Because what the internet needs is more wittering about rubbish parenting

Friday, 1 October 2010

Stuff, stuff and more stuff!

Like many other ladies born into our materialistic capitalist society, I am fond of a spot of shopping. When I was younger, it was all quite normal. I had staff discount at Topshop, and was not afraid to use it, and dedicated many years to trying to answer the question of whether one can really own too many handbags. Once I had my own home, however, it got a whole lot geekier. Kitchen gadgets! Ingenious storage solutions that you have to put together with allen keys! Soft soft furnishings! I thought that it didn't get much better than a trip to Ikea, perhaps followed by a read of the Lakeland catalogue.

And then I had a baby.

Now, everyone knows that babies require quite a lot of stuff. They need somewhere to sleep, something to be carted around in, stuff to wear, stuff to go on their bums, and all that jazz. But it is truly eye-opening to realise just how much stuff exists in the babysphere. A lot of it is truly brilliant, and I can't imagine how I got by without them, baby or no baby - muslin squares, baby wipes, and little plastic bowls (of which I now have so many scattered around the house with various things in them, that I sometimes can't find anything to serve The Baby her dinner in).
But the rest of it.... oh, my word. Even for a hardened gizmo-and-gadget-shopper like myself, it is quite, quite stunning. Any baby-related situation you can think of, and several million that you never would, you can be certain that someone has invented something to deal with it. Did you know that you can buy a baby-wipe warmer? I don;t have one of those. But here is a random selection of things that I do now own: a mini-food processor, a mini food-masher, a squeezy bulb thing to extract snot from tiny noses, a massive piece of fabric and mesh that fits over a pushchair to protect children from sun and insects, and a stripy material-and-strap portable highchair.

And the choices! The other day, I spent a long and very exciting evening trying to pick a new mattress for The Baby. I would not let Husband rest until he helped me pick between a pocket-sprung one, or one that was covered in bamboo (the wonder-fabric of the 21st century, apparently). I suspect that his actual thoughts on the matter may have been something along the lines of "Please leave me alone", but thankfully, he learned long ago that the quickest way to shut me up is to actually form and offer a valid opinion. In the end, I decided on the bamboo one, reasoning that I didn't have a fully pocket-sprung mattress until I was 28, so The Baby could live without one at 15 months old.

But it's quite ridiculous how excited I got about this. I don't think I've ever been so excited by a purchase ever. Not the Pierre Hardy for Gap platform sandals with 75% off. Not my honeymoon. Not either of my houses. To be fair, part of the excitement stems from the hope that this purchase might be the one that helps The Baby stay asleep for more than 3 hours at a time. But I reckon that most of it stems from the fact that I am a very, very sad individual.

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