Apr 16, 2010

Practical Babies

Every time I pass by the baby section at the store, I wistfully long for a baby for whom to buy all this cute, cute stuff. Then I push my buggy on to the aisles of laundry detergent and canned goods. It is no mystery that if I actually had someone for whom to buy the frilly dresses, I wouldn't. I'd buy diapers.

When my oldest daughter was born, I had all the fru-fru outfits there were, gifts from friends and relatives, but she had no socks that fit. Her feet were so tiny, all the socks fell off her feet. A Norwegian girl named Bente went out and bought my baby tiny little socks. I still have those socks, and I still call them "Bente socks."

The practical, meeting-needs kind of gifts are the ones we remember. When my third child was 4, her sister was born. The best gift was not a fru-fru outfit for the baby, it was my mother in law taking the older girl out to lunch so I could nap with the baby. It was my sister coming over & feeding the others so I could sit on my butt and feed the baby.

I don't remember the fru frus. I remember the ones who met a desperate need.

I tend to be practical, anyway. When my 5th child was born, I changed the outgoing message on the answering machine to announce, "If you want to see the new baby, the price of admission is a gallon of milk. Don't show up empty handed."

It usually takes a baby or two to learn what your baby needs and what is just junk. Babies need a lot less than you think.

My sister calls those dresses "Grandma bait." It will be interesting to see if I fall for it when I'm a grandma. Perhaps, if the child already has diapers, socks that fit, and mama has sufficient rest and a casserole.

And if the dress is machine washable.

Some personality traits don't change. What practical needs will you meet today?

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