We bought a crib. And a bunch of furniture. And a rocking chair.
I realize the baby is still many months away. But hear me out: I have been warned. By many. That a crib can take over 3 months to arrive. I’m not taking my chances. My first born child will not be sleeping in an empty drawer or a laundry basket. That crib will get here and it will be decorated with baby-safe fluffy shit that you don’t need but I WANT because this is my first child dammit.
When it comes to cribs I have two rules: 1 – it must be environmentally safe (what if they chew on it?), and 2 – it must turn into a full size bed (saves me time & money in the future). I researched some of the better brands, asked around and then headed over to a local family-run store. My sister-in-law had a nightmare experience with BuyBuyBaby and I find that store generally too over stimulating. Even my mom had a moment of “dear god there are diapers stacked to the ceiling” when she walked in there.
So we settled for a local store. And to our surprise STILL found an entire floor of cribs. Imagine every color, style and shape. Every wood grain, brand and price range. Where do you even begin? I started with things that looked like BOY – dark wood and simple. I am already finding a boy 100 times easier than a girl and he is still in my uterus (which is currently located right near my belly button in case you are tracking it). Boys are straightforward. Boys have fewer choices. You walk into something while pregnant and think – ah, he’s just a boy, he can handle it. You think about room color and you realize you have two choices – blue or green. Nothing is complicated with boy (until he discovers his penis at which that point I tell him to talk to his father).
But buying a crib? Not so simple. How did it get to be this way? I think back to my crib which I swear I slept in until I was at least 4 years old. I remember it being in my room. Of course I shared my room – which was about as big as your typical prison cell – with my younger brother. He was 3. One of us was still in that crib at what now seems like a sort of old age? Mom – explain? The point is, though, that there was nothing special about the crib in our room. It was your standard run of the mill drop-down bar escape hatch crib.
That basic crib is gone. And, like most things are life, there are too many choices. I just need a crib. I don’t want it to be froofroo, urban, modern, organic – I just want a crib. A quick stroll around the store and I had it down to 3 different cribs. One made by a local company, one high end this crib will be nicer than our own bedroom furniture, and one this is a nice sturdy crib. One trip to the store later, I made up my mind. A chocolate-colored crib, along with two dressers, a night stand and a rocking chair.
Let’s talk about rocking chairs. There is an entire line of baby mama rocking chairs with – get this – nursing ottomans. What is a nursing ottoman you ask? It has a little foot rest so you can put your foot at an angle against the ottoman to stabilize yourself while nursing. Did I need that feature? Absolutely not. Did I get it – you bet. Why? Same reason you buy all that shit that says IRONMAN BLAH BLAH BLAH at your first Ironman. It’s like going to Disney – you bring half the clothes and twice the money. Except in my case you fit into half your clothes and still need twice the money.
You’d think after spending $239023849209348 on all of that, we’d have everything we need. Not yet. Let’s discuss the selection of the baby mattress which ended in my husband laying in an adult-sized replica of the mattress. And then just laying there. Like ready to take a nap. Matress selection is about as complicated as choosing a rocking chair except you are not imagining what your ass will feel like in the chair, you are trying to imagine what your child will feel like laying on the mattress. Huh? I know. But we quickly learned the most important selection feature for the mattress is the seams – piped or square seams are like urine reservoirs. Rounded edges let the urine roll right off.
Now that’s advice from the clerk that counts. And why we have a mattress with rounded edges.
Just when you think you have it all taken care of – the crib, the furniture, the rocking chair, you realize that the crib will need bedding. This should be easy: boy = blue bedding, all you really need is three choices – trucks, trains or animals. A quick look at BuyBuyBaby online proves otherwise. 29 – yes, I said 29 PAGES of bedding choices. Who has time for this? In my mind, I know what I want. On the pages, I did not see one that was even close. I want some monkeys, maybe some monkeys on trains or maybe some monkeys on trains with a few dogs running around or something …oh my god. I think I just described a drug-induced vision. How am I going to choose bedding with visions like this?
So I asked my mom. And then she throws this monkey (on a train) wrench at me:
Are you going to get a matching mobile or lamp?
I pause. I did not even consider that. I start to think about mobiles – and think I read somewhere that they are not only overstimulating to the baby but this just in: they also freak mommy out. It has to do with an experience about 5 years ago where I went to a work conference in Mobile, Alabama after which I swore I would never set foot in Alabama again. And struck the word Mobile out of my vocabulary (how can a city not have coffee? For 5 days I was there without coffee…how…?)
As for lamps, I – I – just don’t know. I’ve reach my decision-making capacity for – oh – the next 18 years so maybe my child’s child will get a lamp.
I decide that I like something from Pottery Barn Kids which scares me a little because a few years ago I had a traumatic experience in Pottery Barn Kids while shopping for bedding for my friends newborn daughter. You can read about it by clicking HERE. But I’ve heard that they have good bedding and sure enough they did but more importantly they only had about 16 choices. Which sure beats 29 x 12 choices at BuyBuyBaby. I liked the Ryder set but can’t remember now if it had animals, trains or trucks.
I’ll be honest – I’m not really that into trains or trucks but it sure beats balls. What is it with boy stuff and balls. Know what I mean? Everything for little boys has balls on it or says MVP or …. If I know one thing about this kid, while he will indeed have balls – Chris once told me that if I was a man I would have really big balls which I totally took as a compliment - but he will not be playing with balls. Not in a dirty stop touching your balls kind of way (ew) but in a track hands sort of way. If you were on the track team in high school, you know what I mean: you (we) have track hands.
Let me explain.
I was taking a strength class a few months ago when the instructor pulled out a few 8 pound pilates balls. She then explained that we would throw the ball across the room to our partner. And then catch it again. While standing on one leg on top of a Bosu. I got scared. I’m not even sure I could do that with both feet on the ground. I’ve got to get out of this, I thought. I wanted to raise my hand and say, but, but, I have track hands. True medical condition. It means that the likelihood of me catching an 8-pound ball in my stomach is very high. Track hands mean that while my feet know how to coordinate well enough for right – left , there ends my coordination. I don’t catch balls, throw balls, hit balls or have balls. My husband does not catch balls, throw balls or hit balls. We do not do balls. And that is why we were on the track team. No, the shot putters didn’t do balls either – they just threw really heavy things. There was no catching involved. Track hands. We all had them.
Chances are my son will have track hands. I’m preparing for this by buying him nothing with balls. There is no sense in building him up just for him to find out the first time he gets hit square in the face by a ball that he has a genetic predisposition to not being able to catch, hit, kick or throw the ball. It’s ok. There are plenty of other things he can do – like admire monkeys, drive a truck or sit on a train.
Choices. Not only do you need to name the child (we have a name but we’re not telling because someone out there will tell me why they don’t like the name because they once knew a ____ and he was a real jerk and … what does that have to do with me and my kid, why did you just tell me that?) but you need to select a crib – chair – bedding – wall décor – and – and – - - -
I’m starting to think a white room with a cardboard box might be the best choice here. Bedding will be an old towel and a rolled up race t-shirt for a pillow. Solved. It’s simple, it’s gender neutral and it’s a ball free environment. Which is quite environmentally safe for those with track hands.