Babies are people too

As I’m slowly admitting to myself that I am pregnant, I’m also admitting that at some point I will have to make room for baby. In my uterus, sure… but nature takes care of that. No, no, I am talking about actual space in my apartment for another living being.

A few years ago, Mr. O and I decided to move from a one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom. There were a ton of reasons for this move, but we knew we wanted more space because we fully intended to have a tiny human.

That was two years ago. In that period of time, we filled up the extra room. On a certain level, leaving it without purpose felt like some nasty reminder of our infertility. So it became known as “The Office.”

The office is now filled with things. A desk. A bookshelf. A printer we haven’t used since the toner ran out over a year ago. Shelving for Mr. O’s remarkably large CD collection. (For the love of pete, who has a CD collection in this day and age? Answer: My husband, and thanks to laws of communal property I do too.)

We are now undergoing the process of clearing out that room. The truth is that some of it can go away, and some of it can’t. We can’t toss Mr. O’s great-grandfather’s desk out into the street. As much as I would like to burn all the CDs then leave them on the curb, this plan as met with much resistance. And so the negotiations continue.

I think I’ve figured out how to essentially split the room in half so that there is space for Mr. O’s crapola on one side and baby stuff on the other. This will do until the child is big enough to notice that it is living in our storage room. But nothing I have to worry about yet.

In the meantime, I’ve allowed myself to idly think about “decorating a nursery.” Which sorta makes skin crawl. Even though I’ve desperately wanted a child, I’ve never wanted all the weirdo expectations that come with them. Decorating a nursery sounds so 1950’s housewife, I feel as though Gloria Steinem will personally revoke my membership to NOW unless I do so ironically.

Fine, fine… If I’m being 100% honest, I’m using good ol’ Gloria as a scapegoat. It isn’t that I think having an area vaguely set aside for childrearing makes me less of a feminist. I just find most things related to the clothing and decorating of babies nauseating. There I said it. I find cartoon animals, pink/blue bows, and hand painted murals of castles completely bizarre.

Just do a google image search of baby nurseries, and you’ll see what I mean. Do people actually have chandeliers over their cribs? Why are people writing their child’s name on the wall using gigantic letters? Are they afraid they’ll forget which room to put their baby in? And why do these same people name their children Gunnar or Kayden? THOSE ARE NOT REAL NAMES. (My apologies if you’ve just named your child Gunnar and/or Kayden. Blame my rudeness on hormones, please.)

And whilst I am ranting about nursery stuff, what is with gliders? I mean, I understand their usage. I want one. But I can’t figure out why they have to look like a rocking chair had a drunken one night stand with bag of jumbo marshmallows. And anything that doesn’t look like a breeding mistake costs $500.

Is it weird to say that I think we infantilize babies? It’s like babies aren’t allowed to be people. Instead, there is a tacit understanding that they are these “other” things that we dress up and treat like dolls or toys.

I get that there are somethings that make sense for a baby because of usefulness and/or developmental stage. No matter how much I may love Edward Gorey, for example, a baby might think a Gashlycrumb Tinies themed nursery legitimately terrifying. It isn’t like I want to raise my kid in a space that looks like a Soviet-era orphanage. I just don’t resonate with this whole “baby culture.” I’m not sure I want to. And as I’ve found so many times before, I get the feeling I am in the minority.

So what does this mean? For starters, no themed nursery for me (Gorey or otherwise.)

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8 comments

  1. thebarrenlibrarian · January 13, 2015

    Oh man. A friend of mine had twins yesterday and named them something truly ridiculous, and i would say what if i didnt think it could be violating her privacy. Suffice it to say you can tell her and her husband are big gamers/fantasy book readers.

  2. mamajo23 · January 13, 2015

    This post made me laugh. My guess is that some of these thoughts might change when baby arrives. I am shocked and a little disgusted but also delighted by the things I say/ do and buy. Things I would have made fun of pre- baby are now very much things I do. So funny though.

  3. My Perfect Breakdown · January 13, 2015

    Have you thought about taking the cds out of their cases and putting them into fabric cases that hold 50 or 100 cds? That’s what we did with our CD and DVD collection a few years ago.
    And I completely agree about the names on the wall and the themed nurseries 🙂

  4. julieann081 · January 14, 2015

    Ha ha. This is basically how I felt for awhile. I also felt really strongly that I didn’t want my girl’s room to be pink and purple. I don’t know if it’s hormones or what, but now I think most things are adorable and sometimes I have to ask what is going on with me. Ha. At any rate, just do you. There are no rules and anyone who would judge you is a fool. Hugs! 🙂

  5. ATK · January 14, 2015

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand this is why I follow you. Brilliant. I totally agree. I’m 28 weeks with twins. All this Pinterest nursery crap makes me insane. Yes yes yes about the names on the wall, the gliders, all of it. People look horrified upon learning that I not only don’t have a nursery “planned,” but also when I add that I was kept in a drawer stuffed with blankets next to my mother’s bed for months – I say my kids aren’t too good for that! I mean, really. It’s an industry we’re feeding. Babies don’t need much. If you have ever lived anywhere besides American suburbia, you know this. Any time I find myself looking longingly at some overpriced item, I remember the family I lived with in the Middle East, and I move on. : ) I hear what the other folks are saying though – things may change. But I just can’t imagine suddenly being into princess pink bullshit. I can’t! 🙂

  6. Jenny F. Scientist, PhD · January 14, 2015

    I have an Ikea chair to nurse in and it’s perfectly fine. Also black, $79, and formerly in the living room. Only thing is, I covet the matching ottoman now. First world problems.

    The only decorating I ever did was to pull down wallpaper from (for real) 1969 and repaint. Because it was God’s pepto-bismol-colored gift to ugly.

    (I also named my children things that will NEVER provoke an ‘Oh! How… INTERESTING’ from anyone.)

  7. Stefanie @ The MD & Me · January 14, 2015

    I’m with you on no themes. I have a picture on the wall of our office, soon to be baby’s room, a picture we purchased on our honeymoon about love and the future. I seem to think maybe I’ll just decorate around that. Nothing too fancy for me!

  8. bionicbrooklynite · January 15, 2015

    Because we’ve never really redecorated*, our children’s room is filled with all the art I didn’t want dinner guests staring at or to have to stare at myself at bedtime, which is to say: naked pictures of me and art that is overtly about death. Plus some Eric Carle.

    They also don’t seem to mind having a piano in their room. And a filing cabinet. Fwiw.

    *it turns out children take up a lot of your time. Who knew?

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