It’s not rocket science

So remember that a few weeks ago I snagged a high chair off of Freecycle?  It’s a Peg Perego Prima Pappa like the one pictured below.

The person I picked it up from handed it to me all collapsed/folded up for easier transport and storage.  There were no instructions.  When I got it home I fought with it for about 30 minutes to try and get it to unfold.  It’s got many little red levers and pedals and buttons but I could NOT get it to open.  I even downloaded a PDF of the instruction manual for the current model.  No go.

When Strawberry got home she fought with it for about 30 minutes as well, with no more success than myself.  Annoyed and angry, we gave up and shoved the thing to the side of the room and ignored its presence.

Several days later we happened to be at brunch with friends, one of whom is an engineer for NASA.  I complained about our failure with the high chair and he offered to come and give it a try.  I figured, not only is he essentially a rocket scientist, but he’s got 2 kids, so might have some practical hands-on experience to assist him.  Sure enough, he had the thing figured out within 5 minutes and showed us what he had done.  Confident that we now had a functional high chair, we again folded it up and put it aside.

Until the other night, when we were rearranging the furniture in that room. (No, I didn’t do any heavy lifting, thank you.)  We figured we’d give the high chair another run.  And we fought with it.  Seriously, it took both of us together to get the thing open and then closed again.  And let’s not even discuss the removable tray!  So now, we rather hate the thing.  It’s not supposed to be this hard!  I’m all for re-using things and getting baby gear for free, but we are THISCLOSE to abandoning the thing on the curb on trash day.

11 responses to “It’s not rocket science

  1. huh..maybe it IS rocket science after all??

  2. You won’t need it for many months. In fact you might not need it at all, but by the time you do you will be a pro at all the levers and clasps for baby gear. I really hated the huge highchair and ditched my hand me down in favor of an old fashioned tiny model. It works for me much better…and scoots up to the table when the tray is removed.

  3. it is true… you will learn the levers… when i was a nanny (a scary # of years ago) i got so i could hold one kid, flip open a stroller with the other and then scoop the second kid into it with out even thinking.

    we have a ladder that the first 3 times i could not open with out a cloud of cursing and much banging, but now, with two flicks it is ready for climbing and then flick flick, ready to store again.

    you just need a little muscle memory – or it might be utter crap and it needs to be on the curb 😉

  4. wishinghopingpraying

    Oh my! I know you will get the hang of it soon enough. Hang in there.

  5. I have read reviews for that chair and it may help you to hear that you are not alone in your struggles with it. I think it was just a design flaw but it’s supposed to be a great chair and hey, its free!

  6. It’s really not that hard; one person can certainly do it with only both hands and one foot. So long as that person has the arm span of an Andean condor. And the grip strength of an Eastern Lowland gorilla.

    It might help to soak the whole thing in water or something. That slidy thing was pretty hard to move, and I assure you that used high chairs can get just the tiniest bit sticky. But the real problem seemed to be that there was no smooth motion that would open it; you kinda have to tug in a couple directions at once. If we made a tool like that at work, the astronauts would strangle us with a diaper. So, I’m going with “bad design”.

    If you’re planning to take it with you when visiting friends, it may not be worth keeping. But if you were just going to use it at home, I seem to recall not folding up the high chair all that often from way back when my kids were that age. But that was long ago in a development far away, so I could be wrong.


  7. sounds like you two are having a blast with that highchair! You’ll get the hang of it! Keep playing with it and messing with it, maybe when you get it to do what you want, write down what you did…that way you can return to it later if you can’t get it again… good luck!

  8. i’m with MM up there. in all my years of nanny-ing, i found high chairs to be a bit bulky and a pain to clean up after. ikea had those really simple ones, maybe see if you can score on on CL or freecycle.

  9. Les Make Babies

    I’m impressed you ended up on the other side of this without tossing it out the window! It’s got to be a testament to what kind, loving and PATIENT parents you guys are going to be. 🙂

  10. Have you tried a stroller yet? Or to get the car seat into the base? Every baby thing has lots of lever and latches and buttons, etc. It is soooooo confusing and overwhelming.
    At least with the high chair you don’t have to use it for several months. By then you may have mastered more baby things and it won’t feel so impossible. 🙂 Good luck!!!!!

    I think they should inlcude how to use all these things in the same class we took about diapering and bathing the baby. 🙂

  11. Dang that must have been frustrating! And the fact that you even had the downloaded instructions must have made it all the worse. Was the person you got it from smiling with glee when she handed it off?

    Thought I’d throw in our favorite solutions. The portable little seats and trays that strap to any chair are awesome. We take it with us when we travel, or just use it at home if there is a second kid visiting or if we want Danny to stay put to color or something. But our main chair is the Tripp Trapp which he’ll be in for years to come since it converts to a regular chair over time. He is pulled right up to the table now (although it has trays for when they are just starting to eat.) It’s great to all 3 of us sit together and eat the exact same foods. The only difference being our water glasses and his sippy cup. Oh and the fact that he has a plastic plate and a cake fork. It’s just a great chair. A bit pricey so maybe you could register for it??????

    Have a great day you two. -M

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