Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A whole new (dirtier?) world

The other day I was browsing the online store at the website for the La Leche League (these are the breastfeeding people). I had spent some time reading their materials and checking them out, and then I saw that they had a store... so I went there.

While looking around, I saw that one of the items they're selling is this thing (not this exact one; this one is from Amazon, and costs $10 less than the one the La Leche League is selling).

I was surprised, because I've seen this item before, but didn't realize that it was something that someone manufactures and sells. The one I saw, in person, at the Target in Belmont Shore, looked handmade and quilt-y - I thought the kid's overprotective grandma had made it for him. I remember taking a look at him, and then at his mom, and see, when I saw it, I thought, "Wow, this lady must be rich and crazy." Don't get me wrong, I thought it was adorable, but I also thought, Why would you need something like this?

And they're not cheap: the ones at the La Leche website go for about $45.

Now that I am going to be a mom in less than four months myself, I'm thinking about this stupid product again. And, also, my own probably unfair judging of other people. I really need to stop doing that.

(The other day, on a friend's Facebook page, I made a stupid, silly comment about tuba choirs - yes, such a thing exists - and some dude called me "snobby." Hey, maybe I am: I think it's the prerogative of all piccolo players to be a little disdainful of the TUBA section. I mean, come on. Though if this guy had known me in high school he would've realized that I am physically incapable of being a snob. Anybody looking at the clothes I wore could figure that out for themselves. But that and this are two different things... I think. Now I'm just confused, trying to figure this one out for myself. Because this shopping cart cover thing doesn't just represent making a decision about placing my baby in a shopping cart unprotected from germs, it kind of represents whether or not I'm going to be a good mom, and if I'm going to know what to do with all the millions of other decisions I'm going to have to make.)

Yesterday I had a little email discussion with my friend Andrea. She thinks it's a great idea, and I kind of agree... but I kind of don't. She has a lot of good ideas about baby care that I haven't even thought about yet (she doesn't have a baby either, I think she just in general approaches life with more advanced planning than I am capable of), so her reasoning was totally logical and makes sense: people, all kinds of people, put their dirty diapered babies in those shopping carts. Who knows if those kids are infectious or what? The carts are exposed to the elements, your dirty purse, birds, leaking meat containers, all kinds of biohazards, not to mention the slobbery little monsters intended to ride in them. Why would anyone want to put their baby in someone else's filth? She didn't say it exactly like that, but I think that's what she meant. And you know, I agree with that. Like I said, it totally makes sense. I haven't made up my mind yet either. I suspect that when the baby comes I will be changing my mind about a lot of things, and I accept that that's going to happen (but, hear me now: there will be no fucking minivans in my future, and I mean it). I think the problem I was having is that I associated this product with rich people, or the type of person who exits the bathroom using a paper towel so as to not touch the dirty bathroom door. And that kind of brings us back to the tuba thing. I just don't get it. I mean, it makes sense, kind of, but what about all the other dirty doors and surfaces you're going to touch? Life's dirty, people, get over it. I refuse to believe that it's a dirtier world today than it was 30-odd years ago.

But what the hell do I know? If I get one as a gift, am I going to refuse to use it? Nope; that thing looks comfy.


  1. any decent supermarket or Target-like place has little antibacterial wipes next to the shopping carts. while the quilted liner does seem overboard to me, i don't think a little wipe-down is excessive when putting your baby in.

    with our kids, the only times i wished we did have one of those things were when the kids were teething. you would turn around and find them sucking on the handle. so gross. but, ya know what, they made it just fine.

    "snob" is about the last adjective i might ever use to describe you.

    and stick to your guns on the minivan. i gave in and regret it every day.

  2. Now, I could totally see me (or you) driving a station wagon, and I wonder what makes that okay to me but minivans are so heinous?

    Still, if you drive up in your minivan wearing your flip flops listening to Zeppelin with your little handmade guitar on the passenger seat, I suspect that you are not the "typical" minivan driver...!

  3. Oh, and yep, I use the wipes too, and have antibacterial gel in the car for after I get gas or whatever, so it's not as if I'm against being clean... I'm just being cautious against getting crazy about it!

  4. i know exactly the problem with the minivan. the problem is that i have a carefully cultivated image of not caring about my image, and the minivan brings to the forefront the fact that, at the end of the day, it's all bullshit and i DO care.

    i suppose there's also some psychological explanation about the sort of lifestyle that is implied by driving a minivan. but that's just silly. i'd still be driving to soccer and judo and music, even if i had another car.

    BUT i'll tell you where i draw the line: i will never be one of those people who puts the little stickers on the rear window for each member of the family and the dog. losers, i say!