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nothing like preparing for the arrival of your first child: the excitement, the
anticipation, the hysterical buying of so many incredibly unreasonable and impractical things. I remember becoming obsessed with finding the perfect
stroller, and then driving 50 miles in the rain to get it because the store closest to us didn't have the fabric pattern that I wanted.
shocked to hear my baby didn't notice the subtle blue plaid I'd driven 90 minutes to buy, nor did she ever comment on the fine construction of the
stroller. I do remember going on an outing with a friend who had just given
birth to her second kid, and watched as she grabbed a lightweight stroller out
of her backseat and deftly opened it with one hand. "Target clearance!" she
quipped, as she rolled up to the coffee shop door. I would take another 20 minutes
just to unfold my behemoth stroller. But man, did that plaid bring out the
green in my baby's eyes!
That was 20 years ago and I've gotten over the regret of that purchase, but time and wisdom have showed me that I've wasted my money on a few other things, too:
to the charms of a cute seersucker dress from the fancy store in the mall, not
realizing it would take me two hours of hard labor and sweat just to get it
over my baby's head. Even more fun was realizing that a pretty piece of lace
was cutting off the circulation in her chubby little hand.
Grandma stole the show by waltzing in with a Disney Princess thingamajig that spun, lit up and blew fairy dust.
We were so
proud of ourselves, buying that gorgeous mobile handmade by nuns in Tuscany at
the craft fair, but then grandma stole the show by waltzing in with a Disney
Princess thingamajig that spun, lit up and blew fairy dust.
3. Any sort of
educational video series that you have fond memories of
Note to self:
Just because you remember being captivated by a National Geographic series
about the mating rituals of the snowy egret doesn't mean your kid will be.
4. A huge stuffed
We didn't buy
one of these ourselves, it was a gift. So don't worry—at some point someone
will buy your kid a life-sized stuffed gorilla because they think it's hi-larious.
5. Artisan toddler
remember those intense three hours, standing in the aisle of the toy store
trying to figure out which wooden kitchen set from Sweden would please my
little 2-year-old chef. But it didn't matter, since she opened the box,
tossed it aside and spent the rest of Christmas day playing with an empty
bottle and a pile of plastic hangers.
6. A playhouse
There are actually only two or three playhouses in existence, and they are just getting passed around very quickly.
saying your kid shouldn't have a playhouse, because they will love it—for
around two weeks. Just wait for someone to give you one, after their kid gets
tired of it after two weeks. In fact, I suspect that there are actually only
two or three playhouses in existence, and they are just getting passed around
7. Clothes that need
to be hand-washed for any kid, at any age
A few years
ago I taught my teen how to hand-wash one of her fancy sweaters, but after that
it sat in the laundry bin forever. I think it's still in there, and I plan to
give it to my future granddaughter someday just to torture her mother.
buying new shoes, take a couple of $20 bills and tie them around your
tween's feet. They'll only last a couple of days, which pretty much the same amount
of time for your tween to outgrow those $40 dollar sneakers.
9. A toy version of
any of your electronics that they covet, like cell phone, laptop, etc.
I thought it
was a genius idea to buy my kids plastic versions of my cellphone and
laptop that they coveted. That lasted for around 10 minutes until they figured
out the ruse. I think I might have even heard them whispering, "Does she think we're
stupid? You distract her while I grab the Macbook."
10. Fancy jeans
buying my daughter some stylish denim with ridiculous beading on the back
pockets, and I swear I I told her to "avoid sitting down" while she had them
on. I bet I drove 50 miles to buy those, too.