I’ve been looking for discounts on baby items on craigslist, and I found a co-sleeper for sale for half off. And better yet, it was just down the street, so I didn’t have to drive very far or have it shipped.
We’ve decided that the system that perhaps might work for us is to start with the baby in the co-sleeper — a small crib attached and directly in line with our bed — and for naps the baby could be in a crib in its room or else in a pack-n-play that floats around the house. I may even be okay with the baby sleeping right in our bed, but because we have dogs who are slowly being trained to not jump on the bed at night, I want the baby to have a place that is safe from them and from our semi-conscious selves.
I don’t feel any particular desire to push the baby into its own room too quickly — it’s harder for me, and a swift transition from nine months inside to a room on its own seems unnecessary. I don’t think there’s any prize for putting the baby in his own room the fastest — in fact, I actually think I may feel that the opposite is true (though I’ll have to see, I don’t know from experience).
Last night I drove down the street to check out the used co-sleeper, and what I found was this beautiful young family, our age and in a house that was simple and uncluttered and with a huge piano that took up most of the main room. The husband showed me the co-sleeper, taking it out of its bag and showing me how it worked and pointing out where it was worn from use. Then the wife came in and helped him disassemble it. They talked of their three-year-old, who has slept with them for most of his life and decided recently that he’s ready for his own room. No tears, no difficult transition. He was ready when he was ready.
So $75? I asked.
Yeah, does that sound right to you? the husband asked me.
Actually, the wife started to say.
Maybe less, because of the worn spots? the husband finished for her.
No, actually, I was thinking that she could just take it, she finished quietly.
The husband was quiet but seemed relatively indifferent. The wife helped me bring it to the car. She said she was just grateful that someone could use it and that it wouldn’t have to be in their house anymore.
Sometimes giving looks so easy. She just wanted to give. We were neighbors, and I was entering a life phase that she had just finished. She was sending me off into mine with a gift, from one family to another. I tried to offer to pay perhaps too many times, and I assured them that they had my contact information if they changed their mind.
It made it easier last night to give. To jump up and get Steve his tea, to take the dogs out, leaning over my obstruction of a belly to deal with their muddy paws. It made it clear that I also have to give like she gave. I’m already planning all the things I can give to a new mother once the baby or babies are grown.