Last week I went with my mother-in-law to a baby swap meet.
Before your eyes glaze over and you wonder what there is possibly to say about a baby swap, I have a confession.
I’m a swapaholic.
No really, I am. I dragged two people I love out of bed at the wee hours of the morning, stumbled out of the door with glazed eyes of my own, and drove an hour, in hopes of finding some bargains that I could later sit amongst in my living room, feeling their soft fabrics, reveling in the amazingly low prices, and expressing to Brandon all of these things, to ensure that he be more than fully aware of my thrifty domestic goddess-ness.
I told you, I have a problem.
But here comes another confession. I don’t even like baby swaps. Don’t get me wrong, I love deals, and I love clothes, so technically, I should love them, but each time I go, I am reminded that I don’t.
If you’ve never been to a baby swap before, you should go, just to understand the sheer madness of it all, but be warned; bring elbow pads.
Since I am a partaker in the madness, I feel justified in laughing at the premise of events such as these.
A massive room full of tables sheltering moms (and some dads) selling clothes, toys, shoes, bathtubs, swings, strollers, and anything else that their own babies no longer need.
Add to this a throng of passionate women. Sorry men, this is not as good as it sounds. This throng is largely a mob of hormonal pregnant women and sleep-deprived new moms, some with the cause of their sleep deprivation in tow (and no, I don’t mean their husbands).
Top this off with someone shouting “Dig! Dig! Dig!” over the loudspeaker of an echoey building with no windows and no air conditioning, and there you have a recipe for a baby swap.
Ok, there isn’t actually anyone shouting at you to dig, but they might as well be. You walk up to a table that has a mountain of containers both on it and below it, with clothes spilling haphazardly out of each, and you look helplessly at the seller behind the table.
“Just dig,” they say.
Hm. This goes against the very nature of a girl who really only likes stores where everything is neat and organized, and the nice clothes are in the front so I can just pick and choose without having to roll up my sleeves. Not to mention, I feel guilty each time I dig through all the containers of the clothes that their precious son or daughter wore, with them talking up each piece, and then walk away with nothing.
It’s not you, it’s your clothes. And I’m sure they did look nice on your daughter. I’m sorry, maybe I just didn’t look hard enough. Of course I’ll buy it all.
I give myself a 10 out of 10 on bargaining.
I think that besides the end result of bathing in bargains (my preeecioussss), my favourite part of baby swaps is the poor husbands who unknowingly got sucked in to either coming along, or even manning a table. These innocent, doe-eyed men, who were most likely promised by their wives a room full of eager women ;), quickly become more of the deer-in-headlights variety.
These men, shell-shocked behind their tables, are now privy to this dark world, a secret society in and of itself. I saw men standing behind tables whose initial selling vigor had turned into a blank look, surely masking fear. I heard one woman who was so bold as to recommend to another that they prey on these men selling their wares, since they were most likely to give good deals in hopes of escaping the madness faster. Ladies, ladies, you are cruel… but sharp :).
Will I go to more baby swaps in the future? Yes.
Will I prey on the tables being manned by men? Maybe.
Will I ask my husband to come along with me? Definitely. Faint hearts never win fair maidens :).