We’ve done it. We’ve dipped our toes in the treacherous waters of baby commoditization and THERE IS NO TURNING BACK NOW. Hold on to your Sophie the Giraffe and Manhattan Toy Winkels!
It all started with Adam Davidson’s recent piece in the NY Times Magazine, The Sippy Cup 1%. The article is a rather startling ethnography of the hypercompetitive commodity market of all things baby, through the lens of the Brooklyn Baby Expo – which was, no doubt, an insufferable affair, full of children named “Seneca” and “Juniper” and “Grover” and parents comparing their children’s raw diet and “diaper-free” living. The article tells tales of a $5000 stroller – which obviously converts into a spaceship because, GAH, so much money! – but is also an interesting and profound commentary on the fact that, basically, all parents are TOTAL SUCKERS who will buy anything if it keeps baby safe/BPA free/ivy league bound.
Of course, it left me wondering. How much does a stroller cost?
And does this mean I can’t name my baby Juniper?
So, first trimester safely under our belt and nausea now relegated to an every-other-night-annoyance, C and I took a dive into Amazon-baby-registry-land. The only safe space, behind the glow of a laptop, where other moms-to-be can’t judge and where my future employer, who does not yet know I’m pregnant, can’t run into me in the cloth diaper aisle. <Furtively looks left to right>.
[Cut to C and Sarah perusing the Amazon Baby Best Sellers feverishly and with abandon]
<Exclamations of panic and horror over the price. OF LITERALLY EVERYTHING.>
<Labored breathing/wipes sweat from brow/tries to contain self/checks bank account/recovers>
C: Ooh diaper bags, what’s going on in the world of diaper bags? (Dead serious, and interest piqued. Inexplicably. Is this my husband?)
C: We’re not getting a prissy diaper bag, are we? We need something made by craftsmen.
S: <perplexed look>. So… you want a diaper bag made of reclaimed wood?
C: Oh yeah, look at that baby gate, that’s the kind of gate I like!
S: A gate? There are bath towels with bear ears and you’re interested in a gate?
S: Ooh, I like this ErgoBabyCarrier. But “supportive hood” just makes me think of Guantanamo – it sounds so dark.
C: What?! Who ARE you?
Then, in between describing various “bouncers” as “frightening” and debating the merits of a diaper genie – utterly disgusting or shockingly necessary? WE MUST KNOW NOW! – we were stopped dead in our tracks.
|"Am I busy? Oh no, not at all!"|
(I’ll give you a minute to digest this totally amazing photo).
How on earth can this “mother” be casually chatting away on what appears to be a giant, antiquated Blackberry. Doesn’t she know there are giant plastic contraptions dangling from her boobs, meanwhile she is suffocating in some kind of restrictive, medieval girdle? LADY! GET IT TOGETHER!
We laughed our heads off for entire minutes. We are so much better than this woman! This woman is CRAZY!
We said. Before growing eerily silent. We both knew what was coming. I plan on breastfeeding. I also plan on working full time. <Deep breath, looks at feet>.
<Quietly now, and with great resignation>. I will be buying a restrictive, medieval girdle and hanging giant plastic contraptions off my boobs EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
You win, Amazon. You win.
 Seriously though, what is it about this giraffe?
 I think we all knew that a Portlandia clip would make it in here somewhere.
 For real. I could not make this up – a friend of mine just confided that one of the other parents in her son’s day care subscribes to some totally bananas heretofore-unknown-potty-training-“method” wherein after two months, she goes entirely diaper free. She literally holds her infant over the toilet at… random intervals? Every ten minutes, just for good measure? WHO KNOWS. One thing is for sure, she spends an inordinate amount of time dangling an infant over a toilet making futile pleas for it to act on demand. (Moments later: Okay, so I totally just Googled “diaper free” and the first hit was a thoughtful commentary about diaper-free support groups and “elimination communication.” I can’t even. I just can’t.)
 I put mother in quotes because her stomach is far too flat and clearly not-recently-the-carrier-of-a-fetus. Amazon, you devious bastard.