I’ve just come back from a trip to America. Not only because we had never been and really wanted to go, but also because it is what you do when you live in Brazil. You go to America for shopping. People buy stuff for themselves, and if they are expecting they purchase everything they may possibly need for the first two years of the baby’s life. After walking around the baby stores in São Paulo and finding that a lot of stuff is actually pretty expensive, and all my students telling me about everything they have bought and how cheap it is there, my hubby and I decided to go.
What saved this holiday was our detour to New York. Almost two weeks in Florida would have killed me. I am either getting old, boring or both. Beach, beach bars, beach hotels, people in bikinis, nice cars and lots of tourists. I have seen it all before, Miami to me was nothing different or new, and not better than Cascais in Portugal. Actually, Portugal is better.
We started with two days of downtown sightseeing in Miami, walked around and just relaxed. It was nice. Then we went three days to NYC which was… cold. Amazing, but damn so cold. It was a proper holiday, sightseeing, good food, walking around and just enjoying the buzz of the big apple. Then we were back in Miami for another three days, of which we spend one whole day and an afternoon in the mall. Then there was Orlando, more shopping…
In the mall it feels like you are in Brazil. I think perhaps 90% of the people there, including the people attending you, are from Brazil. There are so many Brazilians there that it isn’t even funny. I like to go places and feel like I am there, this time I went to Miami but felt like I was still in a Brazil. And they are like mad dogs who were just let out of their tiny cages. They are aggressive shoppers, they come with empty suitcases and fill them up as they shop. It is surreal! Almost as surreal as I feel about being pregnant.
I went into a few stores I like where they also had baby clothes and bought some cute, nice things, then I went into a bigger, cheaper one where I could buy other stuff too plus all the basic clothes. In here it was overwhelming. I had read many people’s lists of what you need for a newborn, but there were all these sizes. Or rather, ages. So, do I buy x number of onesies for each age or were those lists saying how many I need for a year? I have wondered about all the white pieces I bought. Rumors are these things are shit machines, so I wonder how long the white will be white for. Maybe I should have bought more brown… The clothing bit was hard, but the rest was just insane. I walked up and down each aisle looking at all the tools available, trying to evaluate the need I would have for it in the future. Butt creams, well I guess wearing a diaper all day long for years can get pretty uncomfortable. The nipple cream, well I have heard horror stories so I will go for that too. A breast pump to get milk out of my apparently very full breasts sounds like a good idea. But two? Oh, they are electric, it is like breastfeeding a machine, you just have to hold it and hope your baby is sleeping while you’re doing it. But if you have to feed every 3 hours, how will I have time for pumping as well, surely I need to change those diapers, wash those clothes and maybe even eat and have a shower of my own? When will I do that? Or is the pump only used like once a day or week or so?
Then I saw the bottles, they were cheap and cute. Again different sizes though. Oh, there are other ones, much more expensive and approved by whoever and avoids colic and other bad things. So, yeah I should probably get those instead. Then we have the muting tool, pacifiers, let’s have a bunch of those. Oh, one for when teeth start to grow, yeah one of those too. Oh, a sterilizer! So warm water and soap isn’t enough now a days? When will I use these bottles anyway if I am breastfeeding? Maybe this is for the post-breast days. Hmm, why will I need that pump? So I don’t have to breastfeed in public? Maybe…
As I was getting more and more tired I started thinking I had a pretty good upbringing, and I’m sure my mum didn’t have access to all this shit. So do I really need it? It was the best thought I had, and it made me think before buying everything the shop attendants told me I needed. A wipes warmer? Really? Do I need a little device that warms the wipes I will use to clean my baby’s butt? And what about shoes? Baby can’t walk! I have seen the trouble mum’s have putting shoes on their toddlers, I can’t imagine how hard it must be on a newborn. I bought some anyway, because they were too cute!
Then there were the special bins for diapers, they seemed to either be so small that you could only fit a few, or so big that you need to leave old diapers a week before it is time to change the bag. Oh, and the bags needed are special and of course more expensive. I think I will just use a regular bin with a lid.
Formula. Why on earth would I buy fake milk when my amazing body is producing it for me? We all know it is full of good stuff for our baby too so why substitute it for something less nutritional? I always thought breastfeeding is natural, but now I am thinking it feels a little odd to make my breasts, currently appreciated by J, to one used to feed my baby. But I won’t give in, it is still the best thing to do. And if I don’t like it, then whatever, I will have to live with it. And I have a super cool electric pump to help me out if needed!!
Perfume. All babies smell beautifully when showered and poo all other times. No need for perfume. Perfumed poo doesn’t smell good. And when the baby has poo’d too much and the rashes start appearing, you can use a “Butt fan” to alleviate the irritation. Or, just plain air…..
A leash, because I really want a baby just so I can pretend I have a pet.
The list goes on. The savviest of them all were the baby monitors. I really thought I needed one until I saw all the options. Way too many and high-tech. Like, we are talking Star Trek level walkie-talkie looking devices with video monitors and iPhone apps. I might consider an old-fashioned sound-only monitor in the future.
The last thing we bought was the stroller. I checked out all the nice expensive ones that I had looked at in Brazil and online. Bugaboo is my favorite but Stokke and Chicco are ok too. One woman in the shop pressed a button on one stroller and it automatically folded on its own, and another press on the same button unfolded it back again. It was crazy, like, I could almost fit that thing in the palm of my hand when folded. Really! Nope, too much for me and I turned to the less high-tech normal strollers for half the price and got myself one that seems easy enough to handle, lift, fold and drive. Damn, why make everything so damn cool? Ah yes, to show of to other mommies. No, that’s ok thanks. I know my baby will be cool enough to show off!