08 November 2009

I am in the Wrong Business

Fo' real, yo. Before A was born, we had it All Planned Out. I would breast feed. I would make all of her baby food when the time came. Our biggest expenditures would be the initial outlay for the necessities - crib, car seat, furniture for her room. Diapers would cost, but since we weren't going to have to buy formula or later, jarred food, it would even out in the end.

Our budget was perfect. We could do this!

Until she was a month old and my milk dried up. The only explanation I was given in the end was, "Well, sometimes it just happens." I had the right diet. I pumped. I fed. But one day, the flow slowed to a trickle and the trickle, well, petered out. I felt so guilty. I cried. I blamed myself. I cursed my mammaries. And with a heavy heart, I bought a great big tin of formula...then promptly had a heart attack at the register.

I tried to convince myself that the tin was huge, it would last a few weeks. It lasted a few days. Now, I'm not a math whiz, but I can do some simple multiplication and addition in my head and after doing the simple multiplication and addition in my head, I took to my bed for a week.

Fortunately, as with everything else, A started early on food. I steamed and baked, mashed and pureed...and found that while vegetables were easy, fruit and meats were not. She didn't like them when I made them - but she loved the jarred variety. [facepalm] In the end, I bought her food while continuing to make what I knew she would eat homemade.

Through it all, we never sterilized her bottles in a fancy sterilizer; never warmed her wipes; and we never bought a tool specifically for making baby food at home.

In the end though, I wish I'd thought of this. As if it weren't expensive enough to keep a non-breast feeding infant alive (30+ dollars for 2 - 3 days worth of food? Really?! Bastards!), now we're innundated with absolutely silly non-essentials that are being pushed out as MUSTHAVETHISORYOUREACHILDABUSER items.

Case in point? 150.00 + tax to make baby food in your own home. Because paying nothing for a comprehensive collection of recipes and advice, learning how to steam using a regular steamer or *gasp* pot and basket and utilizing a common blender or food processor just isn't good enough for our baby.

In my next life, I will come back as a member of the Nestle or Gerber family...oh wait...they're the same now...or I will invent a totally unnecessary tool for new parents and charge them a fortune and hire an advertiser to make sure that they feel like VERY BAD PARENTS if they opt out of spending said fortune on this item.

I suppose for now, though, I'll stick with being just another overworked, underpaid employee of the government who will continue to believe that makers of baby formula are the true Evil Empire and scions of greed and who will continue to shake her head and sigh when she sees how easily fools and their money really are parted. (I love this link - it's better than part 1.)

Oh...and who will wish that she had been blessed with no soul and the creative ingenuity to be part of this class of inventors and marketing geniuses. After all, I only hate corporate greed because I haven't seen a dime from it myself.

What were your biggest gripes when it came to baby products? What item do you see all of the time but think is the most unnecessary?


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