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.)