Babies need a lot of stuff. We were told this over and over as we prepared for our new life with an infant. The more we heard this, the more Amanda and I became concerned that we were going to acquire a house-full of baby things we mistakenly thought we would need. So, we spent much of the 9 months of Amanda’s pregnancy researching, debating, and choosing the “necessary” tools and equipment that would fit our values and our planned parenting lifestyle. We wanted items that help attachment parenting, items that are environmentally friendly, items that outlast infancy (I plan to send Ezra to college wearing BabyLegs), items that we would use on a daily basis, and - to point out that we are also superficial – items that would look nice in our single room house. We skipped the Bumpo, the nursery decorations and furnishings, the bottle drying rack, and the baby swing. A stroller appeared and disappeared several times on our registries. We finally decided that if we were unsure if we would need something, we probably would not.
Thanks to many generous family members and friends we received pretty much everything on our short (but not necessarily inexpensive) gift registries. Four months into parenting, I think we did a good job. We use almost everything daily, do not feel like anything we selected was miscellaneous, and we do not feel like we left anything important off our list. Except for one item.
We really underestimated the desire of a parent to archive every detail of their new baby’s life. We insisted we didn’t need a camcorder. We joked about gadget happy parents taping every new developmental milestone and special event, and then forcing friends to view their adorable home “movies.” (Can a two year old eating his birthday cake really be described as a movie?). We scoffed at the suggestion that we would want to videotape the new baby. “We already have a really nice camera. We think still photography better captures memories because it is a less definitive medium that allows more freedom of interpretation by the viewer. You watch a video, but you relive a photograph. It takes you back to that time not just that situation . . .” we would blather on and on. Within in a month of Ezra’s birth we bought a camcorder. We underestimated our desire to watch (over and over again) Ezra’s face break into a smile, his practicing newly discovered vocalization, his development of new motor skills. So, friends, you can now watch our adorable home “movies” on YouTube. Here is one of my favorites.