March 29, 2007

What Doesn’t Kill You ...

Babies have many needs. They need a loving family. They need an ample amount of sleep. They need to be rocked, fed, changed and burped. And, according to an online checklist, they also need “neck wings,” which I can only imagine come in handy when you’re too lazy to get up from the couch to pass the baby off to grandma.

Welcome to the world of baby registering.

At precisely 1:04 p.m. this past Monday, Brittany and I set foot in Babies “R” Us, the New York Yankees of everything created for, relating to and resembling babies. At 1:05, I was in a dead sprint for my car. Trust me, you’ve never feared for your life until you see an entire corral of hormonal pregnant women. Each one eyeballs you like a wild boar, ready to sink her teeth into your flesh; ready to tear you apart, limb from limb; ready to destroy every ounce of manhood you have left—all while totting two binkies and a potty seat.

If it wasn’t for Brittany (and her surprisingly strong headlock-grip), I would have been at home in front of my big screen, eating Doritos and sipping on an ice cold Zima. Instead, I sat uncomfortably at the customer service desk in front of Matilda, the Registering Czar. Not two chairs from me was another beaten dad-to-be, donning a ripped shirt and bruised ego. He gave me a sympathetic nod before being dragged off by his pregnant wife.

That man must be having twins.

Finally, with a list in one hand and a non-lethal scanning gun in the other, we began registering. It started off light and easy—monitors, outlet covers, Baby On Board bumper stickers—and took only a few minutes to register our first 10 items. Next, we progressed to bibs sporting witty phrases like “Don’t Wake Me … I’ll Wake You” and “I’m The Boss Now” and “If My Mommy Loved Me She’d Feed Me Bacon.” Apparently there are other cruel mothers in this world.

Aisle after aisle, scan after scan, I started realizing that this wasn’t nearly as unpleasant as I had imagined. In fact, I kind of enjoyed it. I put the scanner through my belt loop and acted like a cowboy in the old west, hunting lions, tigers and cookie monsters (Brittany points out that cowboys didn’t hunt any of these things—I guess she’s also smarter than a 5th grader).

As we turned the corner, I saw what appeared to be an oversized lunchbox with a blow horn in it. Seemed like a pretty odd combination. Since I didn’t know what it was or how it helped the baby, I asked.

“Hey hun,” I said to my lovely wife. “What’s this contraption?”

“That?” she said matter-of-factly. “Oh, that’s a breast pump.”

Cowboy fantasy is over. Resume dead sprint to the car.

How could a store full of cuddly animals, Bert & Ernie bowls and Spider-man sippy cups have such pornographic equipment? Shouldn’t this mega emporium built for toddlers be rated G? Shouldn’t there be a special room for pumps with a sign that says “Mothers Only”? Shouldn’t there be a “3rd Rock From The Sun” fan site? Unfortunately you won’t like the answer to any of these questions.

After several panic attacks, I calmed down. It was partially because I came to my senses, but mostly because of the evil eye I was receiving from Matilda. We continued registering for the next 3 hours, picking out diaper garbage cans, strollers and toys. When all was said and done, we had identified more than 70 items we needed for BK3. My brain could take no more. Neither could Brittany’s feet.

As we left Babies “R” Us and headed for the car, I couldn’t help but think about the millions of dads that had gone through this before me. They all survived and, apparently, so did I. This nightmare must have been a right of passage that was meant to make me stronger—and it did. In some ways, I’m thankful I got to take part in baby registering.

“Oh crap,” Brittany said. “We forgot the neck wings.”

God hates me.


january said...

neck wings sounds like something i would avoid on richie's late night drive thru window menu after a rowdy meeting of the french stewart webring fanclub.

atracy said...

what was more difficult... wedding or baby registry?

Wise One said...

Baby on booooard oh how I've adored that sign in my car's window pane...

I certainly hope you registered for the B-Sharps album.

Tom said...

When we registered I had to sleep on the couch for a month because, just as I did on our wedding registry, I found a way to sneek "Billy the loudmouth bass" and condoms onto our registry.

I had to have my fun somewhere

NKYGAL said...

Tell Brittany, if she buys a breast pump, get one that's electric. She'll thank me for it.

(I highly rec. a Modela brand)