Boy is it good to be home!
While I am indebted to the docs and nurses at Penn for taking such good care of me during delymphomatization, there is nothing more therapeutic than being back at home with Jacqui and Otis.
Yesterday I spent half the day at work, but also ran some baby-related errands, picking up the stroller, car seat, and pack-and-play. For those of you who had kids a long time ago, as of yet do not have them, or are like the character at the end of each episode of Scooby Doo who says, “Damn you crazy kids!” the pack-and-play is one of those new baby items that I am told you just can’t do without. It is a portable crib, or what in modern baby lingo is called a play yard, that folds up and fits into a carrying case that in the most advanced versions actually fits in your back pocket.
Shopping for baby stuff has been a learning experience for me. Call me old fashioned, but some of the gadgetry now mandatory for having a baby makes me wonder if my generation was brainwashed by all of those goofy “I don’t want to grow up, I’m a toys-R-us kid” commercials; you know, the ones with the toys-R-us giraffe mascots that ran over and over again in the 1980s. There must have been subliminal messages hidden in those commercials: YOU MUST BUY A PACK-AND-PLAY, YOU MUST BUY AN OVERPRICED BABY MONITOR THAT PICKS UP COMMUNICATION FROM THE SPACE SHUTTLE, YOU MUST BUY AN SUV THAT FITS ALL OF YOUR BABY JUNK AND PUTS A HOLE IN THE OZONE LAYER. Yea, well now that we’ve grown up there are bills to pay and mouths to feed, thank you very much you stupid giraffe.
Kidding aside (mostly), the one thing that I found truly shocking in all of this, was that one salesperson actually tried to sell us a stroller for $900. Seriously, $900. We went into the store and I told her that I wanted the one that was rated as safest and most reliable by Consumer Reports. She looked at me as if I was a communist, poo-pooed that stroller, and told me that we needed the Bugaboo, the Rolls Royce of baby strollers. Out of pure curiosity, I let her show us the stroller, which pretty much looked like any other, except it must have been made from pure gold given its sticker price. She didn’t laugh when I asked her at that price did the stroller also change the baby’s diaper, toilet train it, and convert into my child’s first car?
Despite the superstition of some of my faith, Jacqui and I have begun to set up the baby’s room (furniture arrives Tuesday), and put together the stroller, car seat, and pack-and-play. Given what we have been through these past few months, it feels so good to focus purely on Lester. Last night, with our new video camera in hand, I had our first tape rolling and asked Jacqui what is the first thing she’d like to say to baby Lester (once he or she is old enough to watch the video). Her response took my breath away (which she often does): to our first born she said, “We are probably going to spend the rest of our lives trying to get you to understand what it has meant these last three months to have your birth up and coming, and that hopefully through the love and support we offer you as parents, you come to know a fraction of what we are actually feeling.”