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The thing is, the Fisher-Price swing we were given as a gift broke all of Nivi’s rules: it made noise, was deeply plastic and took up a lot of space. Whereas the only part that was plastic in Nivi’s swing was the Rubbermaid base. So that’s our daughter at about two months, swaddled to near-suffocation and snoozing in a Rubbermaid storage bin with a yoga mat underneath her for padding and two wadded up towels on either side of her to keep her from rolling around. The bin is attached to the ceiling with rope and a metal hook clipped to a bolt Nivi drilled into a ceiling beam.

The “genius” of the thing, according to him, was that you could sit in a chair and read with your left hand while pushing the swing with your right hand.

The “problem” with the thing, according to me, is that it was missing a little device called a five-point harness. You know, the thing that keeps children from falling out of car seats, strollers and swings and, well, dying.

“Woman,” Nivi said, after a week of listening to me gasp every time he put the baby in the swing. “Let me build shit for my kid in peace.”

To make a long story short, I eventually gave in. It came down to picking my battles, but also to incentives. If I vetoed every attempt he made to do things for our daughter, the likely result–besides us fighting all the time–would be that he would stop doing anything. Why bother if I was just going to nix all his efforts? Next thing you know, I’d be doing everything, and that would just be stupid.

And heck, the kid slept great in it.

Paula Szuchman is the co-author of Spousonomics, a book we think you need to own, that uses economics to master love, marriage, and dirty dishes. She also has an addictive blog.

 

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  1. Posted by: jodi

    This needs a patent! We have a no-plastic crap rule (which doesn’t always work) in our home, too. Great post!

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