talu said...


Both of these sites have pretty informative tutorials on how to make things for a baby and toddler. And the best part their free!


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