Thursday, August 23, 2012

today i sold sadie's toybox

Craigslist post: "Step 2 toy box with blue closing lid, in great shape. We've outgrown this toybox, but we've loved it for over three years. Dimensions are 29L x 19D x 22H. $20, pick up only. I live in East Baltimore, near 95. Please email to respond to this post.  Thanks."

Today I sold Sadie's toybox.

Simple sentence.

No big deal.

Nothing major.

In recent months it felt like we didn't have as much use for the toybox as we previously had.  Sadira's most favorite things to play with are her arts and crafts, her Leappad, or her books.  And while she still enjoys playing with toys that live in her toybox (Mr. Potato Head being her main man), it seems like there are less and less toys to store in the toybox these days.  Most have found homes in her pink room

I decided about a month or so ago that we'd use the brown ottoman to store her toys.  I had been stashing extra blankets and pillows in there--nothing that couldn't be moved into the hall closet.  It's a bit smaller than the toybox, but very sleek, fits our needs, and remarkably hides all of the toys.

Seemed like it was just time, and we had outgrown the toybox.

I posted the toybox on Craigslist a few weeks ago, and had several offers.  Timing didn't always work out, people didn't show when they said they would, a few tried to lowball me and knowing there was adequate interest, I refused.  I kept thinking I should either re-post it or delete it.

But I didn't. 

I just left it posted there.

And then yesterday a lady named Melissa emailed me.

"Hi, is the toybox still available?"

I told her it was.  She was very interested, and lived close to my office.  I told her if she was serious about purchasing it, I'd bring it to the office with me today and she could pick it up here. 

Better for her because it's closer to her home.

Better for me because I don't like strangers from Craigslist knowing where I live.

We arranged a time, and this morning at 10:15 my desk phone rang.

"Hi, it's Melissa.  I'm here to pick up the toybox?"

I told her I'd be right down.

Today I sold Sadie's toybox.

I bought the toybox in 2008.  It was Christmas night and we had just returned home from my Grandmother's house.  Sadira was 13 months old and was gleefully enjoying the fruits of her first "real" Christmas.  Since she was only 7 weeks old for her actual first Christmas in 2007, she hadn't remembered much.

I surveyed the contents of my living room.  There were toys EVERYWHERE.  I had always been adamant that there would be "NO VISIBLE TOYS IN MY LIVING ROOM!"  But in that moment, I felt like I was losing the battle.  Up until this point in her life all of Sadira's toys could be neatly stashed in her room or the basement playroom.  But as I stood in the room that once resembled my living room, I couldn't help but feel like I was living in Toys 'R Us. 

Something had to be done.

I took to Craigslist. 

And after a few clicks I found what I wanted.  A kid's toybox that was mostly neutral in color, had a small shelf on the top, and fit the dimensions of the space I had available next to my stairs.  It wasn't garish with heinous colors, it wasn't shaped like a butterfly or a frog, it didn't have Dora the Explorer plastered across the front.

It had been posted that day and I sent the email immediately.

"Hi, I'm interested in your toybox.  Is it still available?"

I got a response the next morning.  It was still available, but there were several inquiries about it.  I was the first, and if I could pick it up that day it was mine.

It was $20.

Knowing there were other interested parties, I wasn't going to haggle.  Plus, it was exactly what I wanted and $20 for exactly what you want is actually quite a steal.

The next day Sadira and I piled in the car, and drove 15 minutes away to pick up the toybox.  The mom who sold it to me seemed wistful.  Her son was TEN.  She had had it for EIGHT YEARS.  It was in impeccable shape.  She told us how much he had enjoyed it.

In less than two minutes we had purchased the toybox, but I noticed the mom seemed to hang back and watch us pack it up.  She called off to Sadira, "I hope you enjoy your new toybox!  Take good care of it!"

She seemed so...attached?

I glanced in my rearview mirror and noticed that she was watching us drive away.

I remember thinking, "geez, lady it's just a toybox..."

What a silly thing to get so wistful about...

Today I sold Sadie's toybox.

The toybox has lived in our living room now for over three and a half years.  There were always two things in the living room that were exclusively Sadira's--her red PBK Sadira chair, and her toybox with all her wordly possessions and treasures inside.

When her friends would come over, all the kids would all instantly tear into the toybox and rip out the contents.  And when it was time to go all of the moms would announce in a chorus, "time to clean up! Everything back in the toybox!"

Sadie and Sean made a habit about a year ago of completely emptying the contents so they could both climb in and "hide" together.

During Snowmageddon a few years ago Sadira and I were housebound for over a week.  We were SO SICK of being stuck in the house, and apparently Viv Cat was tired of sharing her space with us as well...because after a few minutes of searching the house, thinking she was "lost," we found her curled up in Sadie's toybox, snuggled next to a strawberry shortcake doll.

And every year, on the day after Christmas, Sadira and I would go through the contents of the toybox and decide what we were going to keep/donate/toss.  I always found it was easier for her to let go of toys she had outgrown (but still loved) when she had just received fun brand new Christmas gifts.

By it's very purpose in our home, this toybox became the center point of so many fun memories.  Memories with friends (kids playing, while moms sat on the sofa chatting and drinking wine), memories of holidays (sorting through old toys and replacing them with new birthday and Christmas gifts), and memories with our family of two...coming home after a long day at work, and not having the energy to go outside or to a friend's house, but wanting to spend some quality time with Sadira, we'd sit on the floor and pull the toys out of the toybox, and chat about our day together.

Today I sold Sadie's toybox.

I met Melissa in my office parking lot.  Her adorable son was jumping on her passenger seat as we introduced ourselves.

I told her it would be just a minute for me to grab the toybox out of my car.

I walked over to where my car was parked, retrieved the toybox and brought it back over to her.

She packed it up in the trunk as I asked how old her son was.

"Sixteen months," she said.  She grabbed her wallet, "twenty dollars, right?"

I nodded and she handed me cash.

I looked at the little boy, "I hope you enjoy your new toybox. Take good care of it!"
In less than two minutes they had purchased the toybox.  I walked back into my building and looked out the window so Melissa wouldn't see me watching them as they drove away.   

Today I sold Sadie's toybox.

The toybox that I bought for $20 four years ago, just sold for $20 to a new family.  It seems so silly to get wistful over a piece of kid's furniture.  But now, as I'm sitting here in a melancholy mood, I suddenly understand why that mom whom I bought it from in 2008 seemed so attached.

It's not because of a toybox.

It's because it's a little piece of Sadira's toddler-hood that I just sold and watch drive away.


Emily said...

you love making a girl get all teary-eyed at work, don't you?!?!

Amanda Metcalf said...

Came across this post while searching for our own $20 toy box..that I'm sure we will part with all too soon.

Anonymous said...

I came across this as I was looking up dimensions fir this exact toy box I found on Craig's list. Im a first time mom and My son is 7 months old.everyday I'm wondering how this much time even has passed. I appreciated reading this as a mom and will look at that toy box a little differently when we place it in our living room. You hear it all the time how fast time flies and this will make me soak up every moment as much as I can. Thank you.Heather

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