I remember registering for our wedding. It was cool because we were somehow becoming adults and moving into our own place, so we definitely needed all the things that real adults need to have, like toasters and cutting boards and vacuum cleaners and what have you. So I got to hold the special registration gun and walk the entire surface area of several department stores, scanning items and making laser noises, all while Gina fretted about choosing the two bathroom color schemes for our apartment. We had some wedding showers, people brought gifts to the reception – it was great.
I guess I never fully thought about the next natural parallel, registering for baby gifts and the resultant baby showers, but I’ve definitely been getting a crash course over the last few months. There’s still the same magic registration gun and still many stores to explore, but at least for me, I quickly realized that every bleep of the magic gun was adding something else to our registries that I had absolutely no prior knowledge of.
For one, there are entire categories of baby products – nay, entire industries that I could never even fathom would be profitable. Pick the smallest detail of parenting or caring for a newborn, and I guarantee you there are no fewer than four or five companies who only exist to make a product with one very specific function to handle that detail that will be useful for at best a few months. Each of these will cost upwards of $299.
Wait a minute, that’s exactly how these companies stay in business. They know they have just one chance to cash in on prospective parents, so they hit your wallet right when you’re most vulnerable.
The one category of baby product that breaks the $299 rule is, of course, the strollers. Here, the sky is the limit. Much like shopping for a car, when you go to the stroller showroom, a strange feeling that you’re getting ripped off by the salesman washes over you as you try to play it cool. Like watching a good magician, you know the trick is coming but you just can’t see it.
Anyway, taking the car analogy a few steps further, you could easily buy anything from the “Tesla of baby strollers” to something more akin to the “1984 Honda Civic of baby strollers,” as your budget allows. The higher up you go, the more elaborate the features get, while the units themselves get lighter and lighter, since they go from being largely made of plastic, to metals, then on to carbon composites before graduating to materials apparently harvested from stolen alien technology from the distant future. After examining many models, we
got suckered into settled on the “BMW of baby strollers.”
Stroller financing aside, after registering for several other things that I felt certain no one would want to buy for us, we finally published our registries to the world and hoped for the best, while I continued to struggle to understand the differences between and functionality of various baby bottle accessories.
I must say, however, that I’ve been surprised and amazed many times since then. We’ve now been through four or five baby-shower-type events, with each comprised of different groups of people who are important to us in some way. Throughout these, my initial worries were proven silly, and we are much, much better prepared for this child thanks to the generosity of all of you! We feel very blessed and fortunate to be part of such a great support network, and we’ve been able to check off most of the essentials from our list as time has gone on. I may not know what all of this stuff does or where we’re going to store it from now on, but I thank anybody and everybody who contributed from the bottom of my heart!
In return, you can come fawn over our baby… when we’re home and have visiting hours. Assuming you’ve had your flu shot. (Sorry, we don’t make the rules.) (Well, we do, but also the doctors.)