Sunday, January 6, 2008

Portacrib Blues

So, just a wee little bitch about the crappiest thing in my world today, the Evenflo portacrib.

I should preface this by saying that, before 4 pm, the crappiest thing in my world was the Grace portacrib. Let me explain.

When my son was swimming the Olympic pool of my womb, we were given a secondhand Graco portacrib. We had already purchased a cosleeper (which converts into a portacrib) and thought we were rich in safe spaces for baby. My folks decided to gift us with an Evenflo portacrib which also coverted into a bassinet/changing table/spaceship and now we were thinking we were the Millionaires of the Portacrib world. A few months later, we even set the used one up for a friend's kid, and left the new one still in the box. Confident in our newfound wealth, we threw away the receipt for the new one.

Fast forward to a month ago or so. Our son is 7 months old at this point and likes to sit and play on his own. Fab-u-luss! We took the Graco down to the office, where he'll have a safe place to play while I work on the computer. So we try to set up the Graco and discover that not only won't three of the top rails lock, the one that did lock won't unlock. Despite several attempts, it just wouldn't. But today, perhaps the stars were aligned or something cosmic, we !!!finally!!! got it lowered, then had to wrestle with the twist-n-lock mechanism to get it to collapse down to stow. It now has a date with the garbage man. I am not passing along this retarded, decrepit and arthritic old thing, as I am not a sadist.

New crib, Ho! While I'm looking over the box, I laugh at the translations. French, it's a "parc"-- Wow! way too small for that word!, in Spanish, a "corral"-- Wow! way too apropos! I'm excited to get the thing downstairs and set up.

Imagine my surprise, frustration, then anger, when I "Push down firmly in the center of the floor until it locks in a flat position" and the damn thing springs back up! Not once, nay countless times. If you are wondering what a portacrib like this can be used for, it's coming up with new ways to swear at an inanimate object.Not only that, but the side rails have been instantly welded and won't fold down. So now we have another monstrosity taking up space that we can't put away.

Bear in mind, I've worked with kids for a real long time, and this is not the first portacrib I've wrestled with, no sir. I've been assembling them for years. And here's what gets me--the older ones didn't have any "easy" (oh, bullshit!) twist and lock handles or spring mechanisms. They relied on a lovely free force called gravity, and worked like a charm. I could get one of these things assembled in the blink of an eye. Which raises the question: If the engineering on the original models worked (and worked well), why would they make extra crappy plastic parts that are prone to wear and failure? I'm thinking it's that good ol' theory of mandatory obsolescence.

"And lo, The Gods of the Baby Equipment decreed, 'Thou shalt buy one Portacrib for each child' and it was good for the profits of the company. And then the parents thought the word 'easy' meant easy for them, not easy money for unscrupulous kid corporations and lo, the Gods pointed and said 'There goeth a sucker! Ha ha ha!'"

My tale of woe ends not here. I called the help line, and apparently, you aren't allowed to have a portacrib crisis after 5 pm eastern time. So my ire will have to wait until tomorrow.

We did decide that maybe the best thing to do is move a few things around, put a few blankets on the floor, and buy some big pillows to corral our little pony. He's a busy little guy, playing happily while his parents sweat and swear creatively. I'm hoping, that when we're all a lot older, he won't get stuck struggling with a wheelchair that won't fold down to stow in his car. He might be teaching us some new fancy words if that happens. And I might just be laughing, remembering this many years from now, and knowing that it all comes full circle.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Like the label....swearing. Hmpf. Port-a-cribs deserve this, ours merits more swearing than any other object in the house. However, I must say that ours has operated for us better than your experience today. Sorry about your crazy time.

DO take the port a crib back, if you can (the one mom and dad got) find out where they got it and take it back w/o a receipt, you will probably get a credit. Target and Walmart are both good about it.

Love to you and your crawling boy.