Archive for the ‘Why the Baby Industry Hates Us Friday’ Category

If You Encourage It To Get Knocked Up, They Will Come

July 17, 2009

bellies and baseball 2It’s only Friday which means you have plenty of time to hit the Jersey Turnpike and make it to Sunday’s “Bellies & Baseball” event at the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium. Yes, from the ad wizards who brought you the New York Mets comes this event featuring:

* Barefoot & Pregnant:
Expectant moms can run (or, more likely, walk) the bases with no shoes on before the game
* Craving Station: A table on the Concourse level will offer pickles, ice cream, anchovy pizza, etc. for pregnant women who crave more than the usual ballpark fare
* Water Break: Two expectant fathers will try to complete a race with water balloons attached to their bodies. The winner is the one who lasts the longest or finishes the race without his water breaking
* 7th Inning Stretch Marks: Pregnant women will be allowed onto the field in the 7th inning to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame
* Lamaze on the Lawn: The Cyclones will offer a Pre-game Lamaze class on the grass in centerfield
* Special Delivery: Any woman who gives birth at the ballpark before the end of the game gets free Cyclones Season Tickets for life for each member of her new family
* Naming Rights: Any expectant mother who agrees to name her child “Brooklyn” or “Cy” gets free Season Tickets for life
* Pregnancy Pitch: Any woman in her third trimester gets to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the game
* Trimester Tricycles: Bike race between expectant fathers between innings

From Cyclones General Manager Steve Cohen, courtesy of the team’s website: “Families are at the heart of our fan base and we’re proud to welcome new families or new members to the family with a night of Brooklyn baseball in their honor.” Ideally, Cohen would like to see a generation of Brooklyn babies who literally grow up with the Cyclones. “Wouldn’t it be great if two people met at a Cyclones game, later gave birth to a child at Bellies & Baseball, and then brought their new family to Baby’s First Ballgame (on August 16th)?” he asked. Cohen also explained that the timing of the announcement gives fans ample opportunity to prepare. “If you want to be involved in Bellies & Baseball but you’re not pregnant yet, there’s still time!”

Awesome. I, too, wholeheartedly endorse a child “literally” growing up with the Cyclones, living amongst them in the clubhouse like Mowgli in The Jungle Book, except this time the bare necessities include anabolic steroids and Gatorade. And who can argue with a couple deciding during the past week to create another human life so as to be able to participate in something called the Seventh Inning Stretch Mark? Finally, the Cyclones might want to tighten up the disclaimer language on that Naming Rights thing, or else they’re going to be shelling out season tickets for life to these folks:


[Thanks to old friend and blogger Raising Two Americans for the tip.]


Why The Baby Industry Hates Us Friday

June 26, 2009

cufflinkspremier_2055_185038704Item: Sonogram Cufflinks
Price: $65

A while back, a co-worker interested in all things baby asked me to send him my sonogram picture. (I should say he’s a delightful chap I know well with his own daughter and grandchildren. It wasn’t some random weirdo from the loading dock or anything.) I was happy to oblige because this particular baby is so gosh darn adorable but as I clicked “Send” it occurred to me, “I’m sending him a picture of my uterus. Is that odd?”

The makers of Sonogram Cufflinks want to go one better: they want my husband to parade around the office, nice restaurants, press conferences, what have you, brandishing a tiny photo of my uterus on his sleeves. As a Boing Boing commenter aptly states: “Hey Bruce, what’s that on your cuffs?” “Oh that? That’s a sonogram image of my unborn progeny as he sits nestled comfortably within my wife’s birth canal. Want to see Polaroids of the conception?” Or as blogger Lemmonex put it when calling these tiny terrors to my attention, “So not OK.”

My favorite part of the ad copy states, “Send us your own sonogram photos.” Er, do they get a lot of people requesting cufflinks featuring other people’s sonogram photos? “Hey Bruce, what’s that on your cuffs?” “Oh that? That’s a sonogram image of your unborn progeny as he sits nestled comfortably within your wife’s birth canal. Want to see Polaroids of the conception?”

From the Handhelds of Babes

April 16, 2009

th-10_dsocoreyandellenA friend called my attention to something that, were it being produced for sale, might have been the greatest Why the Baby Industry Hates Us Friday product of all time. It’s the Kickbee, designed by a dude who wanted to allow his unborn son’s kicks to register on Twitter so he could partake in the development along with his wife.

The Kickbee relies on sensors hidden in that stylish obi his wife’s wearing in the picture. The sensors do something technical-y and transmit via a Bluetoothish thingamajob and somehow through the magic of nerd science it all ends up on Twitter as:


I find no fault with the inventor dude. Sure his device is vaguely weird but at its core it’s sort of sweet. And Lord knows I’m not about to risk losing my loyal contingent of engineering school alum readers here.

No, I find fault with the baby. “I kicked Mommy,” over and over? That’s the best this kid can come up with? He’s in there for like five months at this point and he’s got nothing else to share with the world? Little guy’s not exactly on track for a Pulitzer, if you know what I’m sayin’.

So I picked up the phone and asked the Kickbee inventor to send me one, lest the world be robbed of my own child’s tweets. Here follows her Twitter feed for the last 24 hours:




It’s about bloody time she let me talk on this blog. Last I checked, it was about me, no?
4 seconds ago from Twitterbelly feed

Fresh OJ for breakfast. A 2009 California. Excellent year, busy but never precocious bouquet, the flavors opened up nicely.
about 1 hour ago from Twitterbelly feed

What the what?! Why are we getting up now?! I had a lot of work to do around the bed today!
about 1 hour ago from Twitterbelly feed

Boooooring. I’m going to start poking her in the bladder so she has to get up. She’ll enjoy that. It’s my signature 3 a.m. move.
about 4 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

Why are we going to bed?! Blast! I’m not tired! Stop singing that…lullabye…I can’t resist its charm…zzz.
about 9 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

@jimmyfallon #LateNight God bless you for trying.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

Wonder who Colbert’s got on tonight. Oh sweet fancy Moses it’s Jonah Goldberg! GAH! Change the channel! Change the channel!
about 8 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

I’ve said it before I’ll say it again, Colbert is a genius. “You’re on notice!” Heh heh, I wouldn’t want to be a bear right now.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

Speaking of tea, I could go for a nice decaf oolong. Send it down, woman!
about 12 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

Pity these tea party buffoons don’t realize the taxes they’re protesting were the same under that last nincompoop.
about 12 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

@rachemaddow Enough with the juvenile teabagging jokes. We get it, it also means something dirty. Move on dot org.
about 12 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

Orioles in first place. Sox in last. That’s a world I want to be born in. I’m assuming there’s no historical precedent for that ranking changing by my August arrival. Capital.
about 16 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

Can’t help but notice the flow of Cadbury Creme Eggs has slowed considerably in the last two days. What gives, woman?
about 19 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

Take a memo for me, mother. Convey to that chap who just spoke that that’s literally the dumbest idea I’ve heard in my five months of existence. And I’ve heard you suggest that you want to try using cloth diapers.
about 22 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

Meeting time = kickin’ time. Good luck with the poker face, woman.
about 22 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

@barryobama No, I was being serious, guy. Bo is a stupid name for a dog.
about 23 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

God, again with the working. “Ooh I’m an important writer making the world better for children blahbity blah,” Puhlease operate that rodent-like clicking device and see what Auntie Jo has on Elle.
about 24 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

You tell Judy that if she stays a doormat he’s never going to propose to her. Also tell her not to forget the new cover sheet for her TPS report. Also tell her that shade of red isn’t working for her.
about 26 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

Wheee! We’re in the motor coach! Bouncy bouncy! Off to the office to earn 1/80th of my future daycare expenses!
about 26 hours ago from Twitterbelly feed

Why the Baby Industry Hates Us Friday

April 3, 2009

babysnuggiesingle And now this is why all of your ocular cavities hate you.

The Peekaru

This picture has been making the rounds this week and many alert readers and friends sent it to me. Momentarily forgetting I live in America in 2009, I assumed it was a joke. Of course it’s not. The Peekaru by TogetherBe is a vest that zips over baby carriers, allowing your baby the freedom to stay warm as he pokes his head out and pleads with passersby, “Call the Department of Child Welfare. Call them now! Wait, where the $&@% are you going, dude?! Help meeeee…” Ad copy on the company’s website focuses more on the fact that it’s made from 85 percent recycled material than the actual benefit of using it for your child. Each one “keeps approximately 25 plastic bottles from reaching the landfill,” according to the folks at TogetherBe. Super. Environment first. Baby’s mental health second.

Interestingly, the much-mocked photo above is now missing from the company’s website. Only those showing the baby with its head totally out of the hole—a marginal improvement—are available. Perhaps the company realized when faced with heaping bowlfuls of Internet scorn that something evocative of Total Recall and Alien isn’t likely to ring up a lot of sales on Main Street. This photo is available though and I think the baby’s expression comes closest to capturing the product’s je ne sai qua:


“This is my life isn’t it? First it was the organic, fair-trade baby wipes she ordered from the Guatemalan village co-op. Now this. She’s going to write all my college entrance essays isn’t she? Next thing I know I’m 40, my wife is wondering why I have that obsession with gophers and I’m staring in the bathroom mirror wondering where my life went. Someone get me a double bourbon. I beg you.”

Why the Baby Industry Hates Us Friday

March 13, 2009

wileycoyoteThis week’s toe dip into furniture purchasing had me turning to two respected sources:, which lets you know which high chair won’t burst into flames if you spill applesauce on it, and Baby Bargains, a book akin to the Bible for parents trying to figure out whether they must spend $700 on a baby monitor. (Turns out, you don’t need one that delivers continuous feedout on oxygen levels in the baby’s room and the current status of the stock market. Who knew?!) Included on Consumer Reports and in Baby Bargains are tips for first-time parent shoppers–a demographic characterized by their glazed eyes, fear tremors, and the buckets of cash they hold out to anyone who approaches them touting a product’s ability to prevent their child from ever getting a cold or having to attend a gamblers anonymous meeting.

A few tips that offer succinct proof of WtBIHU:

* On cribs — “Some stores purposely loosen the screws on the floor models of less expensive cribs so that when you’re checking them out they seem more rickety than their pricey counterparts.”
Do they teach this move in Looney Tunes Sales Academy? Apparently if you walk into a store and hear “nyuk, nyuk, nyuk,” or see the salesman twirling his mustache you should turn tail and get back in the car.

* On mattresses — “Some baby stores are trying a new tactic to sell their pricey in-house brand of crib mattress: scaring the pants off new parents. We’ve heard all the stories–only OUR mattress fits OUR crib, a simpler foam mattress is DANGEROUS for your baby.”
Apparently the, “ain’t my problem if you buy something that kills your kid, ‘cuz I warned you” is a classic. Special place in Hell for anyone employing this tactic.

* On furniture pedigree [italics emphasis theirs, not mine] — An important point: don’t assume you are getting a crib made in Italy because the brand has an Italian name.”
OK, on this one I’m actually going to side with retailers. If you’re mentally feeble enough to walk into the store with this notion then you deserve the finest Bambino di Napoli Piccolo Principessa Crib slapped together by Chinese child laborers that money can buy. That the Baby Bargains folks felt the need to emphasize this concerns me, as it seems to indicate that the American public might just be that thick.

Of course the American public also makes the Olive Garden the top-selling “Italian” restaurant in every town in which it is located.

Why the Baby Industry Understands Me Like Few Others Friday

March 6, 2009
sleepingbeautyOhhh, I see three special ladies who need Snoogles, pronto!

You may have noticed from the title that I’m feeling somewhat generous this week. Today I am downright chipper, owing to the fact that I woke 45 minutes earlier than usual because I was that well-rested, thanks to the inaugural night with the Snoogle. Clearly realizing how important the shipment was, Amazon got it to me in 48 hours even though I’d cheaped out and used free Super Saver shipping which typically means it will be sent on a camel caravan via the Alps.

What can I say about the Snoogle? Everything it promises it delivers. It perfectly supported my delicate preggers ladyparts, giving me a full night’s sleep in which I did not wake multiple times fearing that I was damaging my offspring with selfish, inferior vena cava-smushing back-sleeping. The good people at Leachco (oh, that name! finally a little irony in the baby industry!) deserve a Nobel Peace Prize, a Congressional Medal of Honor, a Pulitzer, and an ESPY, as does Mike the tipster who alerted me to the thing in the first place. I will honor Leachco the best way I know how: I will not mock them on this, the day I set aside for mocking.

I Snoogle, Therefore I Am

March 4, 2009

What elevates a wangdoodle product above “Why the Baby Industry Hates Us Fridays” scorn? If I buy it, that’s what. Meet the Snoogle.


Yep, as of 8 p.m. last night, I own that. (The pillow, not the lady. She was extra and I’m on a strict budget.) The Snoogle is not just any pillow. There’s a practical need for this thing, I swear.

Around the 16-week mark in a pregnancy, women aren’t supposed to sleep on their backs  because it loads the baby’s weight onto the spine, back muscles, and some important vein with a Latin name that helps blood circulate to the baby. So every hour or so I’m sputtering awake thinking, “Crap, I’m sleeping on my back and probably damaging my kid. It’s going to end up at a state school ruled by the drunken jockocracy. Backwards baseball caps everywhere…” Doesn’t exactly make for a restful night of sleep.

When alert Baby Bird tipster Mike called the Snoogle to my attention yesterday and said his wife swore by it during her two pregnancies I was intrigued but reluctant to part with the 50 clams for it. However, my husband talked me into it. Already a fan of multi-pillow sleeping, he apparently has post-natal designs on it cradling his delicate mancurves for the long haul. Indeed, the Snoogle seems to have a long shelf life, according to the images on this chart that comes with it:


Feel free to share your own post-baby Snoogle use ideas in the comments.

Why the Baby Industry Hates Us Fridays

February 20, 2009

Product: “Sympathy” Daddy Teebumpguy2
The Pitch: Sporting a sympathy [bump] he’s just showing his support. These super funky [bump]-daddy tees give dads-to-be credit for their part. Remember it takes two to tango so let him stand proud and relish in his success with a sense of humor.
Cost: $46

Reasons why this T-shirt should irritate the everloving stuffing out of any pregnant wife if it ever appears in her household:

1. Spending $46 on a novelty T-shirt, when couples staring down the barrel of college tuition costs should be socking away approximately $9,240 a month before their child is even born? Genius.
2. Turning “bump” into an acronym for “baby under manufacturing purposes” is bubblegum blech to begin with. Your man deciding to trot the expression  around town on his chest is a little, er, lack-of-confidence inspiring.
3. The notion that this T-shirt gives a husband “credit for his part.” Because we’re visibly hogging all the credit with our swelling appendages, haywire complexions, and oh-my-God-I’m-gonna vomit facial contortions. Besides, we’re giving you plenty of credit when, after vomiting, we narrow our eyes to slits, poke your chest and say, “You did this to me.”
4. The concept of this T-shirt conveying his sympathy. I’ve been working through the math in my head and I’m not sure how this overpriced, too-cute-by-half T-shirt is supposed to ameliorate pregnant chicks who’ve been dealing with the carnival of delights that includes but is not limited to: sleeplessness, heartburn, nausea, inability to go to the toity but every four days, loss of appetite, ravenous appetite, horrific taste in mouth all day, breakouts, and exhaustion. One’s dude slipping this little number on over the gut that he obtained during too many post-kickball beer pong tournaments “in sympathy” isn’t quite balancing the scales.

You want to show sympathy? Rub her back.

Why The Baby Industry Hates Us Friday

February 13, 2009

Product: Prenate DHA prenatal vitamins


Perhaps it’s a torture of my own making, going so quickly from wedding planning to gestation. Having just been released from the clutches of the bridal industrial complex–which reminded me regularly that failure to make certain expenditures doomed me to a life of misery–I now face the gaping jaws of the baby industry which would politely like to inform me that failure to make certain expenditures dooms my offspring to a life of misery.

State’s Exhibit A: The little nipper on my prenatal vitamins above. He’s wearing a graduation cap. Why that’s odd, considering that he just recently sprang forth from the womb. Unless they’re implying that he just graduated from Uterine University (motto, “In Umbilical Funis Speramus“) he should really have no need yet for such ceremonial garb. Not so! Because clearly, moms who don’t take Prenate DHA have children who end up collecting tolls at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. (And don’t think it coincidence that the dame on the box is a pretty reasonable cartoon facsimile of me. If I know the pharmaceutical industry, they have enough satellite imagerymarket research to gin up a box that speaks directly to my redheaded, green-eyed, headband-wearing self.) Please also note that the mortar board baby is winking, as if to say, “What’s it going to be, mother? Yale or employee of the month at Chuey’s Chalupa Shak? Your call.”

It’s going to be a long six months.