“Have you created your registry yet?” asked every mother I came across. At the mere mention of the registry, my eyes would glaze over and my brain would start to slowly dissolve. And my blood pressure would rise. Equal parts boredom and stress. “I, um, no, not yet, but I will…” I stammered out in response every time.
You see, I had tried. Full of purpose, and forgoing all the actual work I had to do for my paying job (impending maternity leave be damned), I did the fun stuff first. Little Critter towels from Pottery Barn Kids, fabulous furniture and storage baskets from Restoration Baby & Child, until finally all that was left was the boring, quotidian, humdrum stuff. The real registry. The 101 mundane items needed for a new baby.
I would sit at my desk and open my web browser, typing out ‘BuyBuyBaby.” Multiple times. And would not know where to move my cursor after that. What did I need? How did I know I was getting all the best stuff? The right stuff?? How would I know how many burp cloths to buy and why I needed a rectal thermometer which I had absolutely no intention of shoving up my baby’s arse?
Perhaps I would do better if I physically saw these items in the store. Perhaps some strange force would come over me while I was there, and I could just bang it out in 30 minutes. Yes, I saw what I did there. A bad pun. Bang it out. Haha (Andy will be strangely proud of me for that one. If he ever reads this).
But it’s SO BORING!
I never made it on my own. I had to be physically taken there after months of procrastination. As the date of my baby shower approached, my friend Samantha (one of the shower planners and the most recent mommy) recognized my reluctance.
“Why don’t I take you to BuyBuyBaby and create the registry for you, to give you a starting point?”
I could avoid this registry thing entirely and just follow her around the store, nodding at her choices. Andy was even more excited by this, as this put him out of the running as registry-mate.
As I walked into the behemoth of a store, I started to break into a cold sweat. I just stood in the middle of the entrance and looked around crazily. There was So. Much. Stuff. From floor to 20-foot ceiling. Oh My God. I mutely accepted my pastel-colored “Thanks-for-being-pregnant-and-becoming-our-financial-bitch-for-the-next-year” goody-bag and watched as Samantha took charge of the scanner. You always need a friend (NOT your partner) to walk you through this process (walk, drag, whatever). I needed someone to set my mind right about these mind-numbing but all-important choices.
From the stroller…
PREGGO THOUGHT: Is the most expensive stroller the best? What features do I need it to have? I need to pee. Why do I have to buy it in two separate parts? Wait, a THOUSAND dollars? I don’t know anything about reclining angles and shock absorbers, should I have brought my compass? OMG do I need to bring my mechanic here to rotate it on it’s axels?! And what are axels??
PRACTICAL THOUGHT: Can it navigate the potholes and uneven sidewalks of Manhattan without jostling the sleeping baby? Does it have enough storage space for emergency trips to the grocery store, the rain cover, and a blanket? Can I open and close it relatively easily to get in and out of taxis without holding up traffic? And do it all wearing heels?
HUSBAND THOUGHT: Why can’t we use my old stroller from 1978? I’ll have my uncle send it from Mumbai.
Just kidding about this one. It was a more philosophical statement, the kind that is posed like a question, and designed to infuriate the pregnant mind. Like, “What do people in third-world countries use?” I don’t mean to sound harsh, but right now, I only care what I use. In fact, you’re not allowed to utilize the shock-absorbing powers of our new stroller-to-be. You can just carry the baby.
To the mattress…
PREGGO THOUGHT: What is the difference between a Deluxe Crib Mattress and a Superior Crib Mattress, and am I a bad mother if I buy the less expensive one? But they spend so much time sleeping, surely they need the most comfortable mattress money can buy. Why doesn’t BuyBuyBaby carry Hästens?! I would totally buy a Hästens crib mattress; it’s a good long-term investment. See? I can be practical. We need to go to Hästens next; it’s in Flatiron.
PRACTICAL THOUGHT: Er, let’s see what our options are here first. If crib mattresses came in adult sizes, no one would buy them. Trust me. Let’s just buy one that sounds decent and has a toddler side and a firmer, infant side. Job done.
HUSBAND THOUGHT: We don’t need a crib. Our parents just put us in-between them at night. We won’t even use it. Ergo, mattresses are a waste of money. As are sheets.
Don’t even get me started on the crib and sheets. Or the damn glider. Those three things are on his permanent record and deserve their own post (stay tuned for part two. He’s such a crib-blocker). I should also point out that all my husband’s “helpful” comments came after the registry was done and dusted, and goodies had started to arrive. Such as the high chair…
“But why do we need a high-chair right away? The baby won’t be able to use it for a while, right?So it’s just going to sit in my parent’s basement for six months.”
That is a perfectly practical observation. However, I need it NOW! And do you know how much thought I had to put into it (while nodding my assent to Samantha as she added it to my registry?!) Do we do the uber-cool egg shaped one, which doesn’t look like it has head or lumbar support, or the unattractive Peg-Perego one that looks like a baby-sized LA-Z Boy?
Did I need it now? Oh God no. But I had to have it on the list anyway. I needed everything ready for the first day we brought baby home. Of course, what happened is that we got everything haphazardly, so when the baby came we had tons of burp cloths, swaddles and a high chair, but no changing pad, stroller, crib sheets, Or. Effing. Glider.
The one and only time Andy physically joined me at BuyBuyBaby (about 2 months after the baby was born), was to purchase said glider. He ignored the glider section completely, and instead fell in love with a stroller, and tried to get me to return our existing one. As in, the one we strolled into BuyBuyBaby with that day. He randomly decided that the FourMoms Origami stroller was the one we needed. It opens and closes itself with the touch of a button. It looked like a cocoon and I could see it going all 2001: Space Odyssey on my baby and shutting down while he was trapped inside.
Did I mention I have a really overactive imagination? It’s become worse since the baby was born. I see danger everywhere. This is normal, right? All new moms go through this severe mental aging, right? Please…?