Finding out that you will become a parent is a special moment. Yet, you won’t fully appreciate the Parenthood Club until your first shopping adventure as new members. It will be a memorable, eye-opening jaunt.
“Honey, let’s go look at baby stuff.”
The adventure begins. But, so many choices. Which store? Target? Macy’s? Kohl’s?
“Let’s do Target because we also need wine.”
As you drive, you discuss what to look for first. Stroller? Car seat? Crib?
“Let’s look at cribs and see if they have an Amish, 19th-century oak one.”
You hold hands entering Target. It’s like your first date except you know for sure there will be no sex.
Aroused, but not in the traditional way, you enter the infant department for the first time as a parent-to-be. It feels like a forest of baby stuff.
“OMG, I didn’t they realize that there were so many choices.”
Crib, standard crib, convertible crib, crib with changer, and 4-in1 convertible crib. Pine, oak, walnut, bamboo, and composite. White, pearl white, white lace, white ambiance, rustic white, grey, espresso, and more whites. And the names are so peaceful, like “Dream on Me,” “Sleepi,” and “Dreams.”
“This is so exciting!”
You get out your phone to take a panoramic photo of the canyon of cribs. As you ponder whether to Instagram or text the photo, your partner peeks at a price tag.
“OMG, this crib is $599!”
Reality is a bitch.
And the bitch slapping continues as you check out the other stuff.
- Stroller: $200-$500
- Really cool stroller: $1000
- Car seat: $100-$500
- Changing table: $100-$300
- Dresser: $100 up
- Baby swing: $75
- Glider Chair: $150 and up
After several adrenaline-driven pricing check moments, you take a deep breath. You return to the crib section with a new, better-informed shopping attitude. You downsize your expectations. Perhaps, you don’t need Amish oak, and the baby won’t notice that you bought a composite wood crib. That mature, more realistic approach works great for a minute or so.
“Honey, this crib is only $399. I like it. But, wait. This can’t be correct. It doesn’t include a mattress. OMG!”
You turn your cheek so the bitch slapping can continue. Infant shopping is like car shopping – accessories not included. For example, a well-outfitted crib will need:
- Crib mattress: $50+
- Crib sheet: $25+
- Crib liner: $30
- Crib skirts: $30
- Crib bumper set: $75
- Rail covers: $20
- Mobile: $25
- Sound machine: $40
- Crib decorations: Endless
By the time you’re done, you understand why a top-selling line of cribs is called “The Million Dollar Baby Classic.”
You leave Target empty-handed. Yet, wiser. You learned the most critical precept of parenting: it’s a negative cash flow of epic proportions.
Reality is a bitch. But, at least the Merlot will numb the pain.
“Oh crap! We forgot the damn wine!”