When I found out I was pregnant with Big, one of the first things I wanted to buy was a rocking chair like the one my mom had. I remember it so clearly and I will always associate it with my mother. We found my perfect chair at an antique/junk shop in town. It was beautiful — all wood, painted black with flowers on it, worn in just the right way like it was much-loved.

  
Black painted rocking chair

 

But you know what? I never once nursed or rocked my babies in the rocking chair. This is what I used instead:

 Ikea chair

 
This is the “Grover” chair, named for its resemblance to the blue furry monster from “Sesame Street.” The wood is strong yet very flexible (thanks to those crafty Swedes at Ikea!), bendy enough for it to bounce in just the right way when you’re holding a baby. At one point we called it “Clementine’s chair” because our dog loved to curl up in it, too (note to self: white dog hair and blue fuzzy Grover hair don’t mix).

I bought this chair eighteen years ago, when I was in college. It was like $30 at the Ikea in Pittsburgh, the bottom model in a line of chairs they still carry today. This chair has been with me in eight homes in four states and I’ve made at least three different slipcovers for it.

 

Cats snuggling in a chair

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1995. It’s not just dogs who love it!

Chair with fancy slipcover

Meadville, Pennsylvania, 1998. That fringe didn’t last long with two dogs and two cats in the house.

Ikea chair

Holyoke, Massachusetts, 2004

 

Who would have thought when I bought it so long ago and for so little money that it would play such a big part in my babies’ first years and in my heart? I still love my rocking chair for its beauty, but the Grover chair will always be my Mama chair.

 

 

 

 

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