x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Married Life: Be selective when it comes to baby's purchases

With a baby soon to arrive, the supposedly "essential" items needed for the event can be too much for a small flat to handle, except when it comes to whiz-bang video monitors, that is.

Mr T and I have made a very conscious effort not to allow baby gear to overtake our small, two-bedroom apartment. Granted, we have yet to invest in a stroller and car seat - both items that I think will make their presence very well known in our cramped entrance hallway - but, regardless, we've been picky with our purchases.

For example, why in the world would we need a specific drying rack for baby bottles? Sure, they look nifty - one in particular resembles a lawn, with high blades of grass to grasp onto the bottles and keep them upright - but wouldn't our own drying rack for dishes do just as well, and mean no loss of precious counter space?

Then there are those high chairs that I'm convinced will diminish our dining room's elegance. Besides, babies aren't even supposed to eat until they're six months old, so why get a high chair before that? Why get a high chair at all when there are booster seats I can attach to one of my own dining chairs, hence minimising the baby paraphernalia further?

It is with this mindset that I informed Mr T to scratch off "video monitor" from our list of baby items we are yet to buy. I had noticed he was very taken with the idea of a video monitor, and would gravitate towards the display of these devices every time we'd find ourselves in the overwhelming confines of a baby store.

"I've been researching them online," he informed me one day, "and did you know that some of these video monitors will allow me to see what you and the baby are up to at home from the comfort of my office at work?"

I didn't dwell too much on the fact that Mr T seemed eager to spy on me and Baby A. Instead, I pointed out that half the baby stuff we're told we need is, in reality, just clutter.

"Our apartment is tiny, do we even need a monitor at all, let alone a video monitor?" I asked my husband, who practically shot off the sofa in alarm.

"What do you mean we don't need a monitor? What if we're watching TV really loud and we don't hear the baby crying?"

That made sense - an audio monitor should do, one that is much cheaper than the ridiculously priced video monitors Mr T was obsessed with. And I told him so.

For the first time since I met him, Mr T actually whined. "But I want a video monitor! It's so much cooler than a boring audio monitor. And it's the only baby thing that's a gadget and has anything to do with technology. What do you want me to go buy then? Bibs?"

I tried not to laugh at my earnest husband and agreed that, yes, a video monitor is admittedly a cool gadget that he should be allowed to buy, regardless of the price. I also turned a blind eye to the 20 or so tabs he had open on his browser, all of different video monitors. He takes his research very seriously.

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