Saturday, July 30th, 2005
The Rule of Threes
"The only true wisdom consists of knowing that you know nothing," â€“ Bill S. Preston, Esquire.
Beware parents-to-be of the awesome power of the Rule of Threes.
1. The first baby product you buy â€“ pacifiers, bibs or bottles, for example â€“ is your best guess at filling a need you know nothing about. But ignorance is bliss, and you are proud of your purchase. You feel prepared, like this parenting thing might not be so difficult after all.
Then the baby comes home, the field testing begins and your dream world falls apart. The pacifier is impossible to keep clean because it doesn’t have a carrying case. The bib doesn’t absorb anything because it is plastic. The milk bottle uses a proprietary nipple that makes your baby drool milk.
2. Between the first and second month you revise your gear supply by re-buying new everything. Comparing products on the web is nice, but photos can be deceiving. So you visit every baby store in town comparing every product variation as the power of hindsight lifts your spirit and your pocket book.
Your shopping binge brings soothing relief and confidence that you have done right by your child by finding the very best baby gear possible. You even consider starting a baby blog so that you can share your master experience with other parents.
3. Alas, you are but a fool. Somewhere between the third and six month, on a Wednesday, at 3:23 a.m., while rocking your cranky-from-an-ear-infection infant, you have an epiphany. Change is the only constant in parenting.
The third version of the baby item you bought yesterday might be perfect, or not. You know that now. But you also know you have exhausted your financial liberties with your spouse. Your quest is at an end.