Saturday, November 8, 2008

stuff, stuff and more stuff

Apparently I've been hit hard by the baby consumer bug. I am sitting in my living room - my tiny living room - and looking at the following: an elephant teether; highchair; lime green ginormous baby saucer thing complete with flashy lights, hooks, and other noise makers; a baby bouncer chair (the old fashioned kind that you bounce yourself -- with your foot); a swing (the newfangled kind -- 5 speeds and complete with music); an activity bar with a lady bug, worm, moon, bunny, bee and turtle dangling from it; a stacking toy in the shape of a dog that rattles and comes apart into like 5 rings (each of which makes its own fun sound!); a basket full of other plush things that squeak, rattle and buzz; more teethers; a baby mirror; a baby hammock; a bunch of baby books... and then there is all of our crap taking up the rest of the space in the room. Clutter doesn't begin to describe it (have I mentioned my dislike of clutter? I am a member of the "Everything has its place club" and, in case you were wondering, very few things can call their place the middle of the living room floor!) And yet, at the end of a long week, this is what my living room looks like. And, it's not just the clutter that I find completely astounding (the old Angie would be cleaning it whilst muttering under my breath about what slobs certain people are... but, I guess, when that certain person is you... well, you learn to accept it) -- it's the rampant consumerism. And, I bought most of it! I see a cute toy and think to myself, Kailey would love that and find myself pulling out my wallet. Nevermind that we already have every variation of things that crinkle, squeak, and rattle. Or that we have small and big stuffed animals alike. Or the fact that we are not exactly swimming in cash. I see it - and it's hers. Because I want it. She's too young to care. I just think it's cute. I cannot resist. Don't ask me how much we spent on the (most adorable) winter hat today. I won't tell. It's shameful. I think I need to give myself an allowance. I'm clearly out of control.

I swore up and down that our house - our tiny little house - would not become completely overrun with baby crap. In large part, this was me thinking practically. When you live in a small space, the last thing you want is a lot of stuff. It's not that I'm opposed to baby toys as a matter of principle... it's just that I thought I could resist them as a matter of sanity, especially given my need for order. Besides, I reasoned, what does a baby really need? A toy or two, sure, but not a whole store's worth. Our baby would be fine without all the bells and whistles. And I still firmly believe that to this day. She would be, of course. She doesn't care. She loves all her toys, but she would love two as much as she loves... well, let's just call it 20. And, yet, here I sit in a living room chock full of baby toys that represent not even half of our collection. My need to control clutter has given way to my need to buy each version of Kailey's favorite toys! She has a whole room - the sole purpose of which seems to be to house baby toys, blankets, and clothes. And, as I sit here, I hardly recognize the baby consumer I've become. I'm confessing to you in the hopes that I can control myself in the future. Of course, I'm not the only guilty party here. Eric just spent the afternoon looking online for a pink chandelier for Kailey's room like the one that cracks her up in the baby store we frequent. Did you hear that? A PINK CHANDELIER. Two words I never thought I would utter, much less let within 10 miles of my house. But, here I am looking at the various products Eric found and wondering if she wants one in our room as well... after all, it's where she sleeps.

Other than making a mockery of my former self, all is well. Eric is having a grand time with Kailey during the week. Yesterday they went on a long hike, and Eric told me that Kailey loved looking straight up at the trees. They've also made the rounds of Home Depot, Ashby Lumber and Piedmont Lumber. The home projects continue, although, not at the same level of intensity as the first part of the year. I love hearing about their adventures, and it's fun to come home at the end of the day... Kailey always breaks into a great big smile and does a full-body wriggle. It's so sweet.

This morning we took her to swim class. Eric was initially against the idea of a group activity (not our group of three... the swim class group). But, at the end of it, he was planning our future weekends around swim class. It turns out, everything is fun with Kailey -- even making a fool of yourself in a warm pool with dozens of other parents and babies (warm pool... doesn't that sound gross. What do you suppose makes it so warm with dozens of infants swimming in it? But, we did it!) Who are we?! We try to contain it when we are with our friends or colleagues. Indeed, during the workweek we are still semblances of our old selves -- Eric is running an organization and I'm filing lawsuits. We both manage to talk politics and keep up on current events. I think most people think we're a lot like we were before. But, at home, we don't even try to control ourselves... as evidenced by our living room. All I can say is we're having a blast... clutter, consumerism and all.

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