The politics of my Craigslist baby crib

I’m not so much of a deal junkie as I am a weird-thing junkie. I own an original Chicago el stop sign (Linden!) as well as a leather voodoo mask, a ceramic shrunken head, and a beer can from 1978. The other day I was bored, as a person confined to the couch 22 hours a day might be, and came across thee most rad thing in an itemized ad for a yard sale on Craigslist: a 100-year-old cast iron baby crib. CAST. IRON. BABY CRIB. Not only was it faboo, it was practical (well, as practical as buying a crib in the middle of a high-risk pregnancy that has already resulted in the loss of a twin can be, but hey, we optimistic over here). I sent my husband over to the yard sale in progress to see if by small chance this amazing object d’awesome could be mine. He slunk home with no dice. Steee-rike.

If you haven’t learned by now, I’m a wiley one. I don’t give up. In the words of Journey, I don’t stop believin’. I emailed the Craigslist yard sale purveyor to see if the crib had been picked over. Three short minutes later I had my answer. It was still there. JallaLoooya, that cold ass crib was about to be mine! I posted a picture along with a not-so-humble brag on Facebook.

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And thus, a minor poo storm began.

Dudes, ladies, peers, moms? I love you. I know you come at me with “quelle horreur” about strangled babies and lead paint from an earnest place. I know you cried with me when I lost Squirt. I know you signed my petition. I know you love me, as much as an internet stranger can love a rando blogger lady. But ya’ll better back the truck up off my Craigslist crib.

The truth is there is no perfect place for a baby to sleep. Cribs are recalled left and right and sadly, babies even die sleeping in their mother’s arms. This crib will be power blasted, then painted with non-toxic paint that I will watch being mixed before my own eyes at my neighborhood Benjamin Moore store. It will be retrofitted with a tall, breathable mesh so no one slithers out of it in the night and creeps off to midnight baby parties in the alley. This crib has stood the test of time, having just come off the heels of safely bedding my neighbor’s five consecutive children. All that junk at Babies’R’Us we’re importing from China? I cannot safely say the same.

We already know our water supply is effed. Our food is killing us. Also, not all new things are safe. Children’s products are recalled on the regular. All the baby contraptions I emptied my pockets on in 2008 (when I used to wear pants with pockets) like baby hammocks, Bumbo seats, fluffy crib bumpers and slings have all been deemed death traps.

The stark matter of it is nothing in this world is 100% safe and we all must take risks. This is never more true or the results more scrutinized than with parenting. It’s up to each family to decide what their risks will look like and these are mine. I have vegetarian kids, a staggered (but complete!) vaccination schedule and a sweet antique baby bed I bought on Craigslist yesterday.

Home birthers might sound crazy to some of us, but they’ve come to their conclusions. Bottle-feeders and home-schoolers are all making the best decisions they can for their families with the information they have. I’m not an idiot. I’m an educated third-time mom whose life experience has made her both distrust certain mass-marketed products and have an affinity toward weird crap I find on Craigslist. This has come together in glorious union with my new crib. In short, I’m a big girl.

Please know that no one loves a baby like her parents. No one is more concerned about safety or quality of life of a child than her own family. When you see a parent making a different choice than you, like, say, having a two-career family or outfitting the nursery with a Craigslist find (hey, it could be worse), just trust that family has made their choice with good intention.

Well. Unless they plan to give birth with a dolphin midwife who lives in the ocean. Then feel free to crinkle those brows, ole girl! Git ’em!


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