Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's Lucky My Children Survived

Last night my husband went with me to a baby department store (Buy Buy Baby) so I could pick out a gift for an upcoming baby shower. Granted, our children are 16 & 25 now, but WOW did I feel out of place! It felt like I'd stepped into a different time zone. My husband & I first walked toward the book section - because it was practically the only thing I recognized on the registry list AND because I love kids' books. Then I was amazed (followed by appalled) that 5" x 5" cardboard children's books ranged from $7-$12 a piece. Yikes ... when did the prices go up that high? My problem was that I couldn't narrow down my selection. Then I decided that 2-3 books just didn't seem like much, so we started looking at rubber coated baby spoons, teethers, and clothing hangers.

While I realize that the prices of just about everything have gone up over the years ... my mortgage, my health insurance, food, gasoline, tuition, etc. ... I looked around and noticed how much 'stuff' there was that could be bought. I mean, do people REALLY pay $13 for a small plastic pitcher to use when giving your child a bath? We used a recycled plastic margarine container. Do people REALLY pay $8.99 for a pair of practice plastic chop sticks so they can expose their toddlers to culture early on? When my son was in his toddler stage we were more concerned with hiding his vegetables in his applesauce - that didn't require any fancy silverware. Do people REALLY spend $20-$30 for rubber animal bath toys? We used the multi-colored Fisher Price plastic stackable rings. They worked great in both the playroom AND the bathtub.

It's funny ... when my kids were small our parents laughed at the high tech car seats we used and said it was a wonder we ever survived because they used to lay us down on the floor in the back seat of the car ... of course cars doubled as tanks back then. There's always that point when you find yourself saying things to your children that your parents used to say to you and you swore you'd be different and never repeat. I guess change is inevitable, although all change is not necessarily better. My husband often says that some things are always 'new and improved' because it keeps people working. Whether that's true or not I'm not sure. But with time comes change. That concept I'm afraid is unavoidable.

What was the most high tech thing we saw last night besides the ultimate baby monitors with flatscreen tvs? It had to be the motorized baby bouncer seat for $199.99. Our kids used the plain jane version that was powered off of their own squirming and giggles. Not this model though ... it has multiple speeds and moves and rotates the seat for you. I just wonder how the child (and the parents) would handle it if there was a power outage.

What's my motto for when we someday have grandkids? Less is more. Safety is one thing that can't be replaced, but watching your kids smile as they play on the kitchen floor with the wooden spoon, empty oatmeal container, and your pots and pans is priceless!


  1. I agree with so much of this! While board books are great with babies who would chew and rip regular books, I have wondered for a long time what ever happened to the "Little Golden Books" that never cost more than the change in your pocket. Good news: I've recently seen them at Meijer! When I shop for baby showers, I always choose a gift that I know is useful. When possible, I pick something from the registry... but not always! ;-)

  2. When I have kids (your grandkids) I won't skimp on safety, but I agree that less is more. Not necessarily a cheap-skate attitude, just make do with the simple things most of the time. I am your kid.

  3. You hit the nail on the head! They now have car seats with airbags. I too had to get a shower gift and was quite surprised at all the "stuff" you buy your babies today. My attitude is the same...pots&pans, spoons, boxes...the best toys in the world.

  4. Too funny! I was there yesterday AM and thought the same things! LOTS of useless junk! To think how much has been added in the past 9 years ( my time frame)...... Keep it simple: invest in a great carseat and stroller, good diapers and get a library card!
    ~ kristen