Stuff

The arrival of baby draws nigh, and th most obvious sign of which (aside from the brightly painted nursery full of stuff) is the big pile of laundry already done on the baby’s behalf. All the cloth diapers, the wipes and diaper stuffers, the darling little onesies and stacks of bedding, receiving blankets and bathing accessories all need a good washing before going into commission. That more than anything else, even including the daily “Streetfighter” re-enactments in my belly, has driven home the reality of the baby: Tom’s pile of undershirts and cargo shorts, my colorful underthings and jeans, and a teeny, tiny pile of teeny, tiny shirts and other accessories next to our grown-up clothes.

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A generous friend gave us her Medela Pump-in-Style to use after the baby is born and I have to go back to work (we’ll just look on the bright side and assume I’ll have a job to return to). I ordered the replacement parts this last week. They came yesterday and I decided to spend a few minutes today assembling everything and seeing how it all worked. Not even a week ago I read this entry on an experience with the Medela on a blog my cousin sent to me, and I laughed so hard that I couldn’t get myself under control for a solid ten minutes. I laughed until I cried gigantic lunatic tears, it was so funny to me. It’s just by sheer virtue of timing that I didn’t wet myself–I had just been to the bathroom. Tom tried to get me to explain what was so funny but all I could get out was “Breast pump…curious husband…Pinocchio.” And the look on his face set me off again.

It wasn’t until the following day that Tom explained that given my reaction and abbreviated explanation, he thought the husband had put…something else…in the breast pump. Ah, I nodded thoughtfully. That would explain why Tom turned a little gray.

Anyway, I decided that it couldn’t hurt to do a five-second test of the parts, nothing that would actually activate any sort of reaction. Two seconds strapped into that machine and I spent the rest of the afternoon holding a cold bottle of Perrier to my chest. Not only do I not learn from my own mistakes, I don’t learn from others’ either.

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The last big item that we needed to buy was the carseat. Since we are anxious folk, it made sense to have the base installed in the Fit and ready to rock at a moment’s notice. (I already bought some nursing tops and large, cheap, parachute-like underpants for my hospital bag–with no Victoria’s Secret on the island, no sense in ruining nice underwear with the byproducts of labor.) We did our research on Consumer Reports, weighed the advantages of the ungodly expensive but top-rated Britax Marathon against the cheaper but infant-only Baby Trend Flex-Loc (a Consumer Reports best buy!) with collapsable stroller. Much like our other decisions with baby things, we had to see what was available for purchase locally. We located a vendor for Britax seats, but decided to go to Toys ‘R Us and see if they had the cheaper Baby Trend. They did, complete with matching stroller that folds up relatively flat (we have a baby wrap to wear the baby, but the price was so reasonable we had to go for it). The only thing is…the car seat and stroller are orange. So is our nursery. So is our baby wrap. And so is our car. We might as well name it Sunkist Tropicana.

If in 2027 our child tells us that it wants to attend Syracuse University, we’ll know why.

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