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Week 21 Week 22 : Material girl Week 23

"Just remember, we're having a nice, polite little girl, not a Wood Green Shopping Centre girl." -a.

Baby and Aimee stats:
Baby's weight: 1.1 pounds
Placenta's weight: .7 pounds
Amniotic fluid weight: 1 pound
Aimee's overall weight gain: 11 lbs

Average weight gain at 22 weeks: 12 to 16 pounds.
Comparable to: Two large watermelons.

Kevin's thoughts:
Last time I went baby shopping, the result was disastrous: I came back and spewed out that scathing diatribe about Baby Bratz, by far the top candidate for Least Likely To Be Found In My Baby's Collection Of Toys, No Matter How Loud She Screams For Them. Seriously, if you think it would be funny to buy me a Baby Brat, you will be 1) wasting your hard earned money on something that will be spent straight to the landfill, and 2) skewing the toy companies sales reports in such a way that they believe a genuine interest exists in dolls that look like hookers, and thus, make more. Honestly, do the world a favour.

Anyway, I'd love to ride the coattails of my Baby Bratz article forever (damn, that was some entertaining writing), but it's time to move on. You see, I've been shopping again.

As baby time gets closer (okay, it's still 4 months off), and Aimee gets larger, we've realised it's a good idea to think about the stuff we need NOW. Otherwise, we wait until two weeks before she's born and Aimee has to be lifted out of the second floor window by crane; that's certainly no condition for a trip to the mall.

So, it's a detailed look at pushchairs, prams, baskets, bouncers, bottle sterilisers, booties, cribs, cots, carriers, and of course, clothing. As I see Aimee's already covered the Pink, Pink and More Pink issue, I'll carry on.

Truth be told, the actual examining of the merchandise was relatively painless. I don't like shopping much, but admittedly, it was quite a bit of fun buying a mixed bag of goodies for a 0-12 month old baby girl. We got an idea of what we liked for the big stuff, and picked out a few choice bits of little stuff. Thank goodness Aimee and I have the same taste in baby stuff: I think if Aimee were to insist on a pink frilly glittery baby buggy, I might have to rebel by buying myself one of those black leather bachelor chairs and a pickup truck, just to balance the collective masculinity of the household.

I'll tell you the scariest thing about baby shopping. It's not the styles, it's not the selection, it's not even the prices (although, yikes! £15 for a teeny tiny sleeper with an embroidered bee?). Nope, the scariest thing about baby shopping is the babies. More specifically: the toddlers, the tantrum-throwers, the terrible twos.

I'm talking about the screamers. We've all seen them: parents doing their shopping or groceries or errands who have brought the kids along for a glimpse into the mundane life of an adult. Sooner or later, the kid reaches one of two conclusions: She either sees something she can't live without, or she falls off the deep end of boredom and wants to go home RIGHT NOW. Either way, we're all going to see some tears.

Though most parents know sometimes kids just have to scream and there's nothing you can do about it, it's us parents-to-be that look at the screamer and make an assessment: Why is that child crying? Is it the immediate? Is it underlying? Most importantly, if it were mine, what could I do differently to prevent myself from having THAT SORT OF CHILD?

There you are, imagining how cute your daughter will look in this floral print dress, or these purple overalls with "Time to play!" stitched into a bum-patch, when a scream catches your attention way off to the left. There, wearing a pair of purple overalls with "Time to play!" stitched into a bum-patch, is a fat little screeching two year old with cheeseball flavouring-powder all over her face, limply hanging from her mother's clinging hand as though she's lost all muscle control with the exception of her other hand, pointing an orange-dusted fingertip at a nearby shelf of Disney Princess videos that she'll quite obviously die without. What do you do?

Why, what any hopeful parent would do: I put the "Time to play!" overalls back on the rack.
Aimee's thoughts:
It's a girl! It's a girl! How wonderful! How fantastic! How... girly. I've been running around telling everyone (including strangers) that the little thing in my tummy is a girl, and you know what the almost unanimous reaction is?

"Now you can buy all those cute little pink dresses!"

Ummmm. Wassa? Pink dresses? The immediate stereotyping has put me in a right feminist mood. After years and years of the women's movement, we're still doling out pink and pink alone to baby girls? We begin to train girls to be cutesy and fragile (because what else could you be in organza?) the second they're out of the womb?

Okay, so perhaps you can wear a frilly dress and still be Secretary-General of the UN (an occupation which, if I can't achieve, surely my daughter will be able to!), but shouldn't we give her an equal chance with clothes that are less Jordan and more Jodie Foster? I wouldn't dress myself in a pink frilly dress, I'm certainly not going to subject a helpless baby to such horrors!

Available exclusively in Wood Green, North London.
Perhaps I'm overreacting here. It's just that it seems that girls really get the short end of the stick when it comes to clothing. We get all the uncomfortable, itchy, tight, and heeled outfits while boys get to slouch around in the same trousers and tees every day. The same goes for little boy babies - now that the victorian era has passed, they get to wear shorts and coveralls all the time. They don't have to get dressed up like dolls.

Hey! Maybe that's it. That's what's bothering me. I associate little pink dresses with dolls and I think the idea of treating a baby like a doll just isn't right. At least not my strong-willed, smart, quirky little girl. She's no doll - she's my daughter!

Note: I realize that by voicing these views, I'm now subjecting myself to giving birth to the girliest girl that ever did girl. She will LOVE anything that is pink and sparkly, preferably both. But she'll still be Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Did you know?

Around this time, my breasts could begin to produce a light yellow-coloured liquid. That's not milk, that's colostrum! Zoinks!

It contains water, protein and minerals and is meant to supply our baby with all the good stuff she needs in her first few days of life. I've heard rumours that breasts can begin to 'leak'... So far, I haven't noticed any action, but I'm on high-alert!

If only I knew then...

We've practically run out of preggy pals, so for the next couple of weeks while we wait for some more friends to get pregnant, we thought we'd introduce a new feature aimed at enlightening you about pregnancy - things that they never tell you.

This week: Incontinence

As your pregnancy progresses, your ability to control your bladder when you sneeze or cough decreases. This can lead to some very embarrassing moments that your husband will bring up blackmail-style for the rest of your life. The only defense is to do your pelvic floor exercises. More on those another time...

Aimee's cravings

Still on the fruit thing. In particular this week, I'm loving apples and cheese. And really expensive peaches that come gift-wrapped in packs of four. I'm happy to say that my fixation with Kraft Singles is over. Long live Edam.
Baby's Book of the Week

Egg Drop
By Mini Grey
Beguiling illustrations, simple concept, deadly result: an egg is trying to fly. It's A Long Way Down for five year olds. Not recommended to be read before Sunday breakfast.
Everyone into the poll!

How sensitive are you to the pink and blue debate? We all know that in the privacy of your own home, you'd dress your baby in a burlap bag if it was clean and readily available. But what about when you're out in public?
Q. Would you dress your baby girl in a blue outfit outside of your house?
    Yup        Nope
Tell us why in a very small box:

Results next week!
Gender Poll: We were so caught up in the excitement of learning about our little girl that we totally forgot to tell you the results of the gender poll. Here's how your uneducated guesses panned out (Note: even after we removed the sneaky after-the-fact votes, looks like most people still got it right!):

†† 59%
†† 41%

Ultrasound Poll: But remember, it's not over till it's over. We know that technology isn't always accurate, so we asked how many of you were given a special labour day surprise:

†† 86%
†† 14%

Send a message to the womb and beyond!

baby's first wardrobe

We've got mail...

When I first found out you were pregnant I asked "Is there any colour that you don't want your baby to wear?" Your response was... "I donít like pastel colours. I like white and bright colours and I really like natural colours like tans." If this is true why did you choose to pastel pink & blue as the main colours for Before you get all these pastel pink gifts flowing in I think you better let everyone in on your colour preferences! P.S. Tummy rubs from Auntie-to-be Ingrid.
- Ingrid
Thunder Bay, ON

Yahoo! I was right! When Nadia and I were discussing, I told her that my feeling was that you were going to have a girl and she agreed as look great Aimee! By the way...need a travelling doula?
- Michelle
Thunder Bay, ON

I am enjoying the website about my niece. Say hi to her for me.
- Chris
Stratford, ON

After reading your enlightening article on week 22 I have to admit that I was in the same boat when shopping. I analyzed every screaming kid and wondered what type of parents they were and what I would do in the same situation. I found myself even outloud and within ear shot of some (rather ridiculous parents) saying "TIME TO GO HOME FOR A NAP!" hoping that they would get the clue. Sadly, the world isn't perfect or we'd all be the Brady bunch or the Partridge Family. Anyway, green and yellow seemed to be the neutral colours to buy if you are hung up on the whole gender issue. Although to me, yellow seemed like an obvious no so we were left with green and blue! Just some thoughts from a dad who has been there and is now entering the terrible twos stage at 19 months.
- Colin
Dryden, ON

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Interested in Kevin and Aimee's other adventures? Of course you are!
Lose a month out of your life reading the Roadtrip or the Bikeabout. They're rather funny.

© 2006 Kevin & Aimee & Baby Beimers.
Getting caught up in our own cleverness.