Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The weird world of baby shopping

Last Friday evening, as I arrived at the church building for the sewing class I am currently teaching every other week, I was instead welcomed by a surprise baby shower for our newest addition that the ladies had sneakily planned. It truly was a very nice surprise, and totally unexpected. The food was great, and the desserts even more so.

In addition to the gifts I received that evening, I also got two gift cards to two different baby stores. This week, I visited both stores on separate occasions, although I did not end up buying anything at either one yet. I have become somewhat of a "baby gear/clothes/equipment minimalist", so I wanted to think some more about what to buy - probably some clothes once the baby is born, and we know if it's a boy or a girl.

While shopping, I saw this bookcase on CLEARANCE at the first store. Such an outrageous clearance price caught my attention - how much could it possibly have cost regularly?!?

To my amazement, and amusement, I realized that it was $10 less before being put on clearance. What a great deal! Too bad my gift card wasn't quite enough to cover the cost; thus, sadly, I had to pass this sale up.

If this had been any other store than the big bad baby store with the "R" in it, I would have simply assumed that it was a misprint. However, I would not be surprised if it wasn't - I mean, only a very ambitious and extremely hormonal first-time mom would ever consider spending that much money on a bookcase for a baby to begin with. The red "clearance" signs will put her system into even more of an emotional nesting tailspin, so much so, that she may never realize that she is actually paying MORE. 

Just a theory, but not too off the wall considering the store. I mean, just look at the other prices in the background - and this was the clearance section!!

At the other store, I looked at a few different items that were priced more reasonably, but since I still was not totally decided on what to get, I sat down and watched the kids play with the toys in the toy aisle instead. After a few minutes, one of them came up to me, indignantly showing me this toy and telling me that it was really bad:

I didn't understand what the big deal was, until he told me "The pirate doesn't have any pants on!" Indeed, he didn't. Not sure if he got plundered, if a sudden gust of wind ripped them off, or if the toy designer in China just felt like being strange that day, but bare he was - except for that funny little red vest and his pirate hat.

While maybe this guy is always wedged between the wheel and the sail, thus making his fashion faux-pas less obvious, the sail behind him is made of clear plastic. Which means that once this ship is taken out of the cardboard box, his naked backside is in plain view. 

My kids were scandalized that I just put the toy back on the shelf and did not complain to management on the way out. I'll never hear the end of that!

Aaah, baby shopping.... all I can say is that I am glad I am not pregnant with my first, and glad that when we were expecting our first, we were much too poor to entertain the thought of spending money on overpriced and completely useless baby furniture, because I'm sure I would have wanted to just like anyone else. 

I like what I heard one Dad say recently: You don't need any of that stuff, because you just end up holding the baby the whole time anyway. How very true!!


  1. I so agree--and it seems like the purpose of a lot of the baby gear is so you can spend as little time as possible actually touching the baby. I feel bad for the little babies I see who go from carseat to stroller to highchair without ever being held. Especially when they are screaming in the store and the mom is making no attempt to comfort them at all. It's sad. :(

    Babies NEED diapers, clothing, a place to sleep, and something to eat. They do not need matching crib sets and $300 bookcases. ;)

  2. Definitely. I could never be called a minimalist, in fact I am a bit of a hoarder (you should see the beautiful, but rather extended, wardrobe my little one has collected already, oops... and she probably has more than enough cloth diapers at this point that I will never need to buy another until potty training. But they're so CUTE!!! Having said that I am yet to purchase anything from a baby clothes store, it's all op shop finds/handmade/hand-me-downs and a couple of new items found at markets etc.)

    But I do pride myself on at least ensuring the things I get are a. at the best price and b. actually useful. A bookcase will be useful when baby becomes a toddler, not quite sure what the point is before then but anyway, does that one pictured really look all that much nicer than if I got a $30 one at Ikea or a cheap one at a yard sale and repainted it with some pretty flower designs and bird stencils one afternoon? People around me are begining to worry because I don't seem to have all the stuff they insist I 'need', but I think I'm pretty much covered.

    I don't think theres anything wrong with splurging on something nice once in awhile, but it's important to see the difference between want and need. We are getting most of what we need, and a fair few 'wants' for free second hand from friends and family who have passed their childbearing years, and this allowed us to go buy a nice change table I wanted. I'm also going to spend a reasonable amount on a nice basinette with all the lace and stuff because I've admired the beautiful ones in the store so long, but that's it for big purchases for me, I have no intention of spending thousands to kit out a nursery, baby wont even have a room until we move next year! And if we didn't have the blessing of friends who are finished with baby items, then we wouldn't have the money for those 'wants' I mentioned above and I would live with that.

  3. Because clearly pirates don't wear pants.

  4. they do not need outfits that cosst more than my whole wardrobe either. I have never understood the reasoning behind spending a fortune on one single outfit for a baby or on a pair of shoes because it's a specific brand when that baby won't wear it for more than a couple of months anyway. I do love however finding those same expensive clothes in second hand shops at a fraction of what the original owner paid for them ;-)

  5. Very funny post, sister! The shortest distance between two people is laughter! :)


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