Friday, January 13, 2006

Bye Bye Buy Buy Baby

Just like everything else, baby stuff is now purchased in mega-stores, such as Buy Buy Baby. You will have to spend a lot of time in these stores - babies, toddlers, etc. require a lot of stuff. However, as big as these stores are, there is very little cool stuff in them - and you will get bored.

You would think getting baby stuff would appeal to Dads. There are lots of choices, with complicated options and various drawbacks and advantages. Cribs, carseats, pacifiers. There are warring factions on Mommy news-groups on all of these issues. Long, bloody conflicts that make Mac vs. PC seem downright dignified.

But there is nothing there for a Dad to sink his teeth into - maybe because none of these devices have any electronics or engines or anything. The key issue with them is never power - it is always safety.

The big electronic items are baby monitors, which are about the least cool electronic device you can imagine. You can't change channels (say to listen to other people's kids, or ballgames), they all have the same range so there is nothing to compare, and you can't get one with fiber optics or satellite uplink mode.

They have videos and CDs, but it is mostly Barney, Baby Einstein, and Teletubbies. You will not want to spend a lot of time reviewing them. I don't know if they make kids smarter - but they definitely make adults dumber.

There is one thing Dads can get into - glider chairs. There are more than a few stories of Dads appropriating these comfortable chairs for various sports seasons. At the very least you can test them all (really you can test every single one) while your wife considers Britax vs. Combi and Avent vs. Gerber. Support her in whatever decision she makes. Or, if you are nuts, become a Gerber partisan when she has chosen Avent. Your call.

There is also a trick, that just might get you out of the store. Start softly singing "I want my babyback babyback babyback, I want my babyback, babyback ribs" over and over again. With luck your wife will let you go to a nearby tavern or coffeeshop or, whatever. The longer she waits before she releases you the more other Dads you will infect. Eventually, the manager will ask you to leave.

Sometimes these stores aren't near anything else, in which case the Dads just linger around the entrance, waiting and inadverdantly serenading entering Moms and Moms-to-be with endless repetitions of "I want my babyback babyback babyback, I want my babyback, babyback ribs."

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