Sunday, May 22, 2011
Recently my baby boy, Michael, who just turned two, discovered how to climb out of his crib. Though I was secretly impressed with his Nadia Komenich-like display of acrobatic prowess, I also despaired at the sight of watching him wander the halls til his eyes were nearly rolling into the back of his head from exhaustion as he repeatedly declared "I GET OUT OF BED!". I decided then and there that we needed to buy a crib tent, and nip the problem in the bud.
I went to Buy Buy Baby the next day. Whoever came up with the name for that store is undoubtedly very pleased with him or herself. But I don't find the name clever. I've always found it somehow offensive, and as I walked through the aisles on a crowded Saturday, I was struck by the myriad looks of anticipation, anxiety and sheer confusion on the faces of the mostly expectant parents shopping there. "Stop!" I wanted to shout. "You don't need that vibrating baby seat! Don't spend $1200 on a crib! Put the Snack Traps back! YOU DON'T NEED ANY OF THIS STUFF!" I remember when I was pregnant with Jake, my oldest boy. My upstairs neighbor and landlady, Daryl, a mom of two herself, told me gently in her lilting Irish accent: "All you really need is a dresser drawer for him to sleep in." But I didn't listen. Because, actually, I needed all that new baby stuff. I needed the nice new crib. I needed the slings and soft toys and receiving blankets and the changing table and the diaper bag. I needed the German stroller that you couldn't buy anywhere in the U.S., and which we made our friend Stephanie shlep over on the plane from Berlin. But I found out later, over time, that Daryl was right. And as I stood before the display for the crib tent I'd come into the store convinced I HAD to have if my son were ever to have a decent night's sleep again, I realized I needed to listen to myself. And I turned around and walked out the door. PS, Michael is now sleeping in his crib just fine without the tent.
Several friends of mine have recently had babies, and a couple of friends are expecting. Like most parents, I've passed along my unsolicited advice to a couple of them about various things, including what they need to get for their kids, which is to say, not much. I used to really enjoy buying special gifts for the babies of friends, but now I am trying to make them instead. I hope the reasons why are obvious.
The bunnies in these photos are the gifts I made to welcome these recently born little people into the world. I made them out of thrift store cashmere sweaters, which I first felted by washing them in hot water, then throwing them into a hot dryer. I found the pattern for these from Martha Stewart's website. Her instructions call for using mens' suiting, but I prefer the soft cashmere felt. I also modified a bit further by adding a patterned fabric to the front of the arms, to match the ears.
So Kate, George and Ronan, these bunnies are for you, with love, from me. xxx