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I love my swing. I hate my swing. I…

I have a love-hate relationship with many of my favorite baby products. There are those magic wands which help our babies fall asleep (think: pacifiers), and we love them for that – until the baby can’t live without them. Or worse yet, it gets lost (think: favorite stuffed animals). Then we hate those things.

But it’s not just the children that bond with inanimate objects. It’s amazing how a ridiculous little thing made of plastic and gaudy fabric can bring an adult to tears. Inevitably, I find something I love, become attached to it – maybe even dependent on it – then it lets me down. Or it gets lost. Or it wins. And I hate that. Take, for example, my daughter’s swing. It is like a Vegas side show.

Keep in mind, I have nothing against holding her. I use a bouncy seat occasionally. And there is always the crib (which, when I think about it, is really not that useful). But that swing is my life saver. It goes head to toe. It goes side to side. It plays music (which I used to hate and now, well, I don’t love the music, but my daughter does, so I love having it). It has a mirror which any narcissistic four month old can enjoy. It has a mobile that bobs up and down while it twists around.

Sometimes, I seriously believe my daughter prefers the swing to being held. I love that, and I hate that.

I hate that it cost more than a week’s worth of groceries. I love that my sister bought it for me.

When it comes down to it, my baby loves the swing, I love the swing. But I hate the blasted motor that keeps breaking! We are waiting for mechanism #3 to arrive via UPS. Meanwhile, I pull the thing near to the dinner table and keep pushing it because as soon as the whoosh stops, my darling daughter wrinkles up her face and wails as if she were the most miserable, pitiful, anguished, betrayed creature ever given life. ‘WHY?’ she cries (well, that’s what it sounds like). And I join her.

Somehow, I managed to not have a swing for my little boy. But he cried all the time. I’m convinced he would have been happier in a swing. And, in fact, I really tried this time around to find a new swing that had a wind-up feature. (I told myself it was because the ratcheting is a calming white noise, but the truth is that I am too cheap to pay for a nice one, and batteries are so darn expensive. But that was before I knew my sister would buy a nice one for me.)

Now I really wish I’d checked Craigslist for an old wind-up type. Because right now the whiz-bang swing is just a porcelain doll. It looks nice in the corner of the living room but I can’t do anything with it.

So the moral of the story is – well, I’m not sure. I just needed to vent my frustrations. Maybe I’m nuts. But I’d guess I’m not the only one out there who has a similar love/hate relationship with baby stuff.

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