Superfluous (usually plastic) baby crap. It was a fear that hadn't inundated Real Life until I started experiencing Pregnancy Life.
Behind "Omg we're pregnant", "Really??????", and "You know you're still going to grad school, right?", "Oh goodness, we're going to get stuck with all sorts of superfluous (usually plastic) baby crap now, aren't we?" was approximately the fourth thing that echoed against the bathroom walls when the pink plus sign appeared on the supposedly most technological thing I will ever pee on. (Side Note: I kind of want to go find a molecular collider or something of that sort at CERN and pee on that, just to prove the kind people at Clear Blue Easy wrong.)
It's not that I'm ungrateful for any potential plastic baby-related gifts that might be coming our way, and I realize the danger of blogging about this four days before our baby shower, it's just that it seems to me that babies need few things: a place to sleep, a place to poo, a way to get fed, items to keep it warm. And pretty much everything past that is gravy. We don't need a contraption to warm the baby wipes (I think the sooner my kid learns how to deal with a chilly bottom for a few seconds, the better--we do live in Alaska, after all), we don't need fifty rattles (one will do, and maybe a spare for car trips--I am a rational woman, thank you) or a hundred hanging crib toys or plastic safety covers for absolutely every surface of the house (would I really be the same woman I am today if I didn't have that dent running down my forehead from running into a door when I was six? No.) And until I read this article, I felt that the mere idea of a baby bath tub was laughable (although now I'm seriously considering taking up a friend on her offer to lend us hers).
I suppose it boils down to a few things:
1. I am easily stressed by superfluous amounts of clutter in my living space.
2. Plastic kind of freaks me out--it's fake, it's non biodegradable, and every six months we find out that it causes cancer.
3. We live in an incredibly small apartment.
Therefore, superfluous amounts of plastic things in aforementioned small apartment cannot possibly ever produce good in my life. So for the past seven months, I have been tortured with visions of aisles upon aisles of sleep positioners and "discovery stations" and non-PVC or non-BPA or non-LMNOP bottles that all say they're the safest. But I have learned how to cope. I've picked my battles--we will probably have a set of plastic bottles at some point for sanity and safety (you know, once Bean gets into that "I can throw things!" phase), and I'm achieving a Zen-like state about that. For the first time, I have become insanely thankful for Juneau's isolatedness--there is not a Babies R Us for literally a thousand miles, and I love it. And we have thoughtfully chosen what to include in our (purposefully small) registries: glass bottles, cloth diapers, a Boppy pillow (because I hung out with my newborn niece for three weeks and holy crap was that thing useful), local toys from our family members so that we can show Bean a cow and say, "Moo! This is a cow, they have lots of those in Texas, where Grammy and Grampa live!" so it knows that just because family isn't around, they haven't forgotten about him or her. (And so Bean can know what a cow is. There just aren't any in Juneau. Seriously, there is a risk that this kid will be the only one in kindergarten in the Lower 48 who knows what a narwhal is but is lost when it comes to farm animals.)
And if we get a ton of battery operated, plastic toys on Saturday and when Bean arrives in September, then I will smile and be thankful. Because as much as plastic freaks me out, I have some really great friends who are the perfect remedy to that.