Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thrifty break

My mom's on spring break (from teaching) and so yesterday the three of us (Mom, me + the boy) all headed up to the (hands down) best thrift store in the Pacific Northwest. With the boy in the back doing his melt-your-heart hand motions to Twinkle, Twinkle, Mom sitting next to me singing along with The Rainbow Connection and with a few great finds, it was just about the perfect spring break morning. T doesn't really get defined breaks so I don't either now. We get Christmas Day instead of Winter Break, and here and there we get your national holiday three day weekend. I decided yesterday that you take a spring break where you can get it and the morning was the very essence of what a break should be. Things were a bit lighter, happier and it was all just so out of our normal daily routine. Very fun.

I came back with the standard daycare explosion variety plastic toys I always seem to find at this store. They're always in fantastic shape, always for about $1 and they're dirty (I've already mentioned my insanely bizarre cleaning process so I won't rehash that!). It's so handy to have some variety around here in the toy department (ha!-- That's what it'll really look like soon if I don't purge a bit: an actual toy department). In my experience kids the boy's age seem to love playing with things like empty boxes, Tupperware and they love to do things like empty an entire drawer of clothing or cupboard of pots and pans. This is fun, important work. Pushing buttons on a crazy/loud hunk of plastic isn't the same as nesting all of the mixing bowls back together. However, the right mix of extras really breaks up what can be a lot of time here in our 700-800 square foot abode and yesterday I found things like the most darling little play house for the boy's Little People and a little barn (we're going to have to find some farm animals!). I think really, in the back of my mind, there's a small idea of wanting to provide everything to the boy on a very limited income and feeling like I want the boy to have the variety and fun of my childhood (though my mom and dad provided all of that variety and fun with a limited income too, and it was a wonderful and enriched childhood). Anyhow, I know daycare variety explosion toys aren't necessary but a few are fun.

There's a dress that's been hanging right out in the open for $4 for months at this store. I always stop and eye it and want it, though I have no earthly idea where I'd wear it (we don't do nice, semi-fancy white dress-type events around here). It was there again, and I decided I had to just get it. With the boy's waning patience I didn't have it in me to try it on but it looked big. It is big for me on top, and it's too snug around my, er, big bottom. This is not the best combo (too big on top, too snug on bottom) for my self-image. It may have to go to my (tall, skinny, beautiful) sister. It's handmade and really gorgeous in person with the most amazing fabric.

So this all brings me to what I've put off for months (and months). Our jogging stroller, which hurt me to buy in the first place (I hate spending loads of money, you know), was left under a very covered front porch-type area for a few days in the rainy fall. It was completely covered, mind you, but it grew a nasty black mold on the straps and a bit on the seat too. I googled solutions and all of these people were saying you had to throw it away. My friend said I should just wash it with bleach water and call it good. So here's the question: If I wash and scrub and just use it am I a bad mother, putting her child at risk for a nasty something or other? Do I buy a new one (I've been scanning Craigslist for months to no avail)? Would you replace the straps (that's the part I worry about-- what if he put them in his mouth?) somehow? How would I go about doing that?

So that's the current excuse for why my bottom is too big. Convenient that I've done nothing about the stroller for months and months so, oops!, I can't run.

Mom figured I should take some different pictures of Henry + Olivia to show how big they really are. I like the two of them sitting on the little chair together! I tried to find more vintage angora and lamb's wool fabric at the thrift store again but there wasn't any. Go figure.


Matroskin said...

I've used a mouldy pram that was washed in the machine, I mean the covering was. The washing removed the nasty mould, and I can't believe that it would still have been dangerous. The fabric on strollers etc moulds very easily, and it's best to keep them inside. We have a pushchair and a perambulator in our small flat. We also have a twin stroller I keep outside and hope it won't mould.

Autum said...

This is another very helpful post. Alyssa was given a carseat for the baby and the straps and cushion are a little dirty. I took the cushion off and washed it in the machine, but wasn't sure about the straps.