January 31, 2011

Losing it in Babies R Us

Yesterday was a rainy day here in Northern California, so the kids couldn't play outside. I'm not compaining (much); I know we are about to lose half the country until you thaw out this spring. I guess I won't rub it in that it was totally sunny and 70 degrees here today. But yesterday the kids were bouncing off the walls, vacillating between tears and maniacal laughter, and we needed to get out.

Babies R Us is having a trade-in event, where if you bring back any car seat, stoller and a few other things, you can get a coupon for 25% off new gear. I had the kids' old infant car seat taking up much needed storage space in the garage and we decided to go on a family outing and turn in the car seat. I was disappointed I couldn't put the car seat to use, and I tried to sell it or donate it, but since it is just about 4 years old, no one seems to want it. Car seats "expire" and are no longer considered safe after 5 years.

When we got to the store, Jeff took Moe and Jelly around in a stroller while I turned in the car seat. They took it without ceremony, and handed me my 25% off coupon, which unfortunately was only good for that day, and couldn't be used on any of the things I actually wanted to buy. But I took it, and as I walked away, I spotted that car seat sitting empty behind the counter.

I can't fully explain what happened next, but when I found Jeff and the kids, I just started to cry. (I suspect that at any given moment, there is always someone crying in BRU.) That car seat brought my two babies home from the hospital. How many times did I tote that thing around, placing it on the floor just like it was at that moment, but with one of my sweet little babies batting at a rattle or (even better) sleeping soundly? Fortunately, I was able to compose myself as Jelly shouted "Elmo!" and "Dora!" and hugged every stuffed animal she could reach.

We decided to go out to dinner, which I'm happy to report, happened without incident. As we were talking, and the kids were shoveling beans into their mouths like they hadn't eaten in days, I wondered aloud why I got so emotional about the car seat. I mentioned have plenty of pictures of that car seat to remind me of those first days. Jeff pointed out that we also have the kids themselves, who themselves are pretty good reminders.

 Good point.



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