I’ve talked before about all the crap babies need to live. Crap like milk and bottles and cribs and pacifiers and Bumbos and Pack’n’Plays and breasts and onesies and socks and car-seats and strollers and mobiles and mobiles that play music and stuffed animals and pacifiers that taste like breasts and formula and butt paste and baby wipes and diaper genies and diapers and Baby Bjorn Borgs and gag rags and ohmygod makeitstop whatamImadeofmoney nowIsoundlikemydad Iwanttodie.
My apartment is already swamped with this stuff. And fine, I anticipated that. But somehow I never made the connection between those supplies and the need to purchase them.
My wife’s baby shower was all well and good – good times, good friends, good food, and plenty of the essentials needed to prevent a newborn from swallowing its own face. But, as grateful as we are for the incredible generosity of our friends and family, CAN SOMEONE PLEASE THROW US ANOTHER SHOWER?
Because somehow, in defiance of all logic (we shop in Manhattan, people), the people that work at this store are the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human beings I’ve ever known in my life. No, really. The Manchurian Candidate jokes aside, I am astonished every time I have a question in that store. They know everything! And they are teenagers! Or at least close to it.
Ask a question about a stroller and you get a walking tour and detailed breakdown of every stroller in the store, complete with honest opinions on how this one will sever your child’s legs and that one sucks on sidewalks. Browse the baby mattress section and a helpful employee will explain the excruciatingly specific process for delivery to Brooklyn in the clearest possible terms. Honestly. If I weren’t already married and having God’s Gift To All Children with my wife, I might have proposed four times already. Once even to a guy (so sue me, Alfonse was just that good).
This isn’t to slight Buy Buy Baby either. The middle-aged man who assisted with our glider purchase was exceptional, but somehow it’s more strange to buy baby stuff from a weird guy in his 40s than it is from a tatted up kid in his late teens. Don’t ask me why. And don’t ask my why this subsection of the retail industry is so absurdly well-trained. I can only hope my son grows up to be a Babies ‘R Us employee. Or at least has their manners.
All that said, I don’t ever want to set inside one of those stores, or see any of those people again, for the rest of my life. Because if you’ve looked at one jungle-themed blanket or one Winnie The Pooh embroidered pillow, you’ve looked at them all. Besides, we’re going with an Alacatraz theme for the nursery. Bars on the windows, concrete walls, shower-at-your-own-risk, an occasional stale roll.
After all, the kid’s gotta be tough. I live in Brooklyn.