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Friday, August 15, 2008

Enough with the Babies R Us

I'm sorry to all the mommies out there. I have nothing against you, and I do hope to join your ranks in a few years. But I truly cringe when I get another baby shower invitation.

I hate Babies R Us. Everybody registers there when they have a baby, it seems. I can understand why--it's convenient for them and seems like it would make things easier for potential baby showerers.

Babies R Us is just so huge and confusing. Their baby registry confounds me every time. I only ever find half the things on the list that I set out to find. It's expensive, too. And it's so pastel everywhere. There are always some screaming kids there--rarely babies, I've noticed. And there's a lot of goo-goo baby talk going on. Babies R Us should be a free zone for that kind of behavior, I realize, but it doesn't make me any less anxious to get the hell out of there once I'm in.

I'm of the age that has passed the era of weddings among my friends (for the most part) and is in the thick of breeding now. So these BRU outings are becoming distressingly more frequent. Every single time I am there, I reach a point where I have to go check out with whatever is in my hands at the moment, just to get out already, no matter if I have done what I set out to do or not. And every single time, I question whether I really can be a parent if I hate this place so much. Which is kind of sad, because parenting is not supposed to be about this big marketing monolith. The kinds of products that do or do not send shivers up my spine shouldn't really reflect on my ability to be a parent. But still, I run out of the store, shivering and panting, and momentarily berate myself for being so un-mommy. Then logic reappears, and I remember that it's okay.

In the meanwhile, I think I'm going to start hinting to my pregnant friends that Target has a baby registry, too.


She Smiles said...

And target has such great quality stuff too for probably half the price!

Diz said...

I'm with you on the Babies R Us thing. Why can't we just have a list, and go find it ourselves. Then there's the work group that want's to go in on a gift...ugg!

It was harder after I found out we couldn't have kids (the swimmers don't swim) and seemed to have tons of invitations to showers. It's much easier now, and I extract promises to babysit.

Good luck girl. Hope it gets better.

Anonymous said...

Lots of registry problems going around these days!

Personally, and this probably makes me a bad friend so proceed with caution, unless the requested item is a very practical item that will get lots of use, or which needs to be replaced often (I'm thinking like baby slings or bottles or packs of plain onesies or cloth diapers), I just kind of buy what I like.

The issue is threefold:
(a) I really don't agree with registering for "wants"...this is not Christmas, I am not Santa and you (the registrant) are not 6 years old. Need is a different matter, like wedding registries. People striking out on their own need to stock their kitchens and linen closets. Registries take care of keeping them uniform and avoiding duplicate gifts.

"Want" registries come off as a little rude and spoiled to me, and where does it end? Should I register Christmas and my birthday now?

(b) I think anything other than "need" registries deprive the gift giver from the joy of giving. It IS supposed to be better to give than to receive, right? Some of that "better" is in the choosing or making of the gift and so I go ahead and do what I like.

(c) There is a whole lot of plastic, battery operated, overly branded crap out there in Babyland. It's really hard to buy something that doesn't have Disney stuff or Pooh or Dora the Explorer or Thomas the Tank Engine or Spiderman etc plastered all over it, toys, games and clothing included. I refuse to participate. Instead I go for the type of stuff I'd buy my own children--these days a search for "natural toys" gets you a bunch of websites with non-branded, non-plastic classic, high quality toys (and usually some clothing too).

Again, this probably doesn't win me points in the "good friend" department but I do feel rather strongly on the matter (obviously) so I just do what I do and move on with it :)