Nursery blues

It’s my last few days in RIR-Land before heading back home, finally, to live back in our home in the ole US of A for the first time in more than a year. And one of the things that means is it will be time to get the place in order for the new arrival in December. And one of the things that means is the horrifying prospect of buying baby stuff.

Now those of you who have been reading for a while know that I have had kind of a bad attitude about being pregnant. Now that I am no longer in perma-nausea-land and I get regular non-dead-baby reassurances because the baby is kicking regularly I am in the blissful situation of actually being A-OK with being pregnant. Yep, never thought that that would happen. The last few weeks I have been expanding like a balloon (so much that people who haven’t seen me in a week or so say “geez, you are bigger already”), and it is a bit horrifying to think of that continuing at the same pace for the next 4 months. But, that’s OK.

But I just can’t get excited about the buying-stuff-for-the-baby thing. Part of it comes from the many years of trying to completely ignore the entire baby-purchasing universe. Part of it is disgust at the entire consumer culture around Must Buy 10,000 Items For Your Baby Or It Is Doomed. And part of it? I dunno. Probably there is more going on.

For my birthday one of my friends here gave me a book about “how to take care of your baby.” I figured I may as well take a look in it and see what I was getting into. It started right away with a You Must Buy These (Many) Items For Your Baby and You Must Carefully Consider The Following 20 Aspects Of Each Purchase Or Your Baby Could Be Injured Or Worse. And I just closed the book right away because… dang, that is just too complicated. I don’t feel like dealing with it. And the depth of my not-wanting-to-deal-with-it is astonishing. I don’t know that this is going to change before the little one comes along.

One of the things I talked with Mr. Nishkanu about pretty early along is that I don’t want to make child-rearing complicated. I don’t want to engineer an optimal child, I want to raise a child that knows that it is loved. My own parents were constantly reading the literature on how to rear a child and adopting strange new habits based on whatever the latest scientific or pseudo-scientific conclusions were. And these days it seems like there are so many You Must Do This! You Mustn’t Do That! admonitions to parents with the threat that if you don’t do that you will Destroy Your Child Forever. I just don’t want to make things that complicated – we’ll do what makes sense to us, we won’t worry about the rest. Fortunately, Mr. Nishkanu is 100% on the same page.

And then I think to myself… how much stuff does a brand new baby really need? Does it really need a bajillion gadgets and a thousand outfits and toys? It just doesn’t seem like it has to be that complicated to me.

But if it does… maybe I can sucker Mr. Nishkanu into figuring it out for us. He called me a few weeks ago announcing he had picked a crib, did I want to see it?, and I said “Great! Just buy it!” Maybe this trend can continue through all the baby purchases.

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2 Comments »

  1. Ana said

    I am totally with you on this. I also am horrified at the consumer culture surrounding babies and children. And the somehow thinly veiled idea that if you don’t purchase the right items, you are subjecting your baby to real harm and just may be a terrible parent. My husband is even more extreme—so I feel like I’m the one who’s being superficial by even bringing up the idea of a jogging stroller (we both love to run, though!!!)
    Keep us updated on how your quest for simple, non-materialistic baby-prep goes—I need a role-model 🙂

  2. rosesdaughter said

    I too am horrifed everytime I go into Babies R Us, but I am also strangely facinated.

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