ABOUT ME

About me: My husband Chuck, our six-year-old Junior, our three-year-old Everette and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I really love vodka and lemonade and yes, I will steal dinner rolls again

I’ve been invited to my friend Amye’s baby shower. Given the table hell that was her bridal shower, I’m not too excited. This time I can’t even drink. And what the hell. I just went to a baby shower for a co-worker, Melissa.

At least there was some intrigue. Melissa talks like her nose is plugged up—just like the adults in the Peanuts catoons—so I was dying to see if the rest of her family suffered from the same affliction. Did her mom look like this?



She didn’t. It was very disappointing.

Melissa sat me next to two feisty older women. They had all the angst and grunt of the crotchety old men who sat in the balcony of the Muppets.



I loved them. When Melissa opened present number 1,896 (I think it was a breast pump that calls La Leche League if it senses you slacking off), one of the women turned to the other and said:

“Jesus Christ. When we had baby showers we were happy with a rectal thermometer and vat of Vaseline!”

I thought of these women today when I went online to see Amye’s baby shower registry. They would have died. I died, too. Amye registered for 247 items: wipe warmers with headlights, cradles, bouncy chairs, swings, carriers, bassinets, baby papasans, rockers, swingers, jumpers, vibrating seats, musical seats, seats that speak Spanish.

All that's missing is a blow up doll for her partner for the six weeks+ after giving birth that she can’t/doesn’t want to schtoop.

You know, the stuff she really needs.

Of course, I thought back to my own ineptitude when registering for my own baby shower gifts. I had no clue. What did my baby need besides my hooters, exactly? Could my baby sleep in a cardboard box on stilts instead of in a bassinet? Why not? Did 3T mean three times the size he was at birth?

I’d enlisted the help of friends to help me decipher the madness. From the looks of it, Amye decided to choose one of everything in the store.

It got me wondering: Do you think most new moms fall into this trap? When did having a baby become all about amassing stuff? When did it get so damn complicated? Most importantly, what's the silliest thing you registered for or bought that's now collecting dust?

It does kind of make you long for a good old rectal thermometer.

Or a stiff drink at a baby shower. God I miss vodka.

27 comments:

Pricilla said...

I think it's the registries that did it. Once the stores decided to provide that "service" you are presented with the key to the candy store as it were.

I'm glad this did not exist when I got married. I had a hard enough time picking out china/crystal/sterling patterns.

Which I don't think they do any more which goes to show just how old a goat I am.

Stacie said...

Once I got pregnant, I knew that I didn't want a shit load of crap. I wanted to stick with the minimal things needed. No crazy chairs. Thankfully my daughter didn't even like her swing. She lived in the sling on me.

I didn't register for anything. I bought all the things I wanted since I'm picky and didn't want anyone to feel like they needed to spend a lot on any one item.

When I sent out invitations, I put in the invitation what size clothes to buy Laney. I divided up 3-6 months all the way up to 24 months. It worked out perfectly. Laney was clothed for the first 18 months of her life.

I know women love to buy baby clothes, so it worked out well for everyone.

The Mother said...

Yes, as Pricilla notes, it's the registries. I still haven't used my wedding crystal. Nor did I ever use the cadillac stroller. I bought a cheap fold-me-down instead.

Julia said...

I think I really only used like six or seven onesies for each "size" and the rest were really overkill on the clothing. I could have clothed like three babies at one time with the new and handmedown stuff I had. And I did not "ask for" as much crap as most other showers I attended. I donated the hardly used and new clothing to good will and I feel someone is using that somewhere.

But YES registries encourage the purchase of TOO MUCH STUFF!

Ms. Salti said...

I'd miss vodka if I were you. And yes, I think everyone gets wrapped up in amassing stuff. I mean, how many things can one feasibly use at once? A bouncy chair? Sure. A wipe warmer? Give me a break!

Whitney said...

My sister actually asked for a wipe-warmer for her first baby. The stupid thing wasn't portable, and let's face it, you're not always going to take the baby to the changing table to change it's butt. Besides, by the time you got the wipe to the butt, it was already cold. They're pointless. It's collecting dust in the closet...

Frogs in my formula said...

Those damn registries! It's like giving a 5-year-old the Sears Christmas catalog.

marybt said...

I didn't register for my baby shower.

People like to shop for babies. And everyone knows what babies need: onesies and diapers. lol.

I got a lot of DARLING things that I would never have received if I had registered. Mostly because they weren't purchased at Target or Babies 'R Us.


The next baby shower I go to though, I'm giving the mother batteries. Lots of batteries. Turns out, buying batteries will put you in the poor house! lol.

(I know one mother who when it was time for her first baby, got a new dishwasher because her current dishwasher didn't have a "sterilize" feature and she felt that she would need that for the bottles.)

I'm sure I bought something dumb but I can't think of it off the top of my head right now ...

Grace said...

Where did you get that nose picture? So funny!

Personally I always send practical baby gifts and skip the registries - Couple cases of diapers; thousands of wipes, those hooded towels, bunch of onesies in assorted sizes, coupla crib sheets.

Of course I did buy my grandson the Cadillac of car seats/strollers...hey, safety first, he is after all MY grandson!

MamaTech said...

My oldest daughter is due in December and she and her hubby have decided that they are going to kindly refuse all offers of baby showers. Their house is TINY and will barely have enough room for the basics for new baby. Instead, she has asked her friends, IF they want to give a gift, give her what they found to be most useful themselves. No registry, no boatload of gifts AND BEsT OF ALL (to me, anyway) no need to write 8 million thank you notes.

Hippo Brigade said...

It's so true. You totally hit the nail on the head. I fell into the too-much-stuff-trap with my first baby, but with my second I've totally paired down. I can walk right by the baby isle at Target and buy NOTHING. There's freedom in that.

Oh, and by the way, this is hilarious: breast pump that calls La Leche League if it senses you slacking off

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

One thing I will say, I've had a registry for every baby I've had, even if I never had nor expected to have a shower. Because after the baby is born you can buy the stuff for 10% off. Plus, for me, I had lots of relatives living out of town and if they wanted to get something for the baby, at least it was something I picked out.

But, I really think it's tacky when people want or expect baby showers for their 2nd, 3rd, or successive babies. Who cares if it's a different gender? Who cares if it's been 8 years? I mean, your vagina is not a slot machine.

(I don't mean YOU you. I mean, whoever has multiple baby showers, that's who.)

I think having a baby makes some people feel that they will not succeed unless they have ALL the necessary crap. Bumbo seat? check. Travel system and umbrella stroller and jogging stroller? check, check, and check. Rosetta Stone, Japanese, Junior version? check.

Jeanne said...

That Stacie woman is a genius.

Sparkling said...

I stopped going to baby showers. I used to get a funny feeling at them, thinking that if something happened to the baby, here was a room full of stuff (and who doesn't end up needing 3 cars to take all the gifts home) that the poor parents have to deal with when they come home with no baby. Morbid, I know. Then we had what I call the BABY FAKER at work, a woman i do believe truly faked 8 months of a pregnancy with a padded belly and all, and I decided I am done. Until I see the baby, no acknowledgement of the baby. I make baby quilts and give books but now I wait until the baby has come and is home. Perhaps rude, but I just can't deal with the potential emotional stress. Many cultures do not do anything until the baby is born. What if our culture said that baby showers should come AFTER the baby. Then mom and baby can bnoth be there, everyone can see the new baby, and best of all, everyone knows the sex so they know what color to buy. Yes, you need things like cribs and such, but for those first few weeks, what do you really need? Some onesies, a carseat, and something to sleep in, right?

Nanc Twop said...

I'm sorry re: the no_vodka thing.

But still, you must attend that baby shower as a public service to your faithful readers. Just so you post a follow-up to her bridal shower. ;-)

Since you'll be drinking the un-spiked punch, perhaps you can find a twirly chair? Then you can spin around a few hundred times, until you get your buzz that way. Or you'll get dizzy and puke. Either way you won't miss the booze... much.

Mrsbear said...

I don't love baby showers and the gift opening portion I always thought should be abandoned in favor of, I dunno, anything else.

The last couple I've attended I've always been astounded by the number of unnecessary gadgets people think they need. So much of which becomes useless or impractical after just a few months. Then again, my kids might just need extensive therapy because I put cold wipes to their butts during all those diaper changes.

Jenny Beans said...

At least you got to sit by the ladies with character.

My baby shower was so long ago, I can't remember the kinds of things I got that I didn't use, but I know there were a lot. Weird clothing I wouldn't even dress my cat in, I do remember that.

They really should serve alcohol at baby showers for the people who already have kids at the very least.

jadenotjaded said...

Ha..yes, by my 3rd child I bought nothing except diapers and wipes..that all you really need.

I scavenged for used bassinets and cribs. Hand me down clothes are STILL his fashion statement!

The thing I really ended up hating from my 1st 2 kids was my wipe warmer..it ends up burning the wipes, and I always got nasty looks from my grandma, "In MY day we just..." sigh

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

It has gotten pretty out of hand. I see the majority of the stuff women get at yard sales a couple of years later. . . Or maybe that was just me.

曾法幸 said...

從來名利地,皆起是非心。.......................................................

Laila said...

I've never registered for anything. I did receive 3 or 4 of everything which was ok because I ended up having three kids and after the first one I never had to buy anything again. Shoot my daughter, which was my third shunned her pretty pink stuff for all her brothers old nasty stuff. I was giving her a bath yesterday - took off her shirt then her shorts and "girl, WHY do you have on your brothers underwear?" Sheesh!

Getrealmommy said...

The wipe warmer was really the silliest, most useless of all. What are we trying to do anyway? Raise a bunch of sissies?
Great post. Lucky for me, as I have gotten a bit older most of the showers I go to include booze for the not-pregnant set which makes the whole experience far more enjoyable.

Small Town Mommy said...

I have my S-I-L's baby shower next weekend. I remember panicking about registering. I was so worried about getting the correct stuff. Turns out that it works whether it is correct or not. I can't believe I wasted so much time worrying about what to get.

Brandy said...

well the wipe warmer. but in our case - also the crib. most used thing? the changing table. also fave *new* thing that was the envy of the other parents - the fisher price soothing motions glider. LOVED it

Jen said...

I never had a baby shower so I didn't get to register for stuff, though I would have registered for stuff for me rather than the baby. Of course that comes with tons of hindsight. I would have registered for baby sitters, dinners out without the kids and new shoes, maybe a membership to Jenny Craig or something like that.

jana said...

Registering for my baby shower was one of the most stressful things I've ever done. I couldn't believe that I needed all that "stuff"--most of which my friend recommended. But I felt like I needed to get the best, because there's so much damn fear about bumpers suffocating your kid, etc. I don't think I registered for anything unnecessary, though. My wedding registry is a different story.

Stacie's Madness said...

seriously. i think all moms fall into this trap, well the new ones anyway.