Dec 24, 2006

Disney Princesses and Baby Projectionists

Disney's rampant marketing to girls just plain offends me lately... this article in the Sunday New York Times What's wrong with Cinderella? really sums my feelings up well.

With the recent baby shower, the growing pile of new and hand-me-down baby gear and stuff that is accumulating in our home is growing into a daunting mass. People are asking things like "so is the nursery done?" and it seems to be causing some of my relatives great confusion when I say we aren't doing a reasons for no nursery until baby comes:
  1. Due to an odd house layout, we don't know which room to pick yet, and can't agree.
  2. We have a huge bedroom and plan to have the baby share our room/bed for at least the first few months
  3. We are superstitious.
  4. We know that the baby won't know/care that he/she is sharing our massive bedroom versus getting their own.
Great blog entry that kind of sums up some of my feelings about the baby industrial complex scheme that everyone perpetuates: Resisting the Pull of Fabulous Baby Furniture

The Projectionists
One funny thing about having a baby is how many people project their own feelings onto you and tell you what you will do when the baby comes or how "you will see and change your ways". When I hear this, I think to myself is that they either
1) dont know me that well, or,
2) dont realize how well I know myself.

An example: When I was a kid, I would watch my mom make the thanksgiving turkey and every year I would be totally grossed out. I would say "Mom, I will never make a turkey.Its too gross". And my Aunts and grandmother would say "oh, just wait til you are married, you will change!" and laugh as I insisted I would not change on the topic of turkey. Well, I have been married five years and I haven't changed about turkey.... I not only do not make turkey, on the very first thanksgiving we cooked, I actually made my very sweet loving husband take the freshly killed turkey to my mothers house to prepare it so I did not have to watch the ordeal or have the grossness touch my kitchen. I still do not do turkey. My Grandmom was wrong. I knew myself better than she thought I did.

And so back to the baby projectionists... some of our friends would have us believe that life is over and everything will be wrecked when the kids arrive.... they constantly rave about "getting the baby on a schedule" and babyproofing the house. They are also the ones who seemed to have every single possible baby gadget and toy sitting in their living room, to the point where their home seemed to be inhabited by no one but a roving band of little kids. They keep saying "you'll try to go without the coffee table bumper pads, but you'll see how it really is, and give up like we did..." But I still refuse to believe that we will be like that...just giving over the house to the kids...will we really?

Will I get defeated and give up? Will I become a control freak who is obsessed with getting the baby on a schedule, like they insist I will? Or do I know myself and my capabilities better than they think I do? At this point, I feel pretty confident that if I stick to my intuition and use my nanny experiences, and stop listening to others, I will be just fine. I plan to adapt to what the baby needs versus trying to fit the baby into my life, and I think we'll all encounter less stress with that approach. Life will change, surely. And my house probably wont be as neat, but if Mike and I have anything to do with it, it wont become a Toys-R-US either.

I admire my friend Molly who is the eternal optimist on the topic of pretty tablecloths. She always has pretty tablecloths on her table when I go there. The kids always spill stuff on them, but she just washes it and puts a fresh one on. She never replaces them with a plastic tablecloth or something 'more practical'. She never just gets rid of them all together. Her table always looks nice, and I love that about her.