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Shopping the flea market with a toddler

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I head to the flea market at least 2-3 times a month. In L.A. it rotates around based on the week (1st Sunday is PCC, 2nd is Rose Bowl, 3rd Long Beach and 4th Santa Monica). Charlie usually comes with me – it’s kinda our thing. He came with me all the time when he was a baby and it has only been since he could walk that it’s been more, ahem, challenging.

Click through to see the whole flea market trip …

As you can imagine he either wants to destroy things, run away, or wants carbs in exchange for good behavior. I would leave him home but the problem is that Saturday and Sunday are my two full days with him – the days where I don’t even have to check my email, and so even if it’s a massive pain to bring him, I’d rather suffer through it then not be with him. In case you are wondering what true love is, I think I just described it. Hey Nicholas Sparks, you’re welcome.

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Brian has gone with me maybe once in 7 years. ONCE. He’s convinced that non-design loving guys don’t go to the flea market and if they do they are looking for ‘like old hammers or something’. He is totally wrong, but as most of you know, there is truly nothing worse in the world, NOTHING, than shopping with someone who doesn’t like shopping, so I rarely even ask him to go.

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But since Sundays are ‘family day’ it would be my fantasy for us all to go and enjoy it together.

So last Sunday he was like, ‘Do you think that the rose bowl has vintage t-shirts?’ and I tried to play it cool, not acting to desperate or excited as I offhandedly said, ‘yeah, I think they have tons of good ones … for pretty cheap, I hear’. He needs new shirts, so he agreed to go.

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He dressed Charlie in his new shoes that matched his, obviously. I mean, so unbearably cute.

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It was a day full of laughter and squeals, bargains and deals, and at the end he said ‘Oh man, I sure do love the flea market. Let’s go every Sunday!’.

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Except the opposite of that.

After about 5 minutes he asks ‘So … what .. uh … what’s the plan?’ And I was like, What do you mean what is the plan?!!!! Now we walk and shop and laugh and touch things we don’t plan on buying and look at everything that catches our eye and ask pricing on things that we might not even be interested in and debate laboriously over things that we’ll surely never end up purchasing and go up and down every row and aisle and say hi to people we kinda know and buy things we don’t need, pile them in Charlie’s stroller, schlep them to the car in 87 degree heat, eat really bad $12 breakfast burritos and laugh and smile the whole time because it is the greatest place on earth!!!!!!!

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So, I quickly cut my losses and told him where all the t-shirts were, agreed to a meeting place and made sure he had cash. Then Charlie, Ginny and I (and Jessica – she took the fun photos) cruised around on our own and had a pretty good time. Family day was a bust, but I was going to save this Flea Market opportunity.

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If I hadn’t stayed, I wouldn’t have purchased that original painting of Lincoln for $40 (and yes, I will be selling for much more, it’s awesome). Can you imagine my life/house without that painting?

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This little kid made it fairly slow-moving so after a bit Ginny ditched me, too. I get it. I’m not popular when I’m with a toddler.

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I had to constantly ply him with snacks in his stroller to get him to stay in there, but after a while even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich wouldn’t keep him locked up (do all kids love bread/carbs so much????). So we let him cruise around and of course he found anything pint-sized.

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He really wanted to keep that disgusting teddy bear, which naturally tempted me. But some things are just so much cuter at the flea market then when you get them home and they look like vintage-germ-ridden pieces of garbage. I was tempted by the table and chair set but it was $60 and was fairly rickety. Besides, red might have been jarring in my family room. Sixty bucks was too much, by the way. We just bought this set which is twice as much, but way cuter and more stable.

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But speaking of kids furniture … that pint-sized rocking chair is getting totally reimagined with some new fabric. The longer I am a mom, the more I see a need for chic kid or kid-friendly furniture that isn’t like $300 for a side table. Stay tuned, I’m coming up with a plan.

I almost bought that military table above. The pros – it’s wood and brass, folds up and is terribly wonderful. The cons: it was $200, I don’t need it and it’s a height that is super awkward – too short to sit at, too tall for a coffee or side table and too deep for console or entry table. It belongs in a store where you display cool merch, but I just couldn’t rationalize it this time.

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I always check out the clothes to make sure there isn’t a crazy-lady dress that I can’t pass up. This is when/where I buy vintage silk kimonos or floral muu muus with the fantasy that I’ll just flow around my house, bra-less, looking effortlessly sexy and cool. Maybe I’ll wear beautiful vintage pin-up style lingerie or a one-piece retro bathing suit underneath it. Maybe my hair is all tousled and sexy in the good way. Maybe an important magazine editor will stop by unexpectedly and catch me looking so chic and I’ll go down in history as someone who can just pull off anything. 

But I don’t look like that. Because I’m not a 22-year-old rich model. The kimono’s are always sloppily half-open revealing my cotton jersey long tee-shirt and flannel pajama pants. My hair is in a not-so-top knot. I probably have smeared banana somewhere. And then I just look like a mom who is on the verge of giving up. Although those kimonos did look pretty cute in this shoot, I’ll give myself credit for that – but when you are 9 months pregnant (I had Charlie that night) you can kinda get away with anything.

Anyway, so I’m very careful with what ‘crazy lady’ vintage stuff I buy these days because it often just ends up in the costume box. I have a very expensive ‘crazy lady’ costume box.

Meanwhile little Charles saw this firetruck and he fell in love.

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I liked it too, certainly, but it was $150 and we didn’t really have a place for it.

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He wanted it really bad. But he also wants a shiny wrapper on the ground or any dollar store plastic ball so bad. If we had the right yard for it, I might have been more convinced, but it was an expensive and annoying hoard (getting it to the car wouldn’t have been too easy).

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Besides, then we ran into the 50-year-old life-like pony. Like most children Charlie loves a pony and you could turn this one on and its head and tail would move, as it neighed, etc. It was $100 and it was also pretty darn mangy.

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But he cared deeply for this pony – as you can obviously see expressed in this photo below.

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For those of you who are tempted to lecture me on my fair-skinned child’s skin, don’t worry that kid was lathered up with SPF. Did we get the horse? Nope. Charlie was practically modeling it when this man came up to the vendor and handed him a $100 bill. I immediately lectured him on flea market etiquette and he apologized, but truthfully I wanted a reason to not buy it anyway (again, it was huge, expensive and annoying to get to my car).

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More snacks and then a strangely early nap. That stroller does lean down to be fully horizontal so I did that and he slept for over an hour. That wasn’t the plan, we were on our way out, but once he was asleep I was like well since he’s sleeping ….

I buy a lot of art from this guy, but not this time. I have a real inventory of art right now. Too much, possibly. So I’m taking a break … wait, I bought that Lincoln painting but it was so cheap …

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And these were the other two things I was tempted by – these strange MCM lamps ($250) and that beautiful simple dresser:

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Neither of which I need and neither of which were steals, and BOTH of which would have been annoying to schlep to the car. My rule is if it’s something I need and it’s a splurge, BUT it’s perfect then I go for it, and if it’s not something I need but it’s something that is easy to use and is a steal I go for it, but if it’s kinda expensive, pretty good and normal priced, then I try to skip it these day.

Because as you can see schlepping all around with a baby at the flea market can be kinda dangerous.

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Yes, Charlie is under there. Look at that man, just judging me. Oh and I ran into countless friends, which is always nice and got to walk around with Justina for a while which is a treat because there are very few people who I have this much in common with – We are both based in LA, and we are both designers/stylists, bloggers, and moms. I could talk to her for 12 hours straight.

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And then this dude woke up and riding in his sweat lodge of a stroller wasn’t something he was into, so I put him to work.

Charlie =pushing stroller

All in all, it wasn’t the most successful trip to the Rose Bowl because going with a toddler is rather distracting, but it was still super fun. I don’t want to give up Sundays with him, but I also don’t want to give up the flea market. I’m tempted to book a babysitter to come with me but that feels rather weird. But then again I just paid Jessica to follow me around like paparazzi for 3 hours at the market so life is just full of slippery slopes, isn’t it? She was going to be there anyway so I asked her if I could pay her a few hours to do a post and she was into it.

I personally think that he loves it. It’s a lot of visual stimulation, he can cruise around a lot when I have the patience and he’s not yet running so I’m not totally worried I’ll lose him. YET. I’m still a firm believer in happy parent, happy kid and the flea market makes me pretty darn happy so until one of us acts miserable while we are there, I think we’ll power through the flea market.

Random resources for those who are interested: My jeans (which are super stretchy without being jeggings, comfortable and fairly flattering although I’m no model), my leather bag, my Baby BJorn ONE carrier although we have it in the gray mesh, the stroller, Charlie’s shoes

*All photos by Jessica Isaacs. 

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  1. Did Brian find his T-Shirts? Don’t you think Charlie should have gotten a little commission for the pony?

    1. Yes and Yes. Brian found 15 t shirts .FIFTEEN. He claims that he still didn’t have fun but c’mon.

      1. So..we need a Brian post with his Shirts he found! Did you buy Charlie something so he wouldn’t come away empty handed and then soon as you got home he discarded it, not even thinking about it a day later?

        I am with you, it is HARD going to a flea market with a Toddler but what if there is that ONE thing you have to have? Like the Lincoln Painting!

        I see nothing wrong with hiring a babysitter to help with Charlie while you shop. He is still going to be with you per say and he can walk around, get a snack and have fun “on his own” too.

        You need a little wagon, that way he can sit in it and help pull it when there is no more room in it. 😉

  2. Hilarious, amusing, educational post as usual.
    your boots are adorable! please share where you got them from – thank you Emily!

  3. What a cute and true post …. we used to live in Alameda, home of a humongous flea market once a month, and one of my daughter’s first outings when she was not much more than a few weeks old went to the flea market. And yes, it is work to keep toddlers occupied and happy and you won’t get much done during that time. But it’s also fun – my kids are a bit older now and get 5 bucks each to find something (or they bring their own resources), and it’s soo much fun. I am in the process of teaching them bargaining … glad you had a fun day!

  4. *sign* I want one on the island (flea market)and if the pictures do tell the real story, Charlie is one relaxed kid to shop with 🙂

  5. I lived in Orange County for 5 years and never made it up to the flea markets in LA. I could just kick myself. We don’t have anything this good in Chicago – such a bummer.

    1. Jen….do you ever come out to the Kane County Flea Market? Of course it’s not the Rose Bowl but for the midwest it is pretty good. I’m there every month it’s open!!! Come visit me in the Dairy Barn!

  6. I just have to say that anyone who thinks you didn’t put sunscreen on Charlie has probably never seen a picture of you. Fair-skinned people know ALL about sunscreen.

    I wish we had good flea markets like that around here. I would have so much fun (and stuff… oh, I would buy so much stuff).

    Oh, and that picture of Charlie with the horse is so adorable that I can’t look at it too long lest my ovaries explode.

    1. Ha, ha ditto all–especially the part about Charlie. I don’t know how you said no to buying that pony!

      1. It was just so heavy!! I would have had to hire someone to take it to the car and it was like 90 degrees and I just couldn’t. Honestly had it not been so mangy I would have absolutely bought it. But then I was like, wait, he’s 1. He doesn’t actually need an animatronic horse. 🙂

  7. Your family is just too adorable, and this reaffirms that all I want one day is a family to go to farmer’s markets + flea markets with.

    Best,
    Josh – The Kentucky Gent
    http://thekentuckygent.com

    1. Thanks Josh 🙂

  8. Wow I am totally impressed at your mad multi-tasking skills. I just don’t have the patience. It starts with good intentions (kids can see mommy at work and be impressed at her keen eye!) Next it causes me anxiety (oh no all the good stuff is going to be taken!) Then anger (why do kids pee so much!) Followed by guilt (kids should be climbing trees and riding ponies not shopping!)And it all ends in significant weight gain (I cant do anything well I am going to eat this box of cheez-its.)
    Anyways the pictures are adorable and I am glad it worked out for you!

    1. HA. Just remember – i only have ONE kid and yes, he is rather mellow and is easy going. I’m sure the next one won’t be so easy to please so i’m just trying to take advantage of it for now.

  9. I have two little guys under 4 and I view shopping with them as practice. Even if it’s SO annoying sometimes, they get better a little bit on every trip. Recently they’ve made a big leap and are actually getting fun to shop with. I mean, they are always fun to BE with, but now they are getting fun to SHOP with. It’s just patience and a thick skin to feeling judged for having to do your practice/training in public. I think otherwise you end up with 10 year olds you can’t take anywhere because they just aren’t used to, and expected to, behave in that kind of setting.

    1. Well done. Well done.

  10. I can relate, but you shared the experience in such a witty way!
    I used to take my daughter to the alameda flea market. I’d hold off as long as possible, but then get the kettle corn and start throwing it into the stroller one at a time! Ha!
    You make it a priority for it to be a fun time for you and Charlie…I know I wasn’t good at doing that for my little. Good for you!

    1. Thanks 🙂

  11. What are Charlie’s jeans? My 13-month-old son is just chunky enough to make those jeans look incredible. The Charlie + pony snuggle photo is so great.

    1. I tried looking for them! I think they were Zara or H and M. They are skinny jeans and just look so cute with his boxier tshirts and those shoes!! But they don’t sell them anymore – at least not right now. xx

  12. I have a “crazy lady” box too – except it’s the left half of my closet filled with chiffon and organza party dresses that I will never wear. Cause I don’t go anywhere! But man, is it fun looking at all those dresses and dreaming of the galas and parties I could go to, if I ever left the house at night!!

    1. Me too. Me, too.

      1. I should have mentioned that I took the kids to Big Daddy’s last week (thanks to you!) and told them that it was going to be an adventure to a store with weeeiiiirrrddd stuff (spooky voice). They loved the live birds, the 6 ft tool wooden horse, the collection of giant elephants, and I loved searching for the tanker chair I want for the office.

        1. Replied to the wrong comment. Classic.

  13. Good for you! I’m saying this because I have three little boys under the age of three. I’m the lady who used to say, Why do people bring their kids out in public? Get a babysitter!! But then I had kids, and weekends are the time when everyone is home, but I don’t always want to be at home. So we go all sorts of places, and most of the time it’s stressful and there are meltdowns, and bribery and running away… and that’s just my husband. (groan). But at the end of the day, we really do have a lot of fun. And it’s so good for kids to be out in public, to see and experience new things, different people, different foods, etc…
    So I hope you don’t give up on your Flea Market trips. I doubt you’ll ever regret those trips with Charlie.

    1. GOOD FOR YOU. i have one. you have 3. BOYS. Nice job.

  14. But…but, but, but…. what happened with Brian? Was he converted to flea market savvy awesome t-shirt wearing husband??

  15. We just took our 7 year old to Goodwill for the first time and the next day he could NOT stop talking about how much fun he had and kept asking when we could go back! I see a lot of thrifting and flea marketing in our future…. I couldn’t be happier about it!

    xo Ashley
    pennypickedrevival.com

  16. I love this post! Especially the part about “…what’s the plan?” Hilarious. I have two daughters, 6 and 9 years. They love going to flea markets and antique shows now – we call it “treasure hunting.” I remember trying to take them along when they were toddlers and bribing them with A LOT of kettle corn! When they got old enough we used to play a game to see who could go the longest without touching anything 😉 They loved it cause I always lost. Now they bring there own money along to look for treasures. I found that vendors give them a lot less dirty looks when they are carrying their own wad of cash…

  17. Such a cute post. And you’re hilarious as always. Thanks for sharing where your jeans and purse and other stuff are from. I’ve always admired your fashion sense as well – keep sharing ! I love your shirt too but there’s no link for that :p

    1. Its from Elizabeth and James but I can’t find it online! Probably good because it was $189 which is a ridiculous amount to spend on a plaid shirt …. except the fit is soooo good and I needed it for a shoot so i justified it. Anyway, good luck finding it 🙂

  18. I’ve probably commented something similar to this before but can I just say — mom Emily Henderson is the best. I’ve loved your style and quirkiness on Design Star, followed your blog for years, obsessed over Target with you… but man I love mom Emily (maybe because I’m a new mom/working mom and find myself relating to your writing more and more.) “For those of you who are tempted to lecture me on my fair-skinned child’s skin, don’t worry that kid was lathered up with SPF.” I so appreciate your humor and grace as a mother in the public eye, your commitment to your family as well as your commitment to work. Okay, I’ll stop gushing now. But just know that these posts make my day!

    1. AH, thank you 🙂 That really means a lot. xx

  19. This made me laugh so hard! Your comment about your husband and thinking guys who go to flea markets are looking for hammers is HILARIOUS. 🙂 I totally feel you about shopping with babies, though my baby isn’t walking yet. Thankfully he is still able to stay in his stroller while I cart him through warehouses looking for vintage furniture. And the selection of original paintings at the rose bowl are too good to be true!

  20. I love this! Most of my writing is about maintaining your interests as motherhood sweeps you into a whole new world. I’ll link to this post this week.

  21. I’m dying to know what you said to the Pony Stealer!

    1. I lectured him in what I think was a graceful way, but of course I think that 🙂

  22. This was great fun. I appreciate your lifestyle and candor. It was also super cool to see worlds collide, as a reader and fan of both you and Justina! <3
    I'm here in LA, but these days I'm often too busy at kid's baseball games and soccer tournaments to hit up the flea markets… so it's great to live vicariously through you on your trip!
    Much Love and thanks!

  23. Loved seeing this “insider” look at the henderson’s flea market day! Charlie’s personality kills me-the head on the pony was adorable. Thanks for keeping it real about shopping with Charlie at the flea. Its my happy place as well and I’m optimistic about trying it with toddlers now

  24. glad to know I’m not the only one who has to give my 15-month-old crackers (that are really cookies) when she gets a whiny in the stroller. Keep up the good work and the hilarious posts!

  25. Emily, thanks so much for including the details on your jeans, etc. Could you also let us know where your plaid shirt is from? So pretty!

    1. It’s from Elizabeth and James but I couldn’t find the link!

  26. I just looked over this post briefly – and will come back and read the whole thing, I promise, but I had to come and comment IMMEDIATELY when I saw that you’re going to help us…!

    Chic kid furniture that isn’t $300?
    You have a plan?

    PLEASE.

    Not that I don’t like their stuff, but I cringe when designers collaborate with Land of Nod and come up with beautiful, outrageously priced (for most of us) stuff. BRING IT TO TARGET, EMILY!!!

    1. YES. I mean, that’s my hope. But I want it to be not just kid furniture – like stuff that is just secretly good for kids but otherwise is pretty darn chic. Thanks for the support 🙂

  27. Charlie has amazing taste for a toddler … you know if you dragged home all his newfound loves, he’d ignore them for an empty box. Ooooh, empty box!

    (says a grandma of a toddler)

  28. You know, I bet you could find interns who would be willing to babysit Charlie while learning how to spot good deals at flea markets.

    1. HA. Until the world finds out that my ‘interns’ are actually just babysitting. Like Sonya from RHONY and how she has a bunch of ‘interns’ that cook, clean and plan parties for her. Its hilarious. xx

  29. I spent many an hour at the flea market as a kid, and I still love them. I remember walking along with my dad, just holding on to one of his fingers (instead of his hand). What I used to do was count how many dogs I saw there. Maybe that can be a strategy for Charlie when he gets a little older. 🙂

  30. 50 year old pony?! That, my friend, is made by Hasbro. It’s called the Furreal Friends Pony and its name is S’mores. Looks like someone left it outside to get mangy. The picture of Charlie is adorbs, but you might be glad the rude guy paid for it instead of you.

  31. Why would you mention you bought Lincoln for $40 and that you’d be selling him “for much more”? I get that you buy and markup stuff, and you’re entitled to a finders fee, but statements like will have people avoiding the vintage shop you’ve been talking about. No one likes to feel “had”, think about the pinup girl print.

    1. I agree 🙁

    2. Emily is the type that talks about money. I appreciate it because most bloggers don’t. But i understand where you are coming from too.

  32. We were there this weekend too and it was sweltering but so worth it for the fun and deals to be had!

  33. I love all your posts, but this one might just be my fav!!!

  34. I’ve been taking my kids to the flea market since they were babies too! Now they’re 12, 10, 8, and my 12 yo son pretty much hates it, but I always promise him bad fried food and ice cream, and that seems to work. Also, we always give each kid $5 to purchase whatever they want (I might have to increase that amount this year), but if it cost more than $5, they have to negotiate. Everyone always walks away happy (me included!).

  35. Good for you for bringing him – start them early, that’s what I say. My 9 year-old loves to go to Rose Bowl Flea – although he quits when I am just getting started.

    Emily I imagine you know about this – but right next to the Rose Bowl is Kidspace and a great outdoor playground. If you haven’t checked it out you really should. Kidspace is great as early as Charlie’s age until he hits 4 or 5. I used to haul my two boys over there on a regular basis for a fun afternoon – or as a bonus for post Flea Market. Have fun!!

  36. Love this post’s realness. I too have the dream of family (well couple in my case) flea market trips where we peruse the aisles together and ooh and aww over various vintage goodies. I know these men exist but my boyfriend is not one of them. In reality whenever my boyfriend obliges to go the flea market/ antique store with me he does a quick lap before finding a chair to sit in or food to eat. He’s not into it and usually I just go with people who are actually into said things, they more fun to go with, but every once in a while he’ll go.

    Those Charlie pictures are to die for. It must have been hard work to do it with a toddler in toe but at least you got some adorable pictures.

  37. awww SO great seeing you at the flea (and yesterday!)! Love how long (and awesome) this post is…and seeing that you posted the pic of that chair ON Charlie. Haha. LOVE how you keep it real girlfriend. xxxj

  38. Charlie Hendo in skinny jeans. SWOON.

  39. I loved this as my little guy is almost 20 months! I could picture it all going down the same with him yelling “wowwww” at the pony (one of his 3 words) and clinging to the most expensive and dangerous toddler eye candy at every stop. I’ve been eyeing the P’kolino table for his playroom but I wasn’t sure about the height. Is it something to grow into, or does it work well for Charlie now? Maybe they would just need assistance with getting in/out of the chairs at first?

  40. I am a fellow thrift/flea/sale addict. I have 3 boys, now 11, 8 and 5. I have countless stories of dragging them along under piles of treasures, or going to the city cleanups and looking like the Beverly Hillbillies. When my first (read: colicky, tortuous toddler) was 2-ish I just had to get to Target for the love…or I was going to go bonkers. Your post brings back the memories of the stages of toddler shopping; denial (no, It’ll be great this time!), bribing (here are more craisins that have fallen on the floor!), pleading (just a few more endcaps!) and then pure anxiety 🙂 Henry was SO over it one trip that we walked past a few older ladies and when we turned the corner, he shouted “Don’t hurt the baby!” Holy man, I had no clue how deadly smart and manipulative little innocent children could be. Of course the church ladies probably thought I was pinching him or some nonsense. Oh, ahaha, I know sister, it’s hard!!! But, the hard turns into funny as they get older and you’ll be glad you dragged the whole family to the flea. By the way, now that they are all 5 and up, it’s a breeze to go places…well, in comparison anyway. As always, love your posts 🙂

  41. This post made me laugh out loud. And that picture of Charlie giving that horse some love…my heart melted into a puddle. You need to frame that one somewhere in your house!

    Also, some future hope…it was brought to my attention recently that when our little ones get a little older, they will HELP US CARRY our stuff…grocery bags, etc. I can’t wait!!!

  42. Good for you for braving the flea market with your toddler! I have a hard enough time trying to go to Target with my rambunctious little guy!

  43. Kids that age love to pull or push things. Get Charlie either a little grocery cart or wagon to bring to the flea market. Yes he may occasionally run it into things, but you may be surprised how it occupies him. We have a little plastic wagon at our house for our grandkids. Definitely have him bring his favorite stuffed animal if he has one to put in the cart/wagon. Bringing a sitter with you is a GREAT idea!! You can enjoy time with Charlie AND accomplish some shopping.

    Also, my husband and I are making our first trip to Portland in early July to visit my brother and sister-in-law. We fly in on a Friday and will drive up to Seattle on Tuesday. If there are any “Must See” flea markets or shops in Portland you can tell me about, that would be awesome. I LOVE art galleries or art shows also.

  44. LOL. I rarely if ever comment, but I am a designer in NYC and my (now 8 year old) son has spent his entire life in and out of thrift stores and flea markets (in other cities too! He thinks that road trips are are about getting lost looking for some (probably) crappy random flea market and then eating cheap hot dogs.)
    This life has involved much bribery (I try to stick with under $5 plastic vintage toys and wooden cars) and now he knows me so well that if we walk by a thrift store and my eyes stray he grabs my hand and says “NO furniture shopping today Mama” on the other hand, he will still go with me if I promise hot dogs and cheap plastic toys, plus he knows my taste and has become an excellent spotter of random chairs in need of love. He is by far my favorite shopping companion, if a little impatient, but certainly better than his dad! Charlie will grow out of the “Oh My God how do I keep track of him phase” and you’ll find a groove 🙂

  45. I have been going to the Rose Bowl almost religiously for the last 6 years and my husband and I take our 4 boys (ages 5, 3 twins and 9mos). We invite the grandparents and make a day of it. The kids love it! We call it treasure hunting! Charlie will love it – you’ll see! It’s in his blood!

  46. My daughter is 34 years old. She is the art teacher to 650 elementary school students (I saw her classroom once after a papier mache day and I shuddered), has 3 sons, ages 9,7, and 5 and takes them to flea markets, outdoor art festivals and concerts all of the time…by herself! She said it’s harder when her husband goes along, says he upsets the ebb and flow of things , so schedules their outings when he has to be out of town. I’ve gone with her a few times, but I always need a day in bed afterward. Her cool stays unbelievably intact.
    Your Charlie is a living doll and looks like a champion and well-seasoned shopper. I adore the picture of him “lovin'” his pony. That one needs to be wall size!

  47. “In case you are wondering what true love is, I think I just described it. Hey Nicholas Sparks, you’re welcome.” <—- 🙂 …. love my little dude, but only take him along when photographing family! Little dudes are cute, but oh-so-unhelpful! 🙂