Well, it's taken me a few years, but I think I finally have it all figured out: parenting, the difference between moms and dads, between quality and crap, between magazines and blogs, how to fluff an advertiser. And it's all thanks to The Today Show's Soledad O'Couric, who really put the investigative journalism screws to the editor of Parenting [sic] Magazine during this morning's segment, Kids' gear that grows with them:
Parents are moms, and parenting--i.e., what moms do--means buying plastic products for kids that lasts more than a couple of months.
Like a giant, plastic Baby Einstein activity center that has two heights: laying down or sitting up. Or a hideous Fisher-Price vibrating bouncer chair that turns into a toddler rocker. Or a cooler-sized Safety 1st feeding chair with a removable tray that becomes a gigantic booster seat. Or a Stokke Tripp-Trapp high chair.
Seriously, what is wrong with moms? Except for the Stokke--Roker's kid apparently took his Tripp-Trapp to college with him or whatever--all this stuff seems like mutated junk whose purported adaptable afterlife is just a hollow marketing ploy designed to close the deal. And you won't find out your toddler doesn't want a rickety reclining rocker for another 15 months.
But you can get duped by non-crap items, too; we dropped $100 on our Baby Bjorn bouncy chair because it said it fit kids up to 2yo. How were we supposed to know that the minute the kid learned to crawl, she'd refuse to be buckled down? And seriously, if you want a daybed, just buy a daybed. Because no matter what you think, within three years you will either be putting that crib away, or you'll be putting another kid in it.
You really want to stretch your baby gear dollar with some multi-stage, multi-use product? Get some Via Toy Box cubes for the kids room. Then get some criss-cross inserts, to turn them into Via Wine Cubes. The original, 15-inch, kid-sized cubes hold 13 bottles. There's a 20-in. Magnum Cube, too, to hold more. Build a Wine Cube Tower, and you can use your Stokke high chair as a stepladder to reach the top.
Now let's raise a glass and toast the advertisers; because when I fluff an advertiser, I will tell you I'm fluffing an advertiser.