Friday, June 6, 2014

When a Tack Ho Wanders Too Far...

I sort of assumed that all of my extensive Tack Ho experience would serve me well as I waddled blind into the world of baby stuff and kid gear.  

However I'm realizing that even though I have the will to extend my Tack Ho-ing to new territory, my profound experience hunting for, researching and compulsively buying bits of leather and gorgeous boots has not, in fact, prepared me for the totally terrifying and overly marketed world of baby stuff.

I find myself feeling more like a Minister-Without-Portfolio, than a seasoned hoarder as I attempt to (quickly) educate myself on the pitfalls and virtues of what seems like endless plastic crap and a few cool Euro brands made of sustainable wood and recycled bicycles.

With horses, I have a good sense of what is trend and what is tradition.  I indulge in both (obvi), but I usually do so knowing when I'm splurging on something lasting (leather) and when I'm chucking cash at the latest must have item (pads, boots, breeches...).  With all this baby crap I have no idea what falls into the heirloom column and what will be squished into the recycle bin as soon as Baby grows another 1/2" or gains one more pound.

I find this sort of ignorance and inexperience mind-numbingly painful.  If anything I would argue that the marketing machine behind kid stuff is even more diabolical than that of the horse world.  It's not so hard to convince me that _____ item will keep my horse happier, healthier, or just cuter - and if you do convince me, well, I can guarantee that my visa has already been put on the counter.

With kiddos the fear mongering is even less subtle.  In fact most things seem centered around commanding tenant to "DO THIS OR YOUR BABY WILL DIE."  

Uhhhh crap.  okay?

So my current conundrum is that with horses I have a decent bullshit meter.  When someone says "DO THIS OR YOUR HORSE WILL DIE" I can usually pause, think "hmm... horse hasn't died yet" and then say "no." or "mehhhhh it's a cute pad/boots/bridle/bit/supplement, and it comes in my color/size/ITS PINK! so okay!"

With babies I have no frigging clue so I tend to google (terrible, don't reccomend) and then when 1,348,000 hits come up screaming about dead babies I immediately order 5 of everything.

Another problem with all this baby gear is that everything looks like some sort of Transformer to me.

I can take a double bridle and have it pulled apart, cleaned, checked for wear, conditioned and reassembled (probably with new bits, just for funsies) in no time.

But I cannot, (cannot) get the god damn stroller to cooperate, or figure out which tab goes where. 
The what goes where?
It looks like an alien spaceship to me. Seriously.

I wish babies came in saddles, or at least had a section in the Dover Catalog next to the pony stuff.  Then I'd be set.


  1. Haven't had a kid (and probably wont for a loooooong time) but I fondly remember my parents telling me stories of the same sort of thing (however the internet wasn't as prevalent back then) and their response was like: Meh, whatever happens, happens.

    Baby stuff confused me. Probably because the only items I look forward to buying my kids is ALL THE CLOTHES.

  2. This cracks me up. Baby stuff is alien.

  3. My horse and daughter are well cared for.. they have everything lol!!

  4. It looks like transformers too. Maybe it will have laser eyes or something useful when it pops out?

  5. Lol, you sterilize everything when they are young, then they get to about that 3 month mark and suddenly, its like, meh build up that immune system kiddo, you're going to be a barn kid. :) Start slow on the stuff. I ditched a lot of it fast. A good breastpump, sleep sacks, car seat I could actually carry, and bottles he liked were vital. He hated the extra optioned bassinet, his head was too big for the cute hats... You learn the best once you get there. Every baby is different.

  6. Some day when I have a baby. ..ALL THE PINK! Fingers crossed for a girl;)

  7. I agree with Kitty Kat - when I had my first everything was cleaned and cared for perfectly. When I had my twins I gave up on everything except clean diapers and full tummies. Seriously. All you REALLY need are: Diapers, wipes, clothes, crib, 2 crib sheets (nothing else for the crib!) swaddlers/sleep sacks, a simple stroller OR a baby carrier (lots of choices, but a lot of people around the Sound seem to like the wrap kinds) and a car seat that works - honestly if you just get the big convertible one now, just get a baby carrier and when you get to where you want to go, strap the kid on and call it good. Don't even need a stroller then!

  8. I would make the stroller a project for The Boy...

  9. I'm sorry but this made me laugh!!! Sorry it's such a frustrating learning experience, but it will be worth it when baby is here. :D Also I agree with Stephanie... nothing else in the crib!! They usually don't even need blankets and definitely no stuffed animals. If it is too cold (rare) a very light blanket should be used, but normally nothing is needed. Babies seem to get hot when they sleep anyway. I don't have kids and probably never will but I did do some babysitting and that's the big thing I learned. :)

  10. Oh hahaha... I know what you mean! I drove myself bonkers picking out baby stuff, and this was back in the Dark Ages before the Internet. I shudder to think how stressed I would have gotten with THAT option before me 24/7. No, I just had a couple of catalogs and those things were worn practically to shreds by the time Her Highness arrived. :) I agree, though.. a LOT of it is hype. There are only a few strict necessities and the rest is all marketing. I didn't feel that much pressure about "Baby will DIE! - in my case it was, "You are a BAD MOTHER if you don't have this!" and I really had to reason with myself. The nesting instinct can be very strong (says the woman who literally couldn't sleep one night because she couldn't find a mattress that fit the antique heirloom cradle) but try to dredge up the sensible mind that lies within. It always helped me to think about the women out on the wagon train who somehow managed to give birth and raise kids with practically NOTHING especially for baby. Here, kid, sleep in this dresser drawer - there ya go!

    Take a deep breath.... TRY to relax... cherish your sleep and private time. :)


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