Friday, January 10, 2014

Circle of Life

I bought pretty much everything for the kidlet secondhand, or else people gave us things as gifts.  The fancy-pants stroller, which turned out to be suitable as a jogging stroller, was a scant €50.  We committed highway robbery when we bought the changing table.  The crib was gifted to us.  I bought all of the kidlet's clothes from moms looking to unload their kid's clothes.  I'm fairly certain that his current set of clothes were at least thirdhand, based on the wear and tear on the patch and the gentle fade of the onesies.

I am fairly certain that there is a cadre of stuff, for babies to kids of about five or so, that just floats around Marktplaats, getting passed around from one family to another.  Somewhere on Facebook or bounced around on Gmail is a picture of some little kid wearing the shirt that the kidlet wore when we got married (oh, did I forget to mention that?  I got married last year).  There's a kid who remembers being taken on walks in our stroller.  Someone played with his keys.  And now, someone else is going to get his keys again, and his pots (one of the few things I did buy new).  I'm passing on the bottles, as well (I asked if they wanted them, first).

Yes, friends of ours are having a kidlet--their first.  And between his almost-unworn clothes and his barely-played-with toys, there's a ton of stuff we have that we can't wait to get rid of.  It's a relief, really, except they elected not to find out the gender of their baby, so we still can't lose the obviously-boy things.  We're giving them a lot of baby clothes, a couple of toys, a package of wipes (the nice-smelling ones), and muslin sheets--giant squares of thin white fabric that are just incredibly useful, as emergency bibs, or a layer between your kid and a public changing table, or a towel, or an emergency cloth diaper.  They're also getting our Moby--there was a bit of a debate about it, because it is expensive, but then we figured that, if we do have another kidlet, all the money we'll have saved by having stuff already will offset the cost of replacing it.

Some people may think it's cheap, giving used baby stuff.  Personally, we were glad for whatever baby things people wanted to give us, regardless of how many babies had used it before.  And if you think about it, it's not like the baby's going to know that he wore secondhand clothes for the first year of his life.  The baby doesn't know that his toys were played with.  And a lot of the stuff--the clothes, the toys--get so little wear-and-tear that it's a shame to toss them when another family can use them.  But mostly, I think the little bit of connection is nice--when you buy new stuff, you don't know who made it, you don't really care.  But when you buy or get stuff secondhand, you have to at least get acquainted with the seller, you know who used it before you, and there's a history to it.

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