Sunday, 30 January 2011

For the 24 metre tall baby in your life

Yesterday I met the biggest challenge of fatherhood so far, a three story baby stuff warehouse.  From the outside the unappealingly spelt ‘KiddiCare’ (aka house of financial horrors) looked quite inviting, there’s even a cafe for tired dads!

As we cruised around the car park in a car roughly the same age as our relationship (fifteen years old) I was a bit concerned that most of the parked cars were Audis, Mercedes and BMWs that all looked younger than our marriage (four years old).  There were no spaces inside the car park so we dumped our car among a small collection of other unworthy jalopies parked on the road outside the suspiciously high security fence that surrounds KiddiCare.

For as long as Em and I have talked about having kids we’ve been worried that we might not be rich enough to spawn, and as I walked through the huge sliding entrance doors at KiddiCare I hoped that the car park full of cars that are probably worth more than our house wasn’t an indicator of prices to come.

The first section we found ourselves in was a long wide room full of car seats, and for some reason I’m still unsure of it featured half a Volkswagon Beetle.  After checking a few price tags I breathed a huge sigh of relief; as I was about to discover elsewhere in the store it would appear that you can spend obscene amounts of money on your younguns if you want, but if your budget happens to be smaller than the national output of a small African state then the chances are your child won’t go without anything it needs.

I guess we’re still trying not to get too carried away with buying baby things, but it was a real education to see just how many products designed to ease the passing of your children from birth to teen years there are available these days.  There are also an incredible number of brands carefully designed to lighten the load of an over-burdened wallet.

Em’s dad wandered the isles pondering where all these ‘essential aids’ were when Em and her brother were kids.  It was great exploring KiddiCare with Em’s parents, and I appreciated having someone with me who shares my sense of humour (Em’s dad), so that when I wanted to point and chuckle at product photos of children staring down toilets I had someone to share the mirth with.  Em’s dad also has a keen eye for the bizarre, like the stair guard that advertised itself as being for between the heights of ‘0-24m’.

One of the highlights of our trip to KiddiCare was the entire floor of buggies and prams, or ‘3D pram systems’ as the advertising boards would have it.  So much more effective than two dimensional drawings of prams, I’m sure you’ll agree.  We obviously have a lot to learn about the various technical details relating to how one can commute ones young from one point A to point B, so until those gaps in our knowledge are filled we can only judge buggies on how well they would drive over street garbage, and how difficult the tyre treads would be to clean after driving through dog dirt.  And there’s a little insight into our neighbourhood for you...

By the time we made it to the third floor I was distracted by test driving rocking chairs and Em was more interested in staring out of windows than anything else, so we decided to call it a day.

When we got back to the in-law’s house we did what any sensible person would do and checked eBay for cheaper versions of the things that had caught our attention in the store.  Our child will get everything he or she needs, as long as the shipping charges aren’t too steep and the reserves aren’t too high.

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