Monday, July 09, 2007

And he looks so cute, in his little red suit...

It's been a long, long night boys and girls.

After getting off work at the ridiculously easy hour of 5 o'clock this eve, I rode no less than SEVEN times on Chicago's rarely lauded Transit System in 4-hours; it would have been NINE if another bus and train had fallen in line!

Quick shorthand for Chicagoans in the know: Red Line: (Roosevelt to Lake, Chicago to Fullerton), Buses: (#74 Fullerton/Riverside, #74 Riverside/Elston, #74 Elston/Belden, #36 Broadway to Addison, #36 Broadway to Argyle)---the missing two were the Red Line: Lake to State (it was rush-hour, couldn't even get in the station!) and #22: from Fullerton to Belmont.....the Clark bus was only traveling Southbound in pairs, it MUST be mating season!

Anywho, the question at hand is why oh, WHY was I such the mass-transit aficionado?

A lovely gal at my current place of employment is with child and the company is throwing her a surprise luncheon party tomorrow. I had received the memo notifying me of this last week and made a lame attempt to procure a present last Friday only to talk myself out of it---what in the HECK do I know about showering a baby?????

Alas, upon returning to Old Navy tonight to procure the my previous idea, I was greeted with empty metal brackets, the entire metropolis being now sold out of frog-headed hoodie bath towels!

After a dead heat race through the remaining State Street shops and the few Mag Mile boutiques in my tax bracket, I was still without a present de babe. It occurred to me then, that Chi-town, on the whole, is quite single-centric. I am sure there are LOADS of strips malls, mall-malls and outlets stores catering exclusively to swaddling bundles out beyond in "Chicagoland", but for a friend of an expecting urban gal, I was screwed!

Case in Point: One of the premiere spots for many "singles" to shop is The Shops @ Northbridge on Michigan Avenue. Would someone please tell me exactly what one gives a newborn from The Body Shop, Ann Taylor Loft, Forever 21, Kenneth Cole or Swatch?? (yes, to those smug folks who double-checked me, while some stores DO have a token "infant department", I dare you to justify $40+ for a set of booties!)

So, I wandered from Target to Marshall's, to TJ Maxx, to yet another Old Navy and finally to Kohl's where I finally procured a non-sex yellow footed onesie with "Sailor Ducks" and some terry-cloth "Duckie" washcloths. I followed that up with a panicked phone-call to my mother for other drugstore "essentials" to pad my gift, with needed but oft-forgotten items. She provided "Baby Magic" wash/lotion (which I remember from the 70s, but cannot find ANYWHERE in Chicago, anyone?), Baby Oil, Baby Wipes, Butt Cream (this may be a good time to mention that while I think this gal is KICK ASS, as she is one of the few grrrrls in the joint who isn't obsessed with what is on sale @ COACH online or what is acceptable to eat at this week on Stage blah-blah of South Beach and drove a SAG wagon at this year's MS ride while 8+ months pregnant, I still only know her as an occasional creative director on some of my assignments; we're not in the "Hey, didn' t you just LOVE that breast-pump I got you" territory yet.

It should also be mentioned that the super lady in question does not now the sex of her offspring and is Jewish, which frowns on (quite sensibly!) Baby Showers as they are an assumption of what is not here yet. Even with modern technology, birth is still an awesomely supernatural experience and no guarantee of anything.

There was one thing my mother (the nurse) discouraged, which I did not know: Baby Powder.

Apparently there is issue with Talc being inhaled and causing lung problems from to pneumonia to progressive diffuse pulmonary fibrosis, and while corn-starch based powders contain slightly larger particles, it is still better to rely on an oil, cream or even just the built-in wetness protection of conventional plastic diapers than use them.

Who Knew????????

Not I. I guess I bypassed that phase in my life somehow; presently having friends that are either quite a few years from even pondering procreation or already having done the deed.

I have never attended a Baby Shower. I am 33 years old.

The closest I came to showering was an honorary dinner for former freelance cohort C and her hubby B at Heartland Cafe in something like '01? My friend H had a lovely boy last year, but since we had lost contact, there was no shower/gift to attend to. Other than that, it's just family and I've been either in classes, out-of-state, or taking my ACTs.

I guess the point of this whole entry is to highlight the unfortunatness of being pregnant (as I'm sure maternity shops are equally scarce!) or the compatriot of a gestating one in Chicago....I guess we ship them off to the 'burbs to fend for themselves? It seems weird that this is yet another "life experience" for which I was not given any 'heads up', by formal education or famial nurturing---am I to learn of all this "magical" babiness only upon my own procreation?

That just seems a little odd, maybe it's just this past weekend of laze watching "The Crucible", "The Scarlet Letter" and "The Piano", but it seems like while repressed in some means, women in past centuries were better educated about what should be done at what time, innately...not just as a midwife for birthing, but as just a well-wishing neighbor; when a casserole was appreciated, when teething was starting, when to offer to babysit etc.

Is is just me? Anyone else clueless out there?


Anonymous JT said...

so - how about an update? how was the baby shower?

2:50 PM  
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