Monday, May 14, 2007

Hear that sucking sound? It's money going down the plastic toilet

Before my husband and I had Ladybug, we would scoff at the price tag people put on raising children.

“Oh, come on,” we’d say. “Don’t you think that’s just a tad bit exaggerated? How much food does a baby eat anyway?”

We soon found out. It was a side dish to our helping of humility pie.

But it’s not just the food – although a week on Nutramigen will have you hunting for spare change in the sofa cushions. It’s everything else compounded.

We prided ourselves on having everything we needed months before Ladybug was born. I even declined the multiple offers for baby showers. Anything more would just be wasteful, I thought.

But then Ladybug transformed from a sleeping-eating-pooping blob to an interactive charmer. Staring at the mobile above her swing no longer satisfied her. That started the long list of purchases – baby gyms, pop-up toys, push-down toys, talking dolls, singing animals, and lest I forget, the $100 Exersaucer.

Then there was the playpen, the high chair, the safety gates, the cabinet locks and the $300 forward-facing car seat.

Most of Ladybug’s toys sit in a corner now. She’s much more interested in my pots and pans or my husband’s laptop. I bought her a mini dustpan and broom after she began mimicking me as I swept the floor. It’s now one of her favorite “toys.”

But there’s no break. We’re back to buying the next round of necessities for a growing toddler: more spoons and sippy cups, an umbrella stroller and – our latest acquisition – a potty.

A $20 plastic bowl to catch pee.

Oh, right, I forgot, excuse me.

It transforms into a step stool later.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


May 15, 2007 at 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You paid $300 for a forward facing car seat?!?!!? You can get a nice Eddie Bauer edition car seat at Walmart for $70. I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 1/2 year old. You have to learn to be thrifty. It was very hard. Especially when it comes to the clothes they grow out of so fast. I buy them at the Dollar Store. I haven't been in a nice retail store in three years. Good luck, Michelle. :-)

May 15, 2007 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

Ladybug -- it's a nickname.

May 15, 2007 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

Yeah, the $300 was a bit expensive but it's a combo seat -- it transforms into a booster seat that can be used up until she's five. And I wasn't going to scimp on safety.
That said, I have had quite a few expensive learning moments. One of my first was when we bought her nursery furniture. Not knowing any better, I got what I thought was a good deal but then saw the exact same set somewhere else for about a third of the price. When I looked a little closer at the differences, it's because ours came from Italy. Not intentionally, believe me. I'm not into brand names and I'm quite the bargain shopper for myself. But, hey, I've had a couple decades to practice. I've only had 15 months with Ladybug. I'm getting better at hunting down bargains for her, but I still end up paying more than I have to on many things.

May 16, 2007 at 7:45 AM  

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