Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh, Baby

I went to a baby shower last weekend for the daughter of two close friends.  It was a tea party, so much fun, especially the part where we all oohed and aahed as the expectant mommy opened gifts, from hand knitted blankets to adorable little onesies to colorful changing pads to jungle print crib linens. 

I couldn’t help but think, though, that there were some very important gifts Lesley Jane didn’t get.  New parents, listen up and add these to your gift registry:

New York Times bestselling book, The New Parent’s Guide to One-Handed Living: How to Do Everything While Perching Baby on One Arm.  Hah hah, just kidding, you won’t have time to read a book for a looong time.  If you try, you’ll find yourself reading the same paragraph over and over again as your attention is pulled away, you make your way back to where you left off in the book, and then your attention is pulled away again. 

Random House’s new iPhone app, The New Parent’s Diet Plan:  How Eating with One Hand Can Help You Lose Weight, Gain Muscle. (Just a tip: switch off every week or so or you’ll bulk up only on one side.)

Hudson Trail Outfitter’s kit, How to Survive on One Shower a Week and Other Camping Hygiene Shortcuts.  This little shindig we’re all at celebrating your impending baby’s arrival? It’s the last time “shower” will be part of your vocabulary for a while. (And as for “bath”—for you, that is—well, hah hah hah!)  Part of this handy gift kit is a bottle of no-water soap like you get when you’re a hospital patient.  When you finally put your little darling down for the night, quickly pour this over body and hair, rub in a little, and stumble off to bed yourself. Running comb through hair is strictly optional. (Comb Not Included.)

Noise-reducing headphones.  These are to accompany the sleep-guru-du-jour’s book you’ll be following on getting your child to fall asleep by herself.  Also good for drowning out the conflicting advice well-meaning relatives and more seasoned moms and dads will be giving you.

One-ton roll of bubble wrap.  Say goodbye to all your hip, geometric, sharp-edged furniture, the glass coffee table, the striking fireplace hearth.  It’s all rounded surfaces and soft corners from here on. 

High-speed Internet connection.  If by some chance you’re living in the dark ages and still have dial-up, change now!  It won’t allow you to simultaneously surf the web in a panic and speed-dial your pediatrician the first year every time Junior gets a cold.

Five-year gift certificate for carpet cleaning company.  Or you can just do what we did, when the apple juice stains reaching straight through the padding to the sub-flooring get too bad, put the house up for sale.

Caffeine of the Month Club gift membership.  This thoughtful gift makes sure the new parents have plenty of their favorite stimulant on hand, whether it’s triple shot espressos, Red Bull, or Red Zinger.  You’ll need it. 

Costco-sized case of Band-Aids.  These are for you, not your child.  They’re for injuries you’ll sustain installing child-proof cabinet hardware all over the house, and later for injuries you’ll sustain when you try to open a cabinet like a normal person forgetting the child-proofing is on and snapping your finger like a twig.

Press-on nails.  You will not be giving yourself a manicure for about 5 years, and if you’re foolhardy enough to try, you’ll be sporting sloppy streaks of color over your knuckles.  And trust me, you won’t have the time or the money to go out and get a professional manicure!

Anti-nausea medication.  Again, this is not for the baby, this is for you.  If you’re one of those people whose gag reflux is sensitive to the smell of vomit, you’ll want to keep this with you—or better still, in your system--at all times.

Tide Stain Stick.  Buy in bulk for cleaning up milk, baby food, and bodily excretions on that new suit you got for when you meet with the board of directors at work.

Babysitting gift certificates.  This is for real the best present for any new parents. 

A new heart.  You’re going to need a bigger one to hold all the love you take in and give out to this life-changing little miracle.  

Photo courtesy of Leslie Jane Moran (no, not the pregnant Lesley Jane, another one!)


  1. Karen this is brilliant. For the Fishers, life as they know it is going to change forever in a very short while. Gladly they are now equipped with a few things that make the coming event seem more real. All our hearts are swelling indeed with the prospect of a new arrival. Wonderful.

  2. And to think it's all going to happen in the same house where Lesley Jane changed the world for her two brothers!