"Babies may be small, but they need lots of stuff..." said Amazon in my email inbox today. I started laughing out loud.
Just yesterday, while I was meditating, my thoughts wandered to my little one and all the contraptions I've tried to please her with. I saw them all in a line exiting the front door of my home. They exited to their new homes just as fast as they came in.
My baby didn't need any of that stuff. She used her bouncy vibrating chair and swing the most and that was an average of 15 minutes a day. She has had two walkers and never really like either of them. She has a jumperoo that's pretty much just taking up space in the living room. She cried bloody murder when we tried to put her in the playpen and she can only stand her high chair for about ten minutes while I give her some homemade fruit or veggie mash. (Sidebar-don't get me started about how commercial baby food is just pureed McDonalds. Fake food since birth- JEEZ.) Her favorite thing? Sitting down on the floor with her maple teething ring or being held and talked/sung to.
I guess I bought into the whole "stuff" thing for my little one because at one point I bought into it for myself. Even though I've let that notion go for me, some part of me had to try it with her. I guess it's that "guinea pig parenting" part of me that is experimenting with parenthood. Thankfully, 95% of all these plastic things were recycled hand-me-downs because I believe we have enough plastic in the world. I saved a lot of money that way too. But something thought I needed them. I guess the advertisers and the marketing people managed to squeeze their way in somehow still and convinced me.
Last night, I woke up and remembered a small snippet of a dream I had just had. I was a crawling baby and I was crawling around in the dark and I couldn't find my mother anywhere. I kept coming upon everyone else but my mother. Table legs, chair legs, colorful plastic keys, pacifiers, small books, my grandmother's legs... but no mother. I was desperate, frustrated, terrified and sad. I woke up frantic. I don't think it was so much a dream as a memory. I felt like my whole body was recalling feeling that. I was tempted to get angry at my mother for a moment, but I understood and let it go. I hugged my sleeping little one, grateful for being able to share all our time together during her young life (as much as I complain about it at times).
Moments ago, my little one was getting fussy so I picked her up, took her to our bed, and nursed her to sleep. She always nuzzles in close when she nurses to nap. Today, finally, I stopped complaining about her needing to nurse to go to sleep. I am part of the basics and all she needs is the basics. And this makes me very happy. Sure, other things are cool and fun. But it's nice to know that even if our house consisted simply of a bed, a potty, a blanket, a maple teether, some clothes and momma and poppa, she would still be her happy little self.