Monday, August 30, 2010

21st silly thing | things that are meant to make life easier, but don't


These days there are so many things we 'need' as parents that my mind literally melts. When I was pregnant with my first child, we lived in a developing country, so it wasn't until I returned to Australia in my 32nd week did I even cast my eyes on a baby store.

In fact, I remember it vividly. We were about to step inside the sliding doors when my husband stopped me. He held my hands, looked directly into my eyes and said:

"Babe remember, we don't need everything this store sells."

I will never forget those words.

At the time I smiled at him and wondered what the fuss was about. I was even slightly puzzled. Until we walked in. And then I was gobsmacked. I absorbed the greatness of his words as I scanned the department-sized store. Did you really need all this stuff for just one itty bitty baby?

That day we walked out of the store empty-handed, but did eventually make the essential purchases: cot and infant car seat. I'm proud to admit I didn't even buy a pram until my firstborn was well into his second year. Perhaps we had observed too many Papua New Guinean families survive quite nicely without all the fangdangled stuff the western world had to offer. So we thought we could do without too. And we did.

Of course, now I've moved back to the Lucky Country I'm back to consuming at a semi-decent rate. I visit my local Baby Bunting store regularly, own a frequent buyers card and am tempted by everyone else by its wares and latest 'must haves'.

In fact, four years down the track I'm interested in anything that will make my life easier. Like the pictured shoes, for example. Purchased at a very decent price from a fashion children's store, they seemed like such a find at the time. Shoes that you didn't need to lace up, just zip and go. Awesome!

Well, in theory. But a recent visit into the same store has got me thinking that perhaps everyone who originally thought like me, doesn't think so now. They're certainly not selling them anymore.

These shoes have to be the hardest things to put on a child. Ever. Do you hear me? Because as well as zippers, which get stuck or caught and never zip up properly, there are also laces that need to be tied as well. It seems my aversion of those ugly velcro sneakers are looking mighty tempting after the last few weeks.

And instead of quickly popping them on as we race out the door, these shoes take around six minutes to put on. You think I'm joking? Well, I timed it this morning. Six and a half minutes of pushing, shoving, asking my child through gritted teeth to keep their knees straight while I yanked them on. Then asking him to sit in the corner to give me some more muscle and watching my child wince...

Ridiculous.

But on a nicer note, today was a fabulous day. After playgroup, we enjoyed a backyard picnic to celebrate  the sunshine and approaching birth of spring. Look at these boys lapping up the sunshine!

And I only had to put those stupid shoes on and off four times today.

Please don't get me started.