Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mountains and mountains of crap

Babies generate a lot of stuff, most of which seems to be appalling. Things in pastel colors (shudder), things with bows and ruffles and bears and puppies and "jungle" themes. This shit is everywhere, and it makes my skin crawly to even look at most of it. I don't think "it's so cute" or "it's for a baby!" should be an excuse for bad taste and buying mountains of cheap plastic crap. There are a few nice baby things out there, some well-designed, sleek items to use with your dear little one, but they're going to cost you. A lot. If you want something without ruffles or bears or pastels, something that’s well-designed and not a total piece of stupid plastic crap, you have to pay out the ass for it. Which I don’t get. A nice, austere baby blanket would take way less fabric than the appliqué-and-ruffle-drenched shit I keep seeing. Why are you charging me double for less fabric?

I’ve been looking over some of the checklists supplied in every baby book and on every baby, mother, or parenting website in creation. I’ve come to the conclusion that most of them are total bullshit, fabricated by the Baby Industrial Complex, to make you buy more stuff. For example, do I really need a

Changing table (like I have room for this, and why do I need a special table to do it on?)
Rocking chair/Glider (again, it's not like I have room for this, and why can't I just sit on my couch? Is there some rule that you can't use an old chair with a new baby?)
Crib Bedding Set (You’re not even supposed to put the comforter on them, why am I paying $300 for it? And does a crib really need a dust ruffle?)
Mobile (that will probably play some jangly, annoying tune)
Diaper Stacker (dear God, how DID civilization progress without a bow-covered sack for diapers?)
Matching Accessories -Lamp, wall border, rug, valance, etc (You’ve got to be kidding me. I don’t even have that stuff in MY room)
Car seat, Stroller, Travel Crib, Co-Sleeper AND Playpen (let’s not forget the special sheets for the playpen mattress)
Swing, Walker, Bouncer, AND Stationary Entertainer (who has room for all this shit?! Why the need for all these devices to stick the baby into?)
High Chair with “splat mat” AND Booster Seat (because it's not enough to have one place for them to smear food everywhere, you really need more)
Cradle/Bassinette, with extra sheets of course (What about the playpen? The crib? The travel crib? The co-sleeper? Can’t they sleep there?)
Baby Monitor (our apartment is less than 950 square feet, I’d have to work NOT to hear the baby all the time)
Sleep Positioner (what is this?)
Safety Gates, Outlet Covers, Cabinet Latches (the kid can’t even find its own feet yet, why is this on a “new baby” list?)
Crib Toys, Activity Toys, Baby Gym, Playmat (can’t I just give it some cat toys and a rusty old saw blade to play with?)

We are going to try our hardest to avoid falling into the Pit of Baby Stuff. We've finally managed to pare down our crap (and will have another opportunity when we move again) to a reasonable level. I don't want to get buried in stuff again, especially not if it's pastel or "jungle-themed." Ugh.

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