Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
Facebook creative writing
A Facebook friend, and recently babyfied mother, posted a link to The Story of Stuff on her Facebook ‘wall’ this week. The following 20 minute video summarizes everything that is wrong with our consumption of products today.
She watched it with a perspective on how she’s approaching baby products. Namely, she requested only used items for her baby shower and suggested to guests a couple second-hand stores that could easily meet the need.
In this quickie blog post I’m pasting a couple of my comments from the Facebook discussion about stuff…
They should produce a follow-up video: The Story of Stuff at Birthday Parties. Nothing brings stuff into your home faster than birthday parties — age-inappropriate plastic junk from goodie bags. At our own parties, we do a used book exchange. No junk goes home, and any gifts we dislike are easily donated to charity.
Comment #2 (responding to a request to share additional ideas):
Give birth to several children of the same gender to maximize reuse. Just kidding, but if space allows, don’t get rid of major items until the third birthday, just to be sure.
Gender neutral products help in that regard. I don’t really care, but eventually babies grow hair and their gender becomes discernible by random strangers and the strangers look at you weird. You’d like to think the weird looks are because your boy is still wearing pajamas at three in the afternoon, but really it’s because the boy is dressed in pink from head to toe.
Your innate desire to be socially accepted by society does battle with your disdain for polluting the planet, and the next thing you know, you’re explaining to your spouse that you shaved your boy’s head so as to obfuscate his gender and save the Earth. This works for the first 18 months, and then you have to purchase baby-safe clip-on earrings, which happen to be very hard to find in the used baby product market because most have been swallowed, so begin looking now.
Another Facebook friend, and recently babyfied father, lamented over the weekend that he would be returning from paternity leave on Monday.
Canada, my friend. 35 weeks parental leave, on top of 15 weeks maternity leave, and, you know, the whole giving birth for free thing. [Any Canadians who feel I've oversold their country, feel free to speak up. I view parental leave and inexpensive universal healthcare to be both a moral issue and one vital to the functioning of a productive society.]
On the plus side, you’ll enjoy coming home from work even more. If it’s not done already, it’s time to kick start participation in mommy groups so Mom has a support circle during the week. That’s one thing you’re blissfully spared from — the initial fawning of moms over how cute it is to see a daddy caring for a baby, and then the evil streak of darkness that emerges when they realize you’re better at it than them.