My In-laws Are Trying to Kill my Future Grand-baby

30 Sep

On September 22, the day we celebrated our daughter’s birthday with a houseful of people, Jennifer’s parents pulled into our driveway with an old wooden high chair. My father-in-law put it in front of our garage. I was hoping this was all part of some temporary display for the party. Sort of like a short run in a museum. But three hours later, they left; the high chair stayed.

I thought this strange because we no longer lock our kids into kitchen chairs to feed them pureed vegetables–they’re eight and twelve. I learned that Jennifer sat in that very chair and threw pasta on the floor and chewed on mashed peas and other soft foods and probably shit her pants in it a time or two. Whatever. She’s now in her mid-thirties. I wondered why the hell the high chair was still around in the first place. Obviously, the old thing has been stored away in some dark, spider-infested corner for a long time. Nobody cared about the high chair.

And now we’re supposed to care about it?

Her dad wanted to trash it, but her mom thought it’d be better to give it to us. Maybe she expects us to store it for 15 to 20 years just in case Chloe wants to strap her first child into it, assuming she’ll want to have kids. Hell, it could be Ainsley in 25 years to bring forth our first grandchild.

I know the drill, the American way. If an item has a chance of being used in the next sixty years, I’m supposed to store it in the basement, attic, or garage. I’ll watch as stuff piles up and we lose track of everything. And we will be convinced we need to stay in an over-sized house to store all of it.

Just because a house doesn’t qualify for Hoarders–just not quite scary enough–doesn’t mean there’s not a problem with this craziness.

I’m not sure what Jennifer thinks about the high chair. Does she want to store it away for a couple decades? I’ll probably ask her today. If she’s ambivalent, the chair will be in the hands of someone looking for such an item right now. Maybe a single mother who would be thrilled to receive a free high chair. Hopefully, by Tuesday, a smiling baby will be sitting in it, squishing wet cookies between her fingers.

I know, I know, most people have a different view. They scream “SENTIMENTAL VALUE!” Keep this. Keep that. When Chloe moves away to college am I supposed to hold a tiny little jumper against my cheek and cry? I can cry and remember just fine without it.

In fact, besides photos and videos that will be stored on some future computer, I own nothing that I wish to still possess twenty years from now.

There will be no auction when I die, I assure you.

If the “We have no room!” argument falls flat, I’ll point out the design flaws inherent in a 70s model high chair. Let me call it what it is–a death trap. No air bags, of course. The legs are too close together which means it will tip.

“Jennifer, do you want are first grand-baby to smack her soft little head on the kitchen floor?”

Also, it seems to be designed especially for smashing tiny fingers when the  eating surface is lowered. What kind of animal would put a child in a high chair that was manufactured by cretins back when Carter sat in the White House munching on peanuts?

Besides the safety concerns, I would be ashamed–no, appalled!–to give this to my daughter and have to say:

“Oh, I’m sorry about the Frisbee-sized eating surface on this antique piece of furniture. Just know that you’ll be spending most of your day cleaning food from the floor. Also–and you may  even remember this–I tried to get rid of this piece of firewood back in 2012. And you might remember the subsequent attempts in 2014, 2018, 2022, and that final valiant effort I gave back in 2028. I realize you can’t walk into a thrift store without tripping over modern, practical, safe high chairs available for five bucks, but you’re Granny, bless her soul, wanted us to store this for a large portion of our lives so you could–in twelve minutes–realize its many faults and hazards. You might have better luck duck-taping this precious baby to the wall. But still, enjoy.”

Note: If you were wondering how I could hand over such a hazardous chair to a stranger, you’re right. The best thing I could do for this world is to burn this high chair immediately. 

One Response to “My In-laws Are Trying to Kill my Future Grand-baby”

  1. mindy September 30, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    HAHA! I can’t believe they brought that thing over!! I am sure the paint is toxic, I would be careful burning it!!LOL

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