Oh little table, with your “washable” ink-marred surfaces and tomato sauce-encrusted cracks, how you have proven yourself to be one of our best child gear investments (you’re currently on par with the BOB, but it’s the middle of the winter). You’ve endured through toddler breakfasts and Playdough creations, and display sticker residue and “accidental” marker lines with pride.
When you first joined our family, your white and cool green pallet blended effortlessly with our décor, and we were thankful you refused to make your presence known at all times in primary colors. You gained instant popularity by fulfilling your duty of transforming our toddler from a banshee with the attention span of a goldfish, to a poised individual who could sit quietly through meals.
You didn’t complain as Lily made her first strokes across scrap paper littered over your surface. Mealtimes began with pushing a shoebox full of crayon stubs and wrinkled coloring books to your corner, and slapping a plastic placemat overtop of you. The latter was always in vain as yogurt or applesauce or another liquid would inevitably seep underneath and act as a glue. Your chairs took the brunt of the abuse as Lily dragged them from room to room and experimented with achieving progressively higher decibel crashes as she repeatedly toppled them over on our wood floors.
You came with us to our new house, and withstood the great “washable” ink incident of 2016. You were no longer pleasant to look at, and I chose to ignore the dried-on peanut butter, jelly, and pasta sauce that no combination of baby-friendly, green cleaning solutions could remove. Instead, I just hoped that visitors wouldn’t leave with any new communicable diseases.
The slats on your chairs constantly loosened themselves, exposing my preschooler’s butt to four tiny nails which I could have completely avoided had I heeded your negative online reviews. Wood glue was no match for this flaw, but you survived through the great handheld drill incident of 2017.
These days Lily joins us at the big table for meals, and uses you more and more for drawing increasingly more recognizable stick figures and tracing letters. I’ve tossed around the idea of repainting you a-la the Ikea Latt Table hack, but who has time for that detail. Plus, the cakes on jelly and black scrawl give you personality.
As Maggie gets closer to pulling up, I’m having visions of she and Lily sharing cookies and tea and giggling as we all know sisters do (and myself mopping up crumbs on my hands and knees). Sometimes I fantasize of the day you’ll no longer take up residence in the corner of our dining room, and I try not to think about how many crayons and cheese cubes and dried up peas are stuck in vent inconveniently located beneath you. But then I remember saying goodbye to you will also mean saying goodbye to babyhood and toddlerhood and the preschool years, and I am not ready to let go. So for now, you stay. Just please, use the hand sanitizer on your way out.