Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Glide, Baby, Glide

I went to the Baby Corridor today. That's how I think about Miramar Rd., which is basically five miles of warehouse-like structures filled with niche products, many of them seeming to relate to children. All this is on only one side of the street. The other side is fenced off for military use. For five miles. No joke.

So first I went to USA Baby, which was surprisingly serene on a Tuesday afternoon (I've seen it about to implode from baby screams on a Saturday.) I floated around touching anything soft or with a fruit pattern, and finally came to the stroller section. It didn't seem that useful, since most of the strollers were suspended above my head. Not exactly a user-friendly display. I tried to study a few but finally had to get the hell out of there.

Next stop, Children's Land (I am not making up these names!) They have a huge selection of gliders, the specialized rocking chair that people are apparently federally mandated to own before a baby can live in your home. Here's my dirty little secret: I'm not sure what the glider rocker is for. Is it because babies refuse to eat if they're not being rocked at the same time? Is it because they will go to sleep if you rock them? Is it because it's a social construction for a woman to sit in a rocking chair holding a precious child? I'm really not sure. All I know is two things: 1) They are expensive, perhaps the most expensive chairs on the planet and 2) They are ugly. Deeply, irretrievably ugly. And at the bottom you can find a matching chunk of ugliness: the ottoman. Also crazy-expensive.

There. That's what I know. Oh, and that everyone I've ever met with a baby, bio or adopted, has one. Is it a law? I'm kind of afraid to ask anyone for fear the social worker will be sent back to my house to review our case with this new insight in mind--my total ignorance of the non-negotiable necessity of the glider rocker. Oy.

So, today I actually found one that like. It's still very ugly, mind you, but this one is ugly in an endearing way; it invites you to embrace the purity of its ugliness. It has no baby-specific features at all. It comes in a delicious fuzzy material (that's the only way I know how to describe it) in several yummy colors. It is deeply padded and shaped like a conventional armchair, slightly smaller than a Laz-y-Boy. When you sit down in it, you kind of sink, and when you pull the wooden lever on the side, a *built-in* ottoman snaps into place (hello, moneysaver!) Then you can lean back slightly and the whole thing reclines flat, leaving you snugly cushioned on all sides by the pillowy surfaces. And right now, $100 off!

I was tempted to order it on the spot. But the hovering manager, who kept telling me "Your husband will thank you for this chair!" (which seems correct) finally said, "He will especially thank you right after you get home from the hospital!" That did it. I kept my eyes closed for a few more seconds and tried to pretend he hadn't said that, but alas, the spell was broken. I'll bring David back this weekend for another look.

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