Recall rage

When I’m looking to do a little house cleaning, I don’t grab a broom or a dust cloth like most people do, I log on to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site. It is filled with wonderful news on how I have wasted hundreds of dollars over the years on my children, how much of what I own is utter garbage and probably highly hazardous.

Cases in point:

I pitched a bag full of toys and a lawn chair last summer, all of which were gifts to baby girl and all of which turned up on the CPSC Web site as containing toxic levels of lead.

I had to toss a couple baby shower gifts given to me by friends and family when one-by-one they showed up on recall lists for having high lead levels or dangerous small parts and pieces.

Today, I learn I have to dismantle baby girl’s “lifetime bed.” Lifetime my ass — did they mean lifetime of a gnat? The bed has been recalled because the slats have been known to crack in half, posing a strangulation and entrapment hazard.

In order to participate in the recall, I have to take apart the bed, detach certain key pieces, including the part of the bed that contains the manufacturer’s label, and stuff it all into a postage-paid envelope.

But wait, there’s more! We then get to figure out where baby girl is going to sleep, since what’s left of her bed will be in a million pieces on the floor — while we patiently await the special delivery of a VOUCHER. No, not the delivery of a new bed. A VOUCHER. A crappy piece of paper.

Did I mention my child will not have a place to sleep? Since the store that sold us this deathtrap of a bed is 25 miles away, we’ll have to pump about $250 worth of gas into our car and drive this voucher to the next county.

Did I mention that there’s no guarantee they’ll have a similar style or color bed to match the rest of the furniture? Did I mention that I’ll have to arrange to have the thing delivered –again? That we’ll have to assemble a whole bed –again?

Clearly whoever put together this recall ‘remedy” does not or never has dealt with toddlers and their various sleep issues. It took us a good year to get Girl from the East to sleep in her bed, stay in her bed and like it. Now we will have to find some alternative sleeping arrangement.

I guess the source of my rage is simple. I did the best I could to put together what I thought at the time was a nice bedroom for our child. I acted in good faith that a product that seemed solid on the sales floor would live up to expectations.

So much of what we bought or were given by others has proved to be less-than-acceptable. I know, there are fine products out there if you’re willing to shell out roughly the cost of a year of college tuition. It’s a shame affordable and quality can no longer be used in the same sentence when describing many products on our store shelves.