Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Monday, November 28, 2005

..a man of simple pleasures

I made a really interesting discovery after the birth of my son. Babies really don't need as much stuff as everyone would have you believe.

I feel bamboozled! Tricked. Mislead. I spent so much time before he was born (oh, so much time) stressing, preparing and collecting all the items that I believed to be so vital & important. No stone was left unturned. I collected blankets (lots and lots of blankets of different varieties & thicknesses), a swing, a bouncy chair, a breast pump, bottles, nipples for the bottles, a baby bathtub, a baby bathrobe, a little string with a Winnie the pooh clip on the other end to attach his pacifier to his outfit, a sheepskin from IKEA (two, actually), an exersaucer, a moses basket, a jogging stroller and a regular stroller, a co-sleeper, a jolly jumper, a sling, a Baby Bjorn carrier and countless other baby accoutrements.

And the result? I have a boy who prefers keys and random bits of paper to colorful baby toys. He prefers my bed to the moses basket (the moses basket has never seen any action, not a single nap. He hated it from day one. It now serves as a home for my pregnancy books and his too-small baby clothes). He prefers my boob to a bottle or a pacifier. And he prefers joining mom or dad in the big bathtub to being confined in the baby tub.

And the Kick and Play bouncey chair?? It lived on the kitchen table for a few months so I could plop him down in it while I was cooking. But he never really liked it. The lights and sounds scared the poor fella and he'd squirm and cry and beg to be let out. He regarded it as a form of torture. He prefers to be carried - everywhere.

So, it would stand to reason that my boy would enjoy being toted around in his Baby Bjorn carrier or his New Native sling, right? Nope. He vetoed those too. He didn't care for either of them. He prefers the Baby Trekker. So, now I have three carriers, only one of which gets occasional use.

And the swing...that was popular for a month or two...but does that justify the $180 his grandma spent on it, the hours we spend assembling it, and the eyesore that it was in our small living room for so long? Something tells me we probably could have survived without it.

Similarly, the Jolly Jumper never caught on.

Thank goodness my bike was stolen shortly before he was born, otherwise I'm sure I would have ended up with one of those nifty bike trailers too.

So, as he grows, all of these "vital" baby items are being packed into plastic storage crates & retired to the basement, most barely used. Many never used. Perhaps baby # 2 will appreciate them more.

Thankfully much of this stuff was gifted to us and handed down by wonderful friends & family. And while I'll admit, some of it was useful, and all of it is cute to look at, barely any of it has proven to be vital or even important. In reality, the only things I really couldn't live without are the obvious necessities like a car seat, diapers, clothing, and a few blankets. I've never been a minimalist (more of a pack-rat, actually), so this has been a really valuable (albeit expensive) lesson for me.

My baby is a man of simple pleasures. He likes to breast-feed, sleep next to his parents and crawl around and play with things he finds on the floor (including our sleeping cat). He doesn't require an elaborate wardrobe and he doesn't mind if his socks don't match. In spite of all my efforts to dress him up like a prize pony, he really doesn't care if his clothes are brand new or brand name - just as long as they are comfortable.

He's a man of simple pleasures & I love and adore him for it.


  • At 3:47 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    His toes! Oh, how they kill me.

    Last night our girl played for half an hour with a wooden back massager. She likes her toys okay (especially all things Ocean Wonder, aka baby crack) but saves her real excitement for potholders, retainer cases, and empty plastic cups. And I have a drawerful of receiving blankets that have rarely seen the light of day.

  • At 5:07 PM, Blogger JulieJem said…

    While G loves his exersaucer (we've got the Baby Einstein one, though my mom's got the one you have and he loves that one too), he too likes the simple things. One of his new favorites is his own remote control, from something old, which we gave him after several attempts to eat our $200 Harmony remote. He loves paper, too - most recently a wrapping paper tube and the wrapping paper itself. He loves going to the doctor's just to make noise with the paper cover on the table!

  • At 7:40 PM, Blogger Cataclysm said…

    OiMyGawd Melissa!! Nile's lovely!!! And I totally recognize him from the sleeping baby in the Trekker many months ago!

    And too right you are! Rian's favorite toy is a plastic spatula and dollar store wooden spoons. In my dark moments I think, "all he ever does is wave them around" and in my better moments, I think, "wow, all he ever does is wave them around."

    But then, I confess, Pete (and Alex's) firm got us the Svan highchair and I LOVES it, my precioussss...

    Take care Melissa! And we're coming to visit you, maybe next summer...

  • At 7:47 PM, Blogger Tammy said…

    Oh my god, Melissa, your post made me laugh out loud because I could have written it verbatim. Every single thing that Nile hated, so did Sam. Bottles, pacifiers, bouncy seat, sling, Moses basket. He also didn't care for his swing (and if there's a greater eyesore than the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders swing, I don't want to know about it). And while he jumps like a maniac if I hold him under his arms, he just lolls in the Jolly Jumper with his head tipped back to study the apparatus.

    Thank god for the Exersaucer (we have the exact same one as you, by the way. He loooves the saucer. It's on loan from friends... the one thing we didn't buy.

    When he's older, I'm going to make him BEG for a bicycle.

  • At 9:04 AM, Blogger Melissa said…

    yep, the Ocean Wonders swing, that's the one that we have too! it's just so huge & unattractive. ha.

  • At 4:18 PM, Blogger landismom said…

    Well, I'm not with you on the Moses basket (which we had for #2, not #1), but everything else was the same for us. And it continues. Last weekend, I gave my kids (2 & 6) into the backyard with a computer box, and they were happy for hours.

  • At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kris, I am SO jealous that you have the Svan highchair, I can barely contain myself!

    Jonah is clearly the exception to the babes -- he loves all 3 of his carriers and most of the toys (including the ones that make noise -- gifts, I promise!). That said, give the kid a book and a few simple blocks, and he'll be happy for hours...

  • At 11:50 AM, Blogger Anne-Marie said…

    Hi all! I've been playing the role of voyeur reading your posts for a few weeks now and it was beginning to feel weird... so have to jump in. Also have little lad named Sam (hi Tammy!) who's favorite toys vary between plastic potato masher, remote control and pot lid... Hates the stroller - snarls everytime he's in it - but LOVES his front carrier; so much so that it's a tad embarrasing, the squeals that come out of his mouth!

    Am loving your blogs; they fill my days when am stuck inside with teething child (gotta say it - 7 teeth in 7 weeks! Gotta be some kind of record. Thank Christ for lattes).

    Would love to join the world of bored housewives... how do I post?

  • At 3:48 PM, Blogger Tammy said…

    Hey there, Anne-Marie! I'll send you a Blogger invite to join the BHN right away. So glad to have you here!

  • At 4:06 PM, Blogger Tammy said…

    Doh! Anne-Marie, I need your email address. You can send it to me at:

    supersonicsoulmate at hotmail dot com



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