OyChicago blog

Baby steps

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06/19/2009

I never thought registering for baby items was something I’d do.  After all, if the general Jewish practice is to hold off on bringing baby stuff into the home until after the baby is born, isn’t it kind of missing the point to shop for the things you want in advance?

As a Jew with a Catholic husband, and a baby shower in the works, registering was pretty much a given for us.  At the same time, my pregnant Jewish friends all seemed to be doing it anyway, so I swallowed my Jewish guilt (fully realizing that I was feeling guilty for something I didn’t know whether or not to even feel guilty for – how Jewish is that?) and set a date with the husband.

Joe was excited to use the registry gun again, having become a pro after registering for wedding items.  I was excited to linger over the baby clothes, bouncy seats and pacifiers, daydreaming about having those items in our home, with our baby.

The first aisle we hit had about 30 different kinds of baby monitors.  Video monitors, monitors that vibrate, monitors with more than one handset.  Monitors for $20, and monitors for $200.  Joe looked at the options, looked at me, and said, “Should I call my mom?”

And that’s pretty much how the rest of our day went.

Joe (inspecting the health care section): Look, here’s an American Red Cross baby thermometer.  Let’s register for that.
Me: Oh, OK, but look, do we need to get an ear thermometer, too?  Or can we get that instead of the other one?
Joe: (blank stare)
Me: (frantically dialing my mom)

The overwhelming Wall of Bottles…the hundreds of different pacifiers…the endless displays of strollers…we had clearly entered another planet.  With every aisle, we were on the phone with one mom or another, or a friend with a baby – anyone who could help us decipher why in the world we would need both a swing and a bouncy seat.

By the time we made our way to the back of the store (halfway through!), we each collapsed on rocking chairs for a full five minutes before collecting ourselves, registry gun in hand, ready to check out bassinet sheets, changing table pads and tummy time play mats.  After a good three hours in the store, we felt no more educated about baby bathtubs than before, but you’d never know it by looking at the 74 items we’d registered for.

As we angst about our upcoming new arrival, our parents and friends keep telling us that instinct will kick in and we’ll just know what to do with the baby.  We’re hoping that same logic will apply for all the “stuff,” too!

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