Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Correlation, Causation, and Babies R Us

First of all, here is a pic I took on Christmas day (in pajamas, of course) to show how I see this whole situation. It's my literal view of the growing mound on my midsection. Notice, you can still actually see my legs below the belly. Won't last too much longer I suppose.

But back to the subject line. Our little Bubba's kicks and aerobics have been quite constant and noticeable. The analyst in my head got to wondering: does the kid kick because he knows it makes me move/jump/rub my belly, or are the two factors (him kicking, me reacting) just independent? Meaning is my moving reaction an example of causation or correlation? Whether I am in fact encouraging my unborn child to kick me by rewarding him with movement or noise isn't going to stop me. The real point of this musing is not to find the answer, but to demonstrably prove to you, my loyal reader, that I am in fact a nerd.

In other fun developments, after I experienced a quasi-desperate moment of panic over the fact that we have done zero planning for little Scooter's arrival, we spent about two hours at a Babies R Us last Friday starting a registry. Which, as other new parents can attest to, is an overwhelming experience. At least when you register for your wedding, it's just about your taste. Now, there's the added elements of safety and complete inexperience with 90% of the product offerings. I mean, when you're looking at toasters, you know what it's supposed to do and yeah you might look at reviews, but basically you just need to choose one based on how much toast you make and whether you plan on, say, baking a turkey in this toaster or just reheating day-old pizza. But car seats and strollers.... that's a different story. Your ability to predict just how many thousands of times you'll take that puppy in and out of your car, and just how necessary that cup holder for Momma's coffee actually is, not to mention the likelihood of you venturing into Bad Parent land by picking the "wrong" one... all these factors conspire to make every choice a challenge. Sure, you know that everything they sell is basically safe. Or they wouldn't sell it, right? But if you choose the one, right, perfect item, it may prove to be just helpful or easy enough to keep you from snapping in the middle of a Target parking lot some day. Not that I see the value in buying the $700 Perego stroller. I mean really, I'd rather be able to afford a house. But do the cool features in the $250 stroller/car seat "travel system" not only keep your kid safe but make your life that much easier? Obviously a calculated choice. So we picked a bunch of stuff, and will continue to pick some more, and surely not all of it will turn out to be god's gift to parenthood. But I'm pretty sure all three of us will live through it regardless. Cross your fingers.


Goddess in Progress said...

I felt the same way about the baby registry! Wedding stuff was easy. That was stuff I already know. But baby stuff?! How was I supposed to know if I needed a wipe warmer or two different kinds of bathtubs? (The answer is neither, of course.) Or what features I should look for in a stroller or a bouncy seat or what have you.

My only strong recommendation is the Graco SnugRide (not SafeSeat) infant carseat. Great on all safety tests, seem quite comfy for the kiddos, and not as heavy as a lot of other brands (which becomes a major issue, and makes people start cursing the Peg Perego and the other heavy seats when the kids start packing on the pounds).

Marie H-G said...

You are a true nerd...and so am I, as I am finding out more and more in this program! :-) But you're a beautiful, wonderful nerd, and we love you! Now we just have more of you to love...and in a few months, more Kerns to love!

I've heard that those Euro Baby baby carriers/slings are great. Check them out, if you haven't already!

Love ya, Elise -- Marie

Beverly said...

Elise, I had no idea you had a baby blog! How cool. First of all, let me officially (very late) congratulate you on your pregnancy. I have a bad habit of not spending enough time on Facebook beyond posting Jack's photos, so I only found out you were pregnant shamefully recently. CONGRATULATIONS! And here you are, more than halfway through.

Second, oh, God, I wanted someone to shoot me while making my Babies R Us registry. Going in there is so stressful. The good news is, the next time around, you can just bypass all that b/c you can either reuse your stuff, or you'll know what you truly need. Anyway, I second Liz wholeheartedly on the Graco SnugRide seat. It worked so well for us, and it was a cinch to snap into the MetroLite stroller (or the wire frame/basket, if you opt for that). G'luck with all the prep!

rgodinez said...

All I can add is that poor Elise never had all those options for me to choose from when she was a baby. Somehow she survived the trauma of "cold" wipes and those flimsy umbrella strollers. But she is right that with all the choices now it can really get you almost paranoid about checking the latest safety features and second-guessing yourself.

But she turned out beautifully and in the end sound common sense will rule the day. Love, MOM