Friday, I completed what apparently is a motherhood rite of passage (in these parts at least)… the children’s consignment sale. Holy hell. Jennifer & I arrived 50 minutes after it opened, & had to park in the back of the lot. While pulling Rose’s stroller & bag out of the car, I had a realization… that I have crossed over to the elusive Baby Island. I know you’re probably thinking “Uh, Sarah? Rose is 5 months old… you crossed to BI quite a while ago.” But it wasn’t until I went into this place that was so completely foreign, so “mommies only,” that I realized that with my Rose ticket in my hand, I’ve crossed over. So I demanded that Jennifer take of picture of me. Because that’s what you do when you have a realization :)
There were women armed with strollers, totes, baskets & wagons… like the red wagon that you pull your kid in, except instead of kids, their wagons were full of clothes. A few creative shoppers had brought their laundry baskets & were pulling them around by belts & jump-ropes. The walls of the giant room were lined with women who had staked out their real estate… having picnics with older children, breast- & bottle-feeding babies, pulling their selections out an item at a time & examining them for stains, rips & the like. There was a din of wailing kids, gurgling babies & baskets & wagons being dragged across the floor, along with the occasional request over the loudspeaker for an offending minivan or SUV to be moved.
And the stuff. Oh my lord. There were tables of toys, books, gear. Gobs of clothing & shoes & hats in all sizes & colors. I just stood at the front of the room & felt my eyes glaze over a bit. Jennifer & I headed for the back & worked our way up… she in the 2T’s & 4T’s, me in the 9-12 months. It took me a while to work out a system, but finally Rose & I were booking it up & down each aisle like consignment champs. It’s the first place I’ve been that, when Rose let out a howl, no one even blinked. Her dinosaur roars were still one-of-a-kind though… apparently I’m correct in that a ferociously roaring baby girl isn’t something you meet everyday.
We were there for FOUR hours. Halfway through, we parked ourselves on a relatively clean couch (also for sale) & I gave Rose her bottle while Jennifer & I went through our piles of possibilities. We stood in line for over an hour. And not even once did I hear anyone get testy. Maybe people got grumpier as the day went on, but I was pretty much amazed at the lack of nastiness…. it was like Black Friday on Zoloft.