Bottoming Out @ Babies R Us

I went to Babies R Us this afternoon.

I hate that store.

Prior to having a child, I absolutely despised BRU. I'd visit the place a few times a year to purchase gifts from baby friends' baby registries, and that was a nightmare. All the STUFF. Stuff I didn't know what to do with or what it was for. Anyone who has ever shopped at the store knows the anxiety I'm talking about -- print someone's 11-page baby registry list, locate a few items in your price range, and then do your best at navigating the baby megalomart to locate the gift. Better treat yourself to a few margaritas at the local Chevy's beforehand, lest you'd prefer to stab yourself in the eye from the pain of such a scavenger hunt.

Now that I have a better understanding of all the STUFF in the store, the anxiety has calmed just a bit. I can now focus a little better and don't feel so consumed by the monstrosity of the task at hand, of the store, of the selections. Yet, still, I remember at least two times during today's shopping trip where I paused for a moment and felt the need for a cigarette. I'm not kidding. And I don't even smoke.

Does anyone else absolutely hate shopping at BRU? I dread it. But, today I figured, what the heck -- I was out and about for my yearly ob/gyn visit, and you might as well get all the shitty tasks off the things-to-do list all at once, right?

I must preface this with noting that I enjoyed the well-woman exam much more than the shopping trip. Yes, enjoy was what I said. Because THAT is how much I hate shopping at BRU. I'd rather have my girl parts poked and prodded than patronize the monopoly-of-a-store that seems to only employ childless 16 year-olds who insist that they know what they're talking about when it comes to what children need.

Because I am not particularly fond of BRU, I try to limit my shopping excursions there. I keep a running list of things we need to buy there, you know -- baby things. Things that you could buy at Target or online but things that are just easier to buy at BRU because they offer more of a selection.

Today, I braved the frigid four-degree temperature, and headed to the local BRU with my accumulated list of baby needs. White long-sleeved onesies. Rice cereal. Baby food. Sippy cups. Pretty basic, or so I thought. $175+ and two hours later, I walked out with:

  • white Carter's long-sleeved onesies (Whether the brand be Carter's or Gerber, I absolutely love love love white onesies. I wish I would have known this a year ago because I could have saved so much moolah and not have bought so many fancy schmancy shirts.)

  • Carter's short-sleeved onesies (I couldn't pass up the pale blue and red cherry pattern!)

  • Gerber baby food (This is where my mind started to boggle. There's baby food in jars. There's baby food in plastic containers. There's stage 1, stage 2, stage 3... Peaches, pears, prunes. Carrots, peas, green beans. Ham in ham gravy, turkey and sweet potato dinner, chicken noodle dinner. TOO MANY CHOICES. I had no clue what to buy. All I could think of was all the cute little craft projects I wanted to make with the jars when we were done with the food).

  • Gerber rice cereal

  • Dapple baby toy wipes (Even though we don't leave the house often, I thought that when we do, these would be great to keep in the diaper bag for when toys get thrown on the ground.)

  • Gerber sippy cups (At our last appointment, our pediatrician suggested we start having Greta practice drinking water out of a sippy cup. I dread the mess that will soon ensue.)
  • Boon divided plates (This was an ORDEAL -- finding plates with divided sections, especially if you wanted plates minus splatterings of Elmo, Barbie and other obnoxious characters.)
  • bibs (Although we already have a decent assortment, I've fallen in love with the Bumkins brand of waterproof bibs. They wash up so nicely.)
  • Top 100 Baby Purees (Because apparently I think I have tons of free time and should enlist in making homemade baby food? Hell, after all the cash I dropped on jarred baby food today, I'll give anything a try once!)
  • two new Swaddle-Mes (My friend, Cara, lent me her daughters', and they have been a true Godsend. Greta can't sleep without them. But now that she is growing, she's starting to bust out of the small size.)
  • miscellaneous toys (Despite my best efforts to keep the toy explosion to a minimum, I felt the need to purchase some new little sound-making, brightly-colored doo-dads to entertain Greta. We think she's starting to teeth, so I got her toys that were chew-safe. Wait, that's dog-talk. I should rephrase that: I chose toys that are appropriate for teething babies. Sound better?)
  • a cloth book (As I type this, I'm too tired to remember which Roger Priddy book it was that I purchased.)

I just realized that perhaps it's a bit obnoxious or mundane to list my purchases, but I just spent too much time hyperlinking the products to go erasing my hard work. ;-) The main reason I included the links, though, is because I've got a few friends who are expecting or are new moms, and I know when I was on the hunt for products, I was constantly hounding my friends for their thoughts on must-haves. I'm not saying these items are all necessities, but I just thought I'd throw in my two cents on some baby products...

I think BRU overwhelms me because of all the choices it offers. And everything is displayed right BAM! in your face, so you're not sure if you need Dr. Brown's bottles or Avent or Born Free. The clothing situation is horrendous because IT'S JUST TOO MUCH. I imagine that the way I feel when shopping at BRU is similar to a man shopping at Walgreens, trying to pick out sanitary products for his girlfriend.

When exiting the store today, I realized that when I entered the store it was still daylight, and it was now dark. That's too much time spent in a place I feel sucks the air out of me.