1) Little Caitlin is five now, right? The net from our cast-off soccer goal can be used to teach her to fish—so that she can feed herself for a lifetime. Slap some floaties on that girl’s arms and send her to the lake to snag a catfish for Wednesday’s dinner.
2) Disassembling our old beast of a snow blower (manufactured in 1978) will provide experiential learning for your young Joshie. So will a trip to the emergency room for a tetanus booster when the rusty carburetor gasket slices open his palm.
3) Our rickety metal tables beg for re-purposing into a jerry-built cider press. Not only can those high-energy twins of yours burn off some of their rammies by climbing the crab apple tree and tossing down the fruit, you know Madison and Cody were born to mash the sweet Johnny Appleseed out of that harvest by slamming the apples between our cruddy tables. The resultant juice will pair beautifully with Caitlin’s catfish.
4) When a toddler rides in our old bike seat, the kid is essentially a sack of fluids capped by a helmet. It’s a simple leap, then, to imagine strapping a wine bladder into the bike seat—no helmet required—and riding woozily around the block with your new booze coozie.
5) You know how you’ve walked into a cute boutique, spotted a dress that you adore, and discovered from the snooty salesgirl that it’s only available in Size 2? The great thing about grabbing our old deck umbrella is that you’ll always have a shopping partner who’s a perfect Size 2. Umbrella fits all sample sizes and, with a flick of her narrow ribs, can out condescend even the nastiest Sloane clerking at Shabby Plaid.
6) More effective than a time-out in the corner is taking your wailing Jayden outside, strapping him to one of our pairs of cross-country skis, and giving him a gentle shove. His tantrum will be put into perspective as you watch his small form, frozen into a rictus of anger, slowly recede down the hill. It’s okay to raise your hand and wave slowly as his cries become more muffled. This gesture assures him Mommy cares.
7) There’s a profound causal chain that will happen in your life if you grab our 1960s bicycles. First, you will have the cachet of owning “vintage.” As your children grow up surrounded by this vibe of retro, they will learn to appreciate All Things Hipster, including bad poetry. Eventually, when Moses is twenty, he’ll drop out of college to pursue meter and verse. Wearing black framed glasses (no lenses) and a fedora, Moses will spend the next three years meditating in your basement, and you know you weren’t ready for him to leave when he started college. Thus, if you take our vintage bikes, you’ll get bonus years with your boy! Even better, once you’ve had it with his vegan demands and kick him out, you can loan him a bike to ride to his interview at Citigroup. Again, as your lad disappears into the distance, it’s okay to raise your hand and wave slowly. Then strap a wine bladder into the toddler seat on the other old bike and joyfully roll your Happy Hour into the sunset.
This original piece by Jocelyn Pihlaja was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC.