Babies mean Baby Showers. People go ballistic over babies and a certain 50% of the population go absolutely nuts. Now, I understand the concept. However, registering for gifts is strange to me. Basically you are telling your friends and family........
"Hey, don't do any thinking on your own. Buy us this. This is what we want. This is what we need."
I guess this is how the whole world does it....
Anyway, Carrie and I went to Babies 'R' Us to do our registering. Now, there is one shower that will take place in Illinois, and another that will take place in Austin. The one in Austin is a couples shower where there will be a keg of beer. This makes complete and absolute sense to me. The only way to get a male to go to a baby shower is to have a keg of beer on hand. I have to hand it to the woman who invented this. This was a smart woman. I bet it was two women and it went like this;
Woman 1: Wouldn't it be great if the guys came to the baby shower?
Woman 2: Are you out of your mind? How are you going to pull that off?
Woman 1: Oh I don't know, couldn't we make it fun for them?
Woman 2: Hold it! I got it! We could promise them beer.
Woman 1: That's so crazy it just might work.
Woman 2: (yells at husband who is watching baseball) Honey! Come here a minute!
Husband: What?!! The game is on.
Woman 2: I said come here.
Husband walks into room because he knows what's good for him.
Woman 2: Honey, would you go to a baby shower?
Husband: If I was dead and you hauled my dead body to the shower, then yes, I suppose I would go.
Woman 2: How about if we got a keg of beer for you and the guys?
Husband: Then we would show up and drink it.
Woman 1 and Woman 2 exchange hi fives. Husband goes back to game and thinks his wife is a genius.
Now, I will go literally anywhere that there is a keg of beer. I will happily go to a baby shower, a dance recital, a figure skating contest, or a flower convention. I don't care. Beer rules.
I digress. Back to registering. So, we go into Babies 'R' Us and there is a person on their staff whose sole job is to help women register. Carrie goes to fill out the sheet, and one of the questions is:
How did you hear about Babies 'R' Us?
Are you kidding me? How do you not hear about Babies 'R' Us? If you are alive and in the United States of America, you have heard of Babies 'R' Us. We laugh. The lady helping us laughs.
Now, down to the business of picking out the stuff we need.
Bottles. There are many types of baby bottles. Ones with tubes that promise not to deliver air to the baby. Ones with curves, and nipples that are "natural". The choices seem endless. Then we see breast pumps. There are double breast pumps, ones that you carry on your shoulder, ones with soft cups, ones with hard cups, and they have these in a variety of prices. You can also RENT a breast pump. Then you need breast milk storage bags and a whole slew of things that are related to pumping. I feel dizzy.
Then there are towels. Towels for burping. Towels for bathing. Towels for laying around in. There are shower outfits along with three different types of baby bath tubs. Then there is all this stuff you need to give your baby a bath. Everything to clean and manicure your baby.
I have the little scanner thing, so I am the one that scans the item and adds it to our registry. I look around and there are other women with the scanning device. They are alone. I am the ONLY Dad. I have this to say about that:
Where in the hell are all the Dads?
I can't believe that you would send your wife, girlfriend, or whatever to do this alone. This is a BIG DEAL. This is your kid, or in my case kids. I want to know. If this particular afternoon was any indication about father involvement, then this country needs help. Sure, I am kinda bored and I really don't care which set of baby shower supplies we get, but I do care about a lot of it. I would never dream of sending Carrie to do this by herself. Besides, she might scan something uncool and we'll be stuck with it.
Car seats. There are lots of options and I still don't get the difference. Apparently, there is a Car Seat Test before you can take your kids home. The seat has to pass. These car seats only go to 32 pounds, then you need bigger ones. Some have shades. Some have things to play with.
What did people do before they had literally 50 choices on car seats and everything else regarding babies? I'm a child of the seventies.
Back in my day, kids stood in the front seat while Mom drove the car and chain smoked.
Dad was really tired after work and needed three or four cocktails to calm down before he could even DEAL with the kids.
We had toys that were made of lead and the only thing we were warned about was sitting too close to the television.
Our parents couldn't wait until we were old enough to go outside and play with asbestos.
We were allowed to play LAWN DARTS.
Now, there is a sea of items that make you feel like you are going to be a bad parent if you don't choose the right pacifier.
Next, we head into the jungle of crib bedding. This is a huge issue between Carrie and I. We can't agree on what color or colors to use for the baby room. I have my idea of an entire room with baseball and guitar stuff. She has her very modern ultra hip thing. We clash. Most of the baby crib stuff they have is so lame I can't believe it. Then it occurs to me.
Give in. Give up.
Why? Very simple. The stuff she wants looks really good, and I don't mind it. So I don't get my way. Big deal. I am cool with that. More than anything I want her to be happy with what color everything is. A happy Carrie makes a happy Mike.
However, I have learned to pick my battles, and I am taking the baby name thing to the mat. I have drawn a line in the sand, and I am determined to get my way. We are kicking around baby names, and we have it pretty much narrowed down. There is one name that I REALLY want, and Carrie is not completely sold on.
I am taking it all the way. This is MY battle. My boy will have this name.
I will probably end up with a black eye, but one of my boys will thank me in the end.