More Plastic

Before Sophie was born I envisioned her nursery as a simple one—lots of books, some wooden blocks and maybe a few dolls. I vowed never to live in a house where, upon entering, you immediately knew a baby lived there. I didn’t want brightly colored plastic to be my conversation pieces. I wanted our handmade and carefully purchased furniture to always stand out. I wanted the pottery given to us as gifts, the oil painting we purchased in Venice, the print we bought at Summerfair, my many books and our many photographs to be what people noticed and talked about, to be what we first saw after a long day away from home.

Oh how things change.


I blame many things. Baby books. Well-meaning friends. Craigslist. And most recently, our pediatrician. He “highly recommended” an ExerSaucer. He said Sophie was “the perfect age.” He went on and on about “skill building” and “motor development” and how it’s great for when I need to do something, like eat. I left the appointment, got in the car and immediately called Andy. “We have to buy an ExerSaucer,” I said. “Now.” (I’ve since wondered if our pediatrician is getting paid by Evenflo on the side.)

Once home, I looked up ExerSaucers on Consumer Reports. The highest rated one cost $100. Ouch. So I got on Craigslist and found one purchased last fall for $25. Andy picked it up on his way home from work and once home, I cleaned it. And now it sits in our living room, in front of a bookshelf I built, blocking the vase from Andy’s mom, a framed picture of us sea kayaking in Costa Rica, a hand-turned wooden vase from a former editor and antique books. But Sophie loves it. And although I’ll always love my pretty, grown-up things, lately, it’s her things that make me smile whenever I walk in the front door. It’s funny how aesthetics change.

“It’s amazing how much a few pieces of plastic and paper will sell for if the purchasers are parents or grandparents.” —Lawrence Kutner