Friday, March 12, 2010

We Registered.

Dear reader,

If you are looking for a helpful blog post on registering, look elsewhere.

When we moseyed on into Babies "R" Us on a Monday night we figured that registering would take us a mere minutes.  We had thoughtfully avoided the weekend crowd and had a pretty good sense of what will make life for Little T easier.  Now, some people have been shocked that we waited until after the start of the third trimester to make our way into the store, but we thought it would give us time to be educated on all things baby.  Ha.  That is funny.

Quickly after arriving we realized that the seven people already waiting at the registry counter were going to hinder any chance of us being in and out.  We wasted a bit of time over by the strollers just to give them time to finish up, but we didn't want some sneaky barely pregnant couple to weasel in line in front of us, so we were definitely in hover mode.

At the counter there was a late teen woman who looked like she was about to pop. Her skull and cross bone t-shirt, complete with roses of course, was so tightly pulled across her expanded belly that I thought the seams were in danger of busting.  She was there with her toddler, who was loaded into the basket portion of a shopping cart, and her sister (or mother, who knows).  I am pretty sure that at this point she was only registering so that she could get the 10% completion coupon.

Then there was a very pleasant (read normal) looking couple in their late 30s.  They were what I would call register-a-holics.  They had already been to the store multiple times and had met with the registry consultant to perfect their list just to make sure that they hadn't missed one pacifier, one wipe, or one over priced bottle sanitizer koozie. While I am sure that they are very nice, I am also sure that there future child will never be allowed to play in the dirt, rough house with a dog or riffle through an unorganized toy box.

The next couple was in their early 20s.  I decided right off the bat that I didn't like them.  The momma-to-be was wearing skinny jeans tucked into knee high stormy grey colored leather boots with a 4 inch heel.  She had on a black and white print top (so cute) and a striking yellow blazer.  Her shoulder bag was a black and white that coordinated without clashing with her shirt.  Her tiny bump was protruding, although I couldn't tell if she was pregnant or if her stomach was just distended from starvation. The papa-to-be looked like he had just stepped out of a Banana Republic ad.  They didn't speak much.  So why didn't I like them?  It's simple, I was jealous.  This couple had also made a plan to go to Babies R Us on a Monday night, and this is how they happened to look.  Me on the other hand?  I was lucky to have brushed my hair before I left the house.  I was wearing my Old Navy Maternity jeans that already have a hole in them, a white tank top with a black bra, and a long cardigan that I bought at JCPenney for $2.97.  I often look at women that I consider to be well dressed or "pulled together" and I am filled with jealousy.  I want to look cute like that.  I want to be the one that is on the edge of the trends.  But, then I remember that I am the woman that would rather spend $200 at a craft store than $200 at a clothing store.  What can I say, I'd rather spend money on things that I can make and sell for more money.  I'm not cheap, I just have different priorities.

Finally, it was our turn to take a go with the overworked employee assigned to the registry desk.  She was a petite framed woman in her mid sixties.  She had wire framed glasses and her hair was pulled back into a bun.  On either side of her face she had a spiral curl of hair that was loose.  You would feel comfortable calling her Nana.  We slipped into the chairs and told her that her "next victims were ready".  She giggled so hard I think it may have been the first time anyone had ever joked with her.  After all, apparently registering is serious business.

After filling out our paperwork we were taken through the 28 page spiral bound booklet that outlines the Babies "R" Us policies, program, offerings, etc.  Seriously, 28 pages.  The book that our OBGYN gave us to prepare for the pregnancy was only 24 pages.  Babies "R" Us is apparently 4 page more complex than growing and birthing a baby.  Maybe the "R" stands for "Really wordy explanations of really simple concepts".

Once the book reviewing session was complete, we were told all about the various additional services that the store has.  These services included a Registry Consultant that you can book appointments with.  She will walk around the store and explain every product to you and make recommendations to make sure that your registry doesn't have any holes.  I pretty much stopped listening at this point because I started thinking how cool this job would be to have.  I seriously think that my mom, or any of her friends with grandchildren, would certainly excel in a position like this.  What else really would qualify someone for a position of this caliber?  It is very hard work telling young expectant parents what to do and what to buy, and no one does it better than Grandmas.  And with a title like Registry Consultant, we might actually listen.

Finally, we were handed the scanner gun and sent loose on the store.

Until you actually walk the aisles of this store, you don't really realize how many goofy/uneccesary items there are.  Of course, there are the very valuable and needed things like cribs and sheets, but when you venture off course you find things like a $79 baby food maker.  At first glance, this looks like a must have.  The box says that it will make it a breeze to make your own baby food at home.  It is healthy!  It is all natural!  What a steal at $79!  That is until your baby coma induced brain realizes that it is simply a food processor.  A REALLY small food processor.  A REALLY overpriced food processor.  But, it is green and has a picture of a cute baby on it!  Do people really fall for this?

Maybe I will change my tune when this baby comes, and maybe I will fall in love with some of these products.  But for now, anyone will have a hard time convincing me that it is necessary to use a warm wipe on my baby's butt.  When I used to baby sit I warmed up the wipe by holding it in my hand for a few seconds.  Pretty high tech, eh?  And you know what, not once did one of those babies complain.  In fact, wouldn't a cool wipe be a little refreshing?  Its not like you are sticking an ice cube down the baby's diaper.

My finally diatribe on the makers of baby products is this, why so many single use items?  Alton Brown, the Food Network resident geek/guru has a strict kitchen policy that he avoids any single use tools.  This concept has totally alluded anyone making baby products.  I get that they are in it for a buck and if they can sell you twenty items instead of 7 they are raking it in.  But, think of our swollen closets and drawers filled with random baby things that we might never need.  You have a separate machine to warm bottles, then another one to sanitize them, because who doesn't want TWO different machines sitting on their counter.  I did do an internet search and found a couple of makers who do have products that are dual functioned, but I had to literally search for it.

All in all, registering wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.  We only started the list as some of our bigger items are still under serious consideration.  It feels good to have it out of the way, and at least it made for an interesting night.  Even if I left the store more confused than when I arrived.


ersatzpixie said...

oh, man....I HATED registering. I ended up just scanning a bunch of stuff, going home and researching it all online, and then changing almost everything on my registry. I almost had a meltdown over what kind of bottles to buy....and then Bug decided she only liked the ones that my friends gave me as hand-me-downs, anyway.

and no, you don't need a wipe warmer. and a blender works just fine for making baby food. and I used my sterilizer, like, once because after that I was throwing the bottles in the dishwasher and hand washing the rubber bits. most of that stuff they sell nowadays is just unnecessary bells and whistles.

welcome to parenthood! ;)
--Linda O.

Adam and Vicky said...

I love that you can read my mind, even if unintentionally, and 3 years after the fact – from those waiting in line before you to all the silly “baby” items. And sadly, tons of new parents fall for the marketing gimmicks. I've watched and bit my tongue and fought off huge urges to slap them in the head for being so silly -- wanting to say, "Don't you get it, ya' sucker?!" The time I spent was to be sure I had enough of any item that I didn't want to have to wash everyday and to truly make my life easier. My unsolicited advice, don’t open anything until you’re ready to use it, just in case you decide to return it even a month or two after Little T arrives. For instance, keep in mind that some babies go through the stages of nipples or pacifiers rather quickly or they skip stages altogether. Vanessa was a fast eater and would never have settled for a “stage 1” nipple in her bottle. She went right to 3s and never needed anything different, but it was nice to have the other stages just in case, but also, a needle works wonders for adding additional holes. I often hear the older generations comment in a sarcastic tone – “How did our kids survive without all these neat gadgets?!” So very true! Now,I can say that it is a great feeling down the road to return some things (because it’s inevitable that no matter how practical you are, you’ll still end up with things you don’t really need) and as a result, receive store credit to use on the things you really do need. No need for a bottle sanitizer, as mentioned in the previous comment, and no need for wipe warmers, as you discovered effective tricks on your own. Seriously, if it’s subzero outside and even with heat cranked, the wipes are freezing, keep them by a heater vent. Want to warm bottles quickly, run hot tap water and put it in a big glass or mug and stick the bottle in it. Don’t have time for that, leave a small crockpot with a couple of inches of water on low. Teething rings are convenient for putting in the fridge and washing easily, but babies do just as well with damp washcloths in the fridge. As they get older, let him or her suck on some frozen peas or small frozen wild blueberries or the like. Ice cube trays are great for freezing and shaping small portions of food pureed in a blender or a food processor – freeze them and pop them out and into a freezer bag to store. Choppers and pizza cutters are great for dicing and chopping foods later. I have to admit that I was offended to receive a registry guide. I had to keep from laughing in the lady’s face -- I spent tons of time perfecting my Excel spreadsheet that I was able to sort by rooms in my house and type of item. Their organization was not personalized just for me! And a huge part of my spreadsheet was just all the childproofing kinds of things we knew we'd need eventually -- not very much fun, but oh so useful . . . Again, I love that you're so practical with everything in life! You two are going to be great parents, always limiting unneccessary stress . . . Lucky Little T!

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