Going backwards in time, I wanted to provide you with a story about the preparations before I went to pick up up my daughter at the adoption agency. This story takes place on Friday, 3 days after I was told that I was going to become a mother. Yes, they called on Tuesday and wanted me to pick her up on Friday. I stalled and asked if I could come on Monday.
As I trudge up Seventh Avenue, I see it in the distance, the distinctive blue and red logo. The logo beckons me like a siren’s wail. When I left the office, I was so excited to head out that I pretty much ran to the train. My thoughts have a been a jumble, thinking of all the stuff that needs to be done in the next three days.
As I approach the store, I can hardly breathe. My legs feel like I have ankle weights on them. I stand at the corner waiting for the light to change. Something stops me from crossing and I let the light change again. This is nuts. "Go," my brain says.
BuyBuyBaby. Seems like a benign enough name, right? Wrong, Wrong, Wrong! Have you ever been in BuyBuyBaby? Why would you? Unless you have children or were buying a baby shower gift, no reasonable person would wander in without a purpose.
Approaching, the automatic- sensored doors part like the Red Sea. As I walked through the doors, I was confident that I would be able to whiz right in and get everything I needed and be done. Mission Accomplished. Little did I know, this was going to more like an ambush.
I just stood there at the front of the store, the fluorescent lights beating down at me, providing an eerie white, white glow. I kept thinking, no one could possibly look good in this light. Stay focused. It’s not about you, remember.
With all the harsh lights and the multitudes of products, my eyes could not focus. My head kept weaving back and forth as one does at a tennis match. Right to left, right to left.
At some point, my eyes settled on a wall of bottles. “Bottles, that’s easy, pick up a few and move on.”
So there I stood at the wall of bottles. Rows and rows of bottles, up and down the wall, if the wall came down, I would have been crushed, there were so many bottles. I must have been standing there for while before the quiet was interrupted. “May I help you,” asked a 20 - something young man.
“Sure, I need to buy some bottles,” as I stared at this man-child, thinking what could he possibly know about bottles. Next thing I know he rattles off a litany of comments about nipple flow, curved versus straight. As he is hitting me with all these questions, he starts taking bottles off the rack and handing them to me “This is Dr. Brown, it helps with eliminating gas pain, comes in variety of nipples. Here is Avent, this also helps with gas pains, the nipples are reusable and disposable. Playtex bottles are curved."
He was talking so fast but it actually felt I was talking in slow motion. I just stood there smiling, you know that smile you get when you want say “WTF”, stop talking, my head started to pulsate from the information overload but he was so sincere and trying to be informative and helpful that it would be wrong for me to have a nervous breakdown about bottles.
I just smiled weakly and said, “thank you, I will take a look at the bottles you talked about.”
After he left, I looked down at all the bottles and began reading each label. At some point, I knew I was getting bleary eyed and frantic. I kept putting them on the little hooks and pulling them off, not knowing which one was the best one. After 20 minutes, I just gave up.
As I sauntered through the store, I noticed bath tubs. “Bath tubs, “ I should be able pick one up, how many can there be?” Wrong again. Another freaking wall of bathtubs? How big was this store anyway?” Can’t there just be one bathtub? The bathtub.
.Another sales person, a young girl came up who looked about 21 or 22. “Are you looking for bath tub for your child?” “Yes,” I said.
She then proceeded to walk me through the multitude of bathtubs, all varying sizes, shapes and prices. After another 15 minutes, she saw that I was a little dazed and said “ I will give some time to look them over and call me, if you have any questions.” “No, I won’t,” I thought, you would only put more information in my head than I can handle. This was the bottle scenario all over again. I pulled down the boxes and read each package trying to determine the right one. No such luck
Looking at my watch, I realized that I had been in the store for over two hours? How could this be?
But somehow I did actually accomplish buy one essential item. Who knows how but I had ended with exactly one package of washcloths. This is all I had for all my efforts, ensuring my new baby would be clean. Not clothed or fed or even entertained, just clean.
It was like a shot of reality hit me. What did I expect to happen in two hours? Expectant parents have months to prepare and I was trying to do it in two hours.
I stood where I started in the front of the store. I started to tremble and then whimper. I was failing as a mother before I had even started. I called my mom. "Where are you?" She asked.
Somehow I blurted out mid-whimper, ” I am in buybuybaby, I have been here for two hours and I all I bought were washcloths. I just got confused and overwhelmed. I have no idea what’s good or a waste of money. Where do I begin”?
In her rather commanding, motherly, know it all voice, “Stop what you are doing, don’t worry, you are coming down on Monday and we will buy everything then. I will be there to help you. It will be okay. It’s too much for you to do buy yourself. Go to dinner, have a drink and relax while you can.”
“Okay”, Wiping away my tears thinking the salespeople must think I am nuts.
I left the store oddly triumphant with my washcloths and off to the last dinner as a single person with no worries or responsibilities.