This afternoon Jen and I had the pleasure of attending a baby shower for Todd and Heather, who are expeting triplets, for those folks who haven’t been keeping score. Because of some on-again, off-again scares where she visited the hospital, the whole thing was up in the air until Friday, so we put off going to pick up our gifts until yesterday afternoon. There’s a chain baby superstore right down the street from here where they were registered, so Jen and I grabbed a cart, printed out a list, and dove in.
As we drove through the aisles, picking out items and checking them off the list, I realized just how much I don’t know about having children. There are breast pumps which look like devices out of a Dr. Seuss nightmare, and retail for $300. There are child seats with more straps, restraints, safety devices, and knobs than the ejection seat of a modern fighter jet. (And the selection of child seats seems to parallel that of luxury automobiles: there are Eddie Bauer, Jeep, and John Lennon strollers, each with its own coordinating accessories. Yoko, you whore.) There is a special “line” of nursery linens that coordinate and match named after some woman WASPier than Martha Stewart, and which cost more than the sheets on my bed.
After wandering through this array of capitalism for about half an hour, I was beginning to lose focus. I happened to see a little girl following her mommy wearing a shiny green frog raincoat—the one with the eyeballs sewed into the hood—and matching froggy boots. And I found myself wanting a little kid for myself. Jen and I continued through the store, and I think we were both doing the same thing: shopping for the triplets but making a mental list for ourselves. More than once, I found myself looking at something and thinking, “I want that for our kid. I’m gonna buy us one of those.” One of the good things about not having any kids of our own yet is that we get all soft and mushy over our friends’ kids. We kind of went a little crazy, but as we left, we knew it was worth it.
As we walked in the door this afternoon, one thing suddenly became clear: we were the only couple present without children. I have to extend apologies to anybody I didn’t introduce myself to, as I got into people overload very quickly. We got to visit with the Heazletts and see little Stellan, who is growing bigger (is it really eight months? Jeez) and catch up with some old aquaintances from the MICA scene. All in all, we had a great afternoon with everybody, and I think Todd and Heather had a good day.