Disclaimer: The following post involves shopping for items that would be involved in the raising of a child. If you are a parent of either myself or my wife, I must warn you this does not imply we are considering having a child right now. It was for a friend. Once again, not right now. Sure, in the future it will probably happen, but you’re just going to have to wait for it, okay? In conclusion, no baby.
You may now return to your regularly scheduled blog post.
There is a laundry list of things that are terrifying when it comes to having children. For me, the process of raising a child is this: First, they are born. Then they cry, poop and scream. At last, they gradually learn to control those reactions and are fun for a few years. Then suddenly, they become teenagers and the screaming and crying returns. Then, if all goes according to plan, they will grow up and have their own children, forcing you to listen to their complaining about crying, pooping, and screaming.
Aw… the circle of childrearing.
Every so often, a new thing pops up to scare me away from kids. For me, I had never thought of the numerous devices involved in keeping a child alive until today.
I accompanied my wife to Babies R’ Us this afternoon. Believe it or not, as a child-fearing babyless human being, I have never had the pleasure of entering this store. In fact, I had never spent time around baby necessities in anyway. Up until today, I had never thought about buying them, where they come from, how much they cost, or anything of the sort. I assumed that when one left the hospital, the doctor handed you all of the things you would need and wished you a big good luck.
This is apparently not the case. Instead, stores are stocked with an overwhelming amount of things. I figure it is some sort of strange sales technique that stores have organized for people like me. I don’t know a good stroller from a bad one, so show me 100 options and I will probably grab the most expensive one just assuming it is the best choice. Or I might curl up in a fetal position and cry.
As we walked the aisles, I found myself surrounded by countless items that strapped, held, bounced, rolled, swung, fed, bathed, clothed, soothed, supported, or otherwise kept a baby from dying. It looked like devices NASA would include on the space shuttle but, of course, baby sized.
As we were walking, my wife said the following: “Oh, these strollers are the best!” I trusted her judgment. She has worked as a nanny. While she was doing that, I have spent time crafting new creative excuses to get out of holding babies. I took a quick glance at it.
I contained my gasp and moved on. As we walked through the store, I began to do mental math. $250 for a car seat. $50 for a bouncer, though we should probably get two. $65 for a weird high chair thing because apparently babies are too good to sit in regular chairs like the rest of us. $600 for a crib. $45 for something called a Bumbo. $50 for a bouncing chair that suspends my baby from a door jam, an idea that seems neither safe nor practical. $100 for a swing.
For those keeping score at home, that is $1660.00. That is without factoring in things like clothing, diapering, or feeding my baby.
This is enough to give a person a panic attack. Then I began to think about it. These things are not necessary. Not that long ago, just a few thousand years, cavemen raised babies without any of these luxuries. They just laid their baby on a pile of rocks and hoped a weird bird-like creature did not pick up their child and fly away. I would at least give the baby a pile of towels to sleep on, so I’m already ahead of cavemen.
I think my baby is going to have to choose. Either they get the furniture they apparently need or they get food. This seems like an either/or situation, so my kid better be born with solid decision making skills.*
I guess this is a great reason to have friends that are having kids. When we are ready to procreate, they will be trying to get rid of all the crap they felt they needed for raising their baby. Then they will just give it to us. I can get behind preowned baby supplies.
If that doesn’t work, I think we’ll be okay. There aren’t that many weird bird-like creatures around anymore.
*Just a side note: when reading this to my wife, she said I was genius so our baby may be smart. My wife thinks I’m a genius. This does not relate in anyway. I just thought I would commemorate the occasion for the next disagreement we have.