It was the cheapest of any of them on the floor at Babies-R-Us. A couple hundred bucks and a do-it-yourself model. It was the right size and not a bad color. As my husband and I got ready for the birth of my son, we bought a rocking chair as part of the nursery furniture. It was the one piece of furniture in the whole house that my husband put together by himself. (It’s usually me that puts any furniture together).
I remember sitting in it when I was first pregnant and thinking it was not comfortable. I was convinced the chair was for minimal use, simply to help me gently rock my little baby to sleep. Ha!! Oh how little I knew!
My son did not sleep through the night for the first 2.5 years of his life. I remembered reading that he would need to be fed every couple of hours until his little tummy got big enough to hold enough food to make it overnight. No big deal. Except it was.
There was screaming and crying from about 7:30 p.m. on throughout the night. I remember the schedule like it was yesterday. 7:30 p.m. the screaming would start and go straight through 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. He would have a bottle, be changed, burped, walked around, taken outside in the spring, summer and fall. Walked and walked while burping and patting trying to get him to sleep. He’d finally fall asleep and then awaken around 11:30 or midnight. Then 2:00 a.m. Back to bed by 3:00 a.m. Awake by 4:00 a.m. Back to sleep until 6:00 a.m. I watched enough overnight TV for a lifetime.
During all those times, the rocking chair was a savior and a comfort. It was always on the rocking chair that he would finally fall asleep in my arms. Half the time, my arm would be asleep too. The hubs would come pick him up from my arms and lay him down. Here Hubs snapped a photo that clearly pissed me off because the little guy had been so fussy and angry and had just finally fallen asleep. I was afraid the flash would wake him up again!
All those years, we kept a bottled water and bottle with soy formula ready to go on a wooden TV tray next to the cheap little chair. We were non-discriminatory with the chair duties. Dad would in the chair with the kid who would slip out and onto an ottoman. In the middle of a meltdown, dad spilled formula, regularly, on the tray, getting a bottle ready.
As the little guy grew, we continued to use the chair for bottle time. Eventually, the bottles ended. Then, we used the chair for reading, for soothing illness and comfort. He still has not grown out of that phase. Nearly, every night, close to bedtime, he will say, “Wanna rock with mommy.” How could I resist a call to cuddle?
He sits up in the chair and waits for me. I still pick him up and put him on my lap. We rock and he watches TV or I tell him a story. Last night, he went straight from that old rocking chair to bed and fell asleep.
We didn’t need a big, fancy chair to hold all those memories. We just needed a special little boy to love. And that makes this cheap old stained chair the best seat in the house.