Okay so, now I’m thinking about stuff for babies. I’ve been able to avoid this process for an impressive amount of time. We’ve had so many other things to think about this year before we started thinking about baby stuff. We had big panicky things to think about. Like moving back to Portland. And getting a job. And finding an apartment. And moving.
So now we did all that stuff. We’re all settled in and feeling cozy. And I’m sleeping much better, thank you. And now that all those panicky things are out of the way, now we can think about how we have two babies on the way. In like, three months or so.
What the hell do we do now? Babies need like, STUFF, right? I mean, there’s really no way around it. I mean, we could go super hippy dippy and let our kids sleep in dresser drawers and clothe them in burlap sacks. We just spent the past few years downsizing all our crap. Now we’re going to have little crap machines. And we need crap to contain all their crap.
We aren’t opposed to buying things just to thumb our nose at convention or to adhere to some idealogical purity. Well, actually, I do enjoy thumbing my nose at convention. I like it a lot. I thumb my nose so hard at convention. “Hey convention! Here’s me THUMBING MY NOSE AT YOU, YOU BASTARD!” Etc.
But really, we’re going to have to buy cribs. And we’re going to have to buy car seats. And we’ll probably need some kind of stroller. I think I need some kind of breast pump. And we’ll need like, diapers, and stuff?
I wasn’t planning on doing a registry. I feel weird about asking people to buy us stuff. Here we are, after a few years of downsizing, being frugal, and paying off debt. We’ve gotten ourselves into a thrifty, but comfortable place in our lives. And now we are procreating, and I feel weird asking friends and family to spend their money on us. I know people love buying stuff for babies. And people want to participate. And it’s, you know, convention. But I have struggled with the idea of a registry, and it still feels super dirty to me.
I’ve had enough friends and family ask me to start a damned registry already so they know what to get us. And I realized that I don’t want people buying us stuff we won’t use, or buying us duplicates of stuff we don’t use. And we do need some stuff. But, I just…gah. Is there such a thing as doing a registry, but asking people not to buy us anything?
So amidst all this tortured mental gymnastics, I’m just beginning to gaze into the maw of the Baby Product Industrial Complex. I haven’t plunged in, I’m just sort of peering into it from the sidelines. This is totally uncharted territory for us. I’m in my late thirties, and I can’t say I’ve had a lot of babies in my life. It’s really just been the past year where I’ve become aware of babies, and the whole Baby Product Industrial Complex.
It’s a huge thing. It’s a big, huge, ridiculous thing. All the stuff. All the STUFF. Ultimately, babies need food, sleep, and for you, or some other person, to change them when they shit their pants. That’s all they really need.
But the STUFF. The cribs, and the changing tables, and the swings, and the rockers, and the bouncy things, and the pillows, and the pumps, and the bottles, and the car seats, and the strollers, and the slings, and the things to suck out snots, and the things to put in their bums to relieve gas, and the clothes, and the socks, and the mittens, and the bibs, and the hats, and the blankets, and the swaddle cloths, and the burp cloths, and the bathtubs, and the baby monitors, and the humidifiers, and the toys, and blinky things, and light up things, and colorful things, and the butt wipe warmers, and the butt paste, and the diapers, and the diaper pails, and the diaper pail liners…and what else? This isn’t nearly a definitive list.
Now. You look at all that stuff, and you think, “Babies really don’t need all that stuff.” And I agree! I so agree! But there is equal, if not stronger advice saying “YES. You NEED this stuff. You will regret not having this time saver, or that gizmo, or this baby toy, or that swing, or this bouncy thing….” There are baby product evangelicals out there. And they all overwhelmingly agree, you need stuff.
And the problem is, every goddamned baby is different. All of them. They need food, sleep, and clean diapers. Yet, all babies are different. And all parents are different. And they all have different advice. And they all loooove one thing, and they all dislike something else. And none of them agree.
And for us, we have two little screamers coming, and between the two of them, they might be totally different. AWESOME!
Now. I’m saying all this, and I haven’t yet stepped foot into a goddamned baby store. Not a single one. My mom
lost her mind took me baby clothes shopping in California and that one day, in itself, was a huge, mind blowing culture shock. And I’m just going to say this…if you are not into sports, or into cars, baby clothes shopping is much harder for boys than it is for girls. I mean, they have whole clothing lines with dick trucks on them. Or sporty type stuff that says “Mommy’s Little Slugger.” Ulg. Heavy, heavy sigh. Maybe I’ll just keep my fingers crossed and hope our boys turn out gay.
Right. Okay. So I know there is stuff we definitely need. We need cribs. Probably two of them. We need car seats. We need diapers. I already got boobs, so I’m super psyched I don’t have to buy those. Can I possibly get all the stuff without going into the stores? Can I just read the reviews and order online? Can I buy what we need without engaging in the consumergasm that is Shopping for Baby Stuff? I know some people say it’s fun. And maybe if I lived near my mom or sister, I might agree.
But really, it does not sound like fun to me. We’ve got another three months. I can procrastinate a little while longer, can’t I?