Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gadget babies

I helped JB celebrate his first “sort-of” Father’s Day by making him accompany me to Babies R Us to make our baby registry. I told him that the place weirds me out, and that we needed strength in numbers.

Most of the registering went fine, though I could have done with a few less “requirements.” As my friend Heather said, “You walk in the place and it makes you feel like you’re a bad parent if you don’t buy your kid every $80 item available.”

I had really wanted to register at Target, but they are not “return-friendly” when it comes to baby registry items. You can only return twice in a one-year period, and only up to a $35 maximum or something stupid like that. So I registered for some fun, colorful things there, but had to do the bulk at the scary store.

When you register, they give you a massive list of everything possible to register for. It’s ridiculous! It is nice to have a list, but seriously, who wants all that crap taking up space in their house? Not me! Half of the stuff is for newborns, and is only useful until they’re like 3 or 4 months old. No. Baby barely has a grasp on the five inches in front of his/her face at that age. Baby does not need a million sitting contraptions, etc. JB and I kept looking at the weight limits for swings, strollers, etc. We are large people who will have a large baby who will probably outgrow everything in a month.

Anyway, it’s quite frustrating. Fortunately, I have friends who can steer me right. I showed the “what to register for” list to some coworkers today and they gave it to me straight. They helped cross ridiculous things off the list. Here is one ridiculous thing :

Baby video monitor. Woah. Talk about overly-invested parents. The children whose parents use this device will have trouble cutting the cord when they turn 18.

Here are two items that may be useful for some parents, but I think that these models are a little too much:

Baby Sauna that includes a shower and a pump to pump in clean, warm water. What?!?? Put the kid in your cleaned kitchen sink and squirt some soap in. My coworkers promise—it works!

Baby walker. What is this? A mini-apartment? This would probably scare the daylights out of any child who is not colorblind. Waay too much stimulation! I mean, I really dig colorful things, people, but even I have my limits.

We are not done registering. I’m sure I missed a million actual important things because I was too stupefied near the end to concentrate. I had these visions of what our house would look like with a baby in it. Basically, it would look the same, except there would be a devastatingly cute baby playing on the living room floor, with a lot of colorful baby Einstein toys surrounding her, and upstairs there would be a child’s bedroom with colorful blankets and books and toys.

I forgot about the walker. And the bouncy chair. And the “lay and play” (play mat thingy). And the ugly Johnny-jump up because they can only make ugly gadgets these days. And the swing, walker, booster chair, high chair, potty chair, nursing stool, bathtub, you name it.

Argh!!! I keep asking myself what little people did in the 1800’s. Or 1700’s. Perhaps we could raise our baby that way. Those people seem to have made it. The just had crawled on dirt floors and played with errant sticks. Yeah, I don’t think we need all those gadgets…

1 comment:

Michigan Girl said...

I completely agree with you. Most of that crap is simply a way for middle class parents to assuage their own guilt over not spending enough time with their children, ie, buying them off. Your kid doesn't need half that crap, and later, if you want stuff, go to "Mom to Mom" sales and get it way cheap.