I was at a garage sale last week that had lots of great baby stuff. I noticed a couple of young moms trying to grab a few items before everyone else. Watching the competition going on, it took me back 34 years ago when I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter, and my mom and I went to a fantastic baby garage sale down the street from where she lived on Michigan Ave. This is a true story…
It was a sweltering middle of July day and my mom and I decided that were we going to go to every garage sale that we circled the night before in red that was advertised in the Herald Argus within 500 miles, that had baby items. I was 8 months pregnant with my first child and needed everything to complete my nursery and fill my whole house with useful baby stuff. We thanked our lucky stars for finding an add that promised ‘everything for baby’! And to top it off, it was within walking distance from my mom’s house that over looked Beechwood golf course! The sale started at 9am sharp so I got to mom’s by 6am to make sure she was up, dressed, bright eyed and bushy tailed and of course, to fix me breakfast.
Around 8:30, we thought it would be a good idea to walk down to the sale and wait. By the time we got to the house with ‘everything for baby’, there was a crowd standing outside already. It was mostly pregnant women, young moms holding cranky toddlers and grandmothers! The folks holding the sale had yellow tape going across the driveway to keep the anxious mama’s from storming the sale early to grab the coveted items that they were bringing outside to sit in the driveway. It was almost torture to see everything you always dreamed of getting for your first born being brought out, placed behind a yellow barrier in clean, perfect condition…within arms reach! As I was drooling over all these adorable, must have baby things, my mother leaned over and whispered in my ear…a plan. She pointed out all the expensive things that I must have for baby! The swing, the little play cart, the tub, the musical crib mobile, the playpen, the toys, the sheets, the bottles, the blankets, the breast pump! Oh my gosh…all of it!!! I started to panic! How was I going to get it all with half of La Porte’s new mothers there needing it all too! That’s when my mom went into her ‘mother mode’ and was going to get everything for her little girl who was having a baby, no matter what! She was like a football coach and directed me to go around the right side and grab the swing while she went to the left to grab the playpen filled with rattles and teething rings! Once we had the hard to find big items safely in our hands, we would circle back towards the middle and go for the cart, sheets, blankets, bottles, and if course, the pump that I wasn’t too thrilled about…but my mother promised that it would become my most treasured item, especially in the middle of the night. As she drilled this plan in my head, I noticed that other granny’s were whispering in the ears of new mom’s who were looking as bewildered as I was feeling! The crowd stood there behind the yellow tape, not a sound could be heard except for an occasional whimper from an over heated toddler. We were all watching, planning, waiting, plotting, eyeing each other. Then the brave woman who thought It be a great idea to put in her add ‘everything for baby’, did the sign of the cross, looked up towards the sky, mouthed a quick and desperate prayer, then untied the tape. The stampede was already at the tables before it floated to the ground! I took off to the right, mother took off to the left! I was going for that expensive, must have swing! I noticed out of the corner of my eye, that I was racing another very pregnant lady for MY swing! Two almost-to-their-due-date mama’s waddling to a baby swing as fast their swollen ankles would let them! My hand touched It 3 seconds before hers! SCORE! I gave her the aha look, she glared back, then turned her head towards ‘the pump’! She looked back at me, narrowed her eyes and took off! I yelled to my mother who was carrying an arm load of baby blankets, sheets, bed pads, and who knows what else, “pump”!! She saw the young mom quickly waddling to the table with MY pump on it, and took off to grab it! The race was on! Waddling mama went straight down between the middle tables overflowing with infant clothes, as my mother headed towards the side tables with sesame street baby toys and pull up rubber pants. I could see them lunging for the pump at the same time. My mother lost my pump. The new mom held it high in the air, loudly saying, “got it”! In a way, I was relived.
I was able to check off 20 must have baby items from my list that day. I proudly went home to show my overwhelmed daddy-to-be hubby the new swing ( that you had to wind up by hand), playpen filled with toys, yellow sheets (for a boy or girl), blankets, and other ‘must haves’ that I never used but by golly, I had them!!