Rae and I took a trip to the baby store earlier this week. We were on that side of town and just decided to stop in and see what kind of wonderful new merchandise was waiting for us. (We are consumers, we must consume.) Diapers, cribs, bottles, nipple brushes, mobiles ... they had it all.
And a lot of it was crap.
Babies don't need half the stuff they had on the shelves. They didn't have half this stuff when my siblings and I were kids - and we turned out fine. (Well, most of us did.)
"Like what," you say? "Give us an example," is what I hear? How about baby wipe warmers? It's a little box with a light in it (similar to an E-Z Bake Oven – but this won't make little cakes) which heats up the wipes so it's not too cold for himmer.
Really. Do I need to spend $19.99 on this? Will I scar my child for life if I clean hisser butt with a room-temperature wipe? (And really – room temperature in Arizona is pretty warm already.)
But wait! There's more! For only a few dollars more ($21.99) you can get one with a built-in changing light! So you can clean Junior's rump (comfortably mind you) in the dark! AMAZING!
But what really got me was the strollers. I've dodged these things in public places for years – but I hadn't realized just how obnoxious they have become. My idea of a stroller – the kind I sat in as a tyke – is made of a couple pieces of aluminium, some canvas and a couple of rickity plastic wheels. The kind which folds up small enough that it can be easily carried by any able-bodied adult.
Today's strollers are tanks. Huge off-road wheels and a better suspension system than my car (wouldn't want baby to wake up if we have to take it off-road). Cup holders, hand brakes, sun screens, storage areas and more! The area where baby sits? They're packed in with so many foam pillows I don't think they can actually move. And remember how small those other strollers collapsed down to? These fold down so they can be stored in the back of most SUVs – but only after you remove the car seat portion.
I think this visual aide says it all: