Then and Now

JJ’s little sister, Alicia, turned 21 yesterday. She loves to give me shit about me being old, although I did win a small victory. A few years ago I told JJ that while Alicia was out at 4am taking her 21st shot, I didn’t want to be at home, also awake, except up to my elbows in shit filled diapers. Granted, I’m only a few months away from that, but the point still stands– I wasn’t that old on her 21st birthday.

So as Alicia embarks upon drunken weekend after drunken weekend, what have my weekends evolved into? Babies-R-Us.

We made our first pilgrimage last Saturday night. We decided not to register that night and instead use it as a first pass research trip. It’s a good thing too, since we weren’t really as focused on specific decisions as we were in general awe of the sheer amount of baby related shit out there to buy.

“Is that ‘Baby’s First Toilet Brush’?”

That one drew not just looks, but full on comments from anyone in the near area. In hindsight, I think the two margaritas at dinner were just enough to raise the volume of my voice. Apparently the device was for scrubbing baby bottles, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t look like a miniature toilet brush.

“What? It could have been for the training potty.” I retorted to stunned onlookers before being forcefully dragged by Meg into the next section.

The next section contained breastfeeding bras (complete with Janet Jackson quick access panel), “breast shells”, and a rather creepy looking milking device. As I inquisitively reached for one of the suction cups Meg once again forcefully decided it was time to move on. Fear not, I’m sure I’ll have another blog entry in the future on breastfeeding, since the phrase “milk my wife” is entirely too funny to ignore.

We reached what was lovingly described as a “grooming” section. If the… uh, utensils weren’t colored pastel yellow, blue, and pink, I’d have been sure I stumbled into the seventh ring of hell. With as much as I exaggerate, I’m not far off the mark on this one, as the majority of these devices were designed to be inserted into at least one orifice on the child’s body. We saw nasal aspirators, which is a fancy term for a vacuum with a tube attached to it, a rubber thimble with a brush on it for brushing the kid’s teeth, and a digital thermometer (three guesses where that one gets stuck). I apologized to Meg’s growing stomach in advance and we moved on.

The car seat and stroller were two of the more challenging items to evaluate. Both came in a variety of sizes, features, brand names, and naturally, prices. Yes, I did say brand name, as Eddie Bauer has a line of car seats. I’m told Coach also makes diaper bags, but I digress.

*CRASH*

They were a bit heavier than I anticipated. I tried to one hand taking a stroller off of a raised platform and learned very quickly that these aren’t exactly made of lightweight materials. I informed more stunned shoppers that I was testing the unit’s durability as Meg hid her head in shame.

My head was entirely in the wrong place. Meg was determining whether or not it would be feasible to one-handedly collapse and store the stroller, understanding that she would likely have to do this with a baby on the other arm. I, unsurprisingly, was wooed by the models that contained anything electronic, succumbing to my normal attitude of “More buttons is better.”

I’m very disappointed to find that baby bumper cars are no longer deemed safe. Not that I remember mine, but it just looks fun to be suspended in a round car based on the Flintstones Propulsion Mechanic (i.e. your feet stick out the bottom and you just run). In their place they have a similar toy, whereas instead of moving you can rotate around inside of the ring and have toys scattered around it. A bit disappointed, I still like the idea, and was having fun until one of my durability tests resulted in me being removed from the section.

We ended the trip by looking at bedding. Nothing for me to break or play with, so I really don’t have much to say on that one.

Perhaps I’ve been brainwashed by my own old age, but it was actually a lot of fun. Neither of us realized just how much there is to buy, but at least now we’ll be more prepared when we go to register (sorry Jenn, you don’t get to use the scanner gun this time). It’s just going to be a matter of deciding between things we need and things that I just want to play with.

13 comments

  1. Just thought I’d give you guys a heads-up on your trip to babyland, or at least a direction to start in because it can be overwhelming! Look at it this way, just cause the store has a bunch of stuff, that doesn’t mean you *need* all that stuff. Especially if you can’t identify exactly what purpose it has! No more walkers (baby bumper cars) now they have these things called exersaucers (sp?) basically, it’s a baby treadmill, but you won’t need that right away because infants can’t sit up, they just keep falling over :) Lots of stretchy one-piece pajamas, oh and nightgowns (they’re for boys or girls and they make it a hell of a lot easier to change diapers in the middle of the night) tons of onesies tshirts and bibs. Shoes are nice, but they never stay on :) One of the BEST things is getting those crazy outfits and hats, the kids don’t know what they look like and it’s entertainment value for the parents! Don’t invest a whole lot in the 0-3 months sizes either, in the beginning they fit fine, but a month or two down the line and the kids wind up looking like a sausage cause the clothes are too small. Burping cloths are good, and very absorbent, you’ll run to the store for these after you wind up with a nice collection of shirts you used to like and now everyone of ’em has cheese stains on them :) Nose aspirator (also known as the snot sucker) and fine tooth comb are my personal favs for baby grooming. You also have to decide whether to use nail scissors or clippers, I like the scissors…Thermometer, well that goes without saying :) But you can always get the ear one, it’s much less invasive than the alternative…yikes! You should probably buy a bottle brush just in case, but the dishwasher is great when those dirty bottles start piling up! They even sell a little plastic crate that goes on the top rack of the dishwasher for the nipples and collars, not to mention the dishwasher is GREAT for disinifecting and thus alleviates the need to sterilize! Pack and play is another goodie for home and traveling, while you can carry that with one hand and the baby in the other, you won’t get off that easy with the carriage…they are big and bulky, so you’ll just have to get the carriage out first and wheel it to the baby’s door. You could go with the lightweight stroller, but they really don’t have the right support for an infant, and when the baby is older, they can tip them over. (I’ve seen it happen, and it’s horrendous!) As far as carseats go, you pretty much have your pick, although I don’t care for the ones with the bucket that snaps out of the carriage and into the carseat, they are heavy and bulky and hit you in the leg while you’re walking, not to mention shakin up the baby pretty good. Keep in mind when looking for the carseat, carriage, stroller, highchair, playpen, etc you want something that will of course be safe and almost as important, something that is easy to clean!

  2. Jay, the best part about having things to fool around with is that as your child grows older, the toys and other children’s paraphernalia are going to be progressively more fun to play with.

    Meg, I got nothing for you. Have fun with the Janet Jackson getup.

  3. Thanks Nancy, I forgot about the Pack and Play. Those things were pretty cool, it’s like a cage that just folds up, so I can keep the kid behind bars no matter where we travel.

    Something else you mentioned, the burping clothes, made me question something. Why the hell do babies throw up so much?

  4. AW, DARN. I must confess I was a bit hopeful that the Baby shopping would bore you and I might get to step in for scanner duty. But I am happy for Meg that it didn’t. I am sure she would prefer you guys decide these things together.
    I guess I will just have to wait until the time comes to scan stuff for ourselves. 😀 I am still very excited about printing your list and seeing what you registered for though. Shopping for baby stuff is fun!

  5. I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV….My best guess about baby spit-up is that it’s just backwash, only they lack the control to choke it back like adults….er, most adults :)

  6. Anope backwash isn’t an issue for me, and I happen to be a fabulous dining companion! But let’s just say for arguments sake I do tend to regress when my brothers are around… 😀 (I have 3 brothers and no sisters) so while I may pull off the occasional “see-food” routine, which in recent years one of my brothers upped the ante to include letting a small portion of chewed up food to actually fall back on the plate. (timing is crucial here, if my mother see’s it, she has a fit!) But it really wouldn’t be something I’d do in mixed company, so you’re safe….for now!

  7. Well that’s what kids are for, to pass on all those little tricks to making life just a little bit more silly and enjoyable! 😉

  8. Dude the Flinstone style walker is a blast . Bec had gotten one of the stand up saucers , man the kids want out in 5-10 minutes tops. We let Kiera run around in the walker she loved it , I didnt know they were labeled as unsafe now. Although I was raised by parents who thought Take a Boost ( Higly caffeinated non carbonated drink ) was safe for consumption by a 9 month old baby. :dizzy:

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