Fifty brands of strollers all looking identical, 20 types of cots, 15 different baby bath tubs. Milk bottles that took up one whole dedicated shelf. Teats, separate shelf of their own. Mysterious cloths (big pieces and small pieces), towels (hooded or non-hooded) and wraps and blankets. Clothes - sleeveless, sleeved, long sleeves, short sleeves, long pants, short pants, no pants, buttons, snaps, string-ties. Ten different hats. Mittens, booties, socks. Shoes for babies who can't walk yet. And these are only the stuff that I can name. The metaphorical tip of the iceberg.
And is a baby grobag something you grow a baby in?
It was overwhelming. So we left because I felt the walls closing in on me.
I have been trying very hard to conquer my fear of baby shops, and we have since made a few more forays into the baby stuff marketplace, managing to stay a bit longer each time I go. An achievement.
But a combination of persistent bewilderment, indecisiveness and a tendency to 临时抱佛脚 means that now, at 20 weeks and halfway through the incubation - we haven't bought a single thing.
When I realised this, I pointed this out to the Resident Bureaucrat with just the slightest sense of panic, but he refuted me.
It's not true that we haven't bought anything, he said, because we did buy six baby rompers** from a Fox Baby sale that day.
But of course, that's all the baby needs. Love, fresh air and six rompers.
*The baby stuff industry is a veritable scam industry. Why do baby clothes, for example, cost more than my own, considering that they are smaller and made of less material? Ditto baby cots. It's blackmail, it really is. Like, you either buy a cot or let your baby sleep in a drawer. And, either buy the baby clothes, or swaddle your baby in cloth diapers. On second thoughts, maybe not. Cloth diapers are expensive too.
**All six rompers are sized differently, from 3 to 12 months, because, as people with a lousy sense of perspective, we are not sure what size a baby really is. This truly compounds our problem.