The Great Baby Pay Day

We all know that we live in a country that strongly endorses spending lots and lots of money (isn’t it patriotic or something?).  Thank you, Target, for getting your Valentine’s Day stuff out.  I was beginning to worry that I wouldn’t be able to buy Mr. Cookie a schmaltzy “be mine” card and matching gift bag in time for the holiday.  Nowhere does this seem to be more true than when it comes to babies.  Mr. Cookie and I put a lot of thought into registering.  After all, this is our first baby and we would like to be able to reuse whatever we get.  We’d also like to be able to use whatever we get.  We’d also like for me not to wind up on the show Hoarders (or in a mental institution screaming “I need order!”).  So, I did a bunch of research that included talking to new moms and checking books out of the library then put my research to use by scanning Craigslist for big items (huzzah $70 crib, $60 co-sleeper with leg extensions, sheets, and mattress protector included and $50 glider!) and beginning a registry.  There are definitely things on the registry that are not in the NEED category on the registry, but nothing prepared me for our trip to the big baby store.

We’d started a registry online, and were quite pleased with ourselves when we walked into Babies ‘R’ Us to finish it up by picking out some final things that we wanted to see in person.  We strode over to the registry desk, confidence personified, and asked the lady for a scanning gun.  20 minutes later, and armed finally with said gun and a “registering guide” that made my eyes go cross eyed, we stumbled away from the desk, lost and confused.  I mean, just look at the sheer magnitude of this list:

Did you know that the average baby shower guest purchases 5 items?  So, register for lots of lots of stuff to help those guests out!  Now, obviously you can’t read this list because there’s just so much of it and it’s teeny tiny.  Don’t worry, I will tell you some of the highlights.  You need to know that this is labeled the “must-haves” list.  I quiver to think of what the “really-wants” list would look like.  According to this list, you NEED:  wall hanging, decals, and wall border; window valance and switch plate cover; car seat toys (not to be confused with activity toys, cribs toys, stroller toys, or rattles); 1-2 rain covers (really, one wasn’t enough?  Or better yet, maybe I could just not take the stroller out when it’s raining??); 1-2 stroller netting(s) (where do we live?  Central America?); full size swing AND travel swing; mobile walker (umm… weren’t these deemed a safety hazard 20 gazillion years ago?); 3-6 cotton overalls (overalls!  My baby is a farmer and must be dressed like one every day of the week!)… the list goes on (and on and on and on).

I fear that I have the wrong mindset.  My child is clearly going to grow up deprived because we didn’t register for any of the things listed above.  Oh my god, you guys.  Do they sell economy packs of stroller rain covers and baby overalls?

But seriously, am I overreacting to this?  Is it really not that absurd?  Tell me, because my hormones have been wacky.  I was crying while planning my unit for Esperanza Rising because the story is just so.damn.beautiful.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, I had a theory going into the new year that as soon as we were in 2012, people would stop responding by saying “Oh, you’ve still got a ways to go” and instead start saying “Wow, that’s right around the corner” when finding out my due date (seriously, it’s the number one question people ask me these days).  I was totally right.  I’m nearly into double digits.  24 weeks=50-70% chance of survival, which is super crazy.  And also, super exciting.  Still, stay put, Stowaway!

And finally, for those of you who haven’t seen it via Facebook, here I am looking enormous.

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6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Kim said,

    So my need list includes a crib & carseat. Poor baby.

  2. 2

    Jenn S said,

    other than my mom, i’m pretty sure no one bought us 5 gifts…nor would we have wanted them to! that’s INSANITY, babies r’ us!

    other than the decals, we own nothing you just listed there (and only have those because they’re cute monkeys…but totally NOT necessary). i’m not sure HOW mah preshus infant has survived the past 3 1/2 months without a switch plate cover, overalls, and stroller netting. i never realized i was depriving him of these essential items! bad mommy!

    seriously though, i can’t wrap my head around what a lot of the lists out there call “essential” or even put in the “might want” category. we really went pretty bare minimum on the stuff we got mr. baby due to tight storage issues, and we’re doing just fine. would it be helpful if i sent you a list of things we have and use (leaving off the things we’ve found non-essential)? also, i found the lists of stuff to think about getting on alphamom’s zero to forty pregnancy calendar to be really useful/thoughtful…i believe the lists start somewhere in the late 20’s? (the calendar’s also a hoot to read/sanity saving if you feel up to it…http://alphamom.com/pregnancy-calendar-overview/)

    • 3

      Jenn S said,

      also, i would really like to know what the hell a baby bath sponge is and how exactly it differs in purpose from a washcloth.

      don’t even get me started on how they tell you you “need” to buy baby washcloths and towels ….as if you couldn’t use your own washcloths and towels on baby.

  3. 4

    Jon S said,

    A while back, the internet told me why the triple cheeseburger exists. McDonalds does not expect you to buy the triple cheeseburger. They expect you to see it and then consider the double cheeseburger to be a more modest option. Most of the items on your list are triple cheeseburgers.

  4. 6

    Andrea said,

    Baby overalls are the worst, even with the crotch snaps. Huge pain. The only thing worse is toddler overalls, because they don’t even have the crotch snaps. I also see that the list includes car seat cup holder as a must-have. It’s true, your newborn isn’t going to hold his/her Big Gulp him/herself. Don’t worry, we’ll get it for you.


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