Friday, July 11, 2008

Bling Baby

I am beginning to think of Babies R Us (henceforth known as BRU) the same way I think of Target. As sort of a benign addiction. For the last three or four months of my pregnancy and the first few of Sophie's life, I was there on a weekly basis. I came to know the aisles and racks of clothes nearly as well as I know my own home. Especially during those early months of stay-at-home-momhood when I didn't know what to do with myself all day, I could always find a reason to get my BRU on.

However, in recent months, as I've found myself more and more occupied with other activities, I haven't been visiting nearly as often. And although I doubt their quarterly earnings have gone down, it certainly has had a positive impact on our checkbook. You see, much like that bastion of consumer debauchery know as Target, I have never gotten out of there for less than $50 and typically it is much more than that. Even when I go in with a very specific list, somehow I walk out with much more than I was supposed to. So when Neil emailed me a link for a travel tote for Sophie's car seat in anticipation of a trip later this month, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to visit my old stomping grounds to see if they carried it or something similar. I would like to say that my motives were pure, that my sole reason for going was to save us shipping charges, but the truth is that I was jonesing for a little BRU. But I promised myself that I would stick to the list...or at least a $50 cap.

We headed out after Sophie's morning nap. It's a fairly short drive, but it felt interminable. When I finally turned into the shopping center, I swear I heard a chorus of angels. Turning into my regular row in the parking lot, at first I was a little sad not to be parking in one of the expecting/new mom spaces up front. But that time has passed and although I feel a little nostalgia for those days, I don't want to be the jerk that parks there when I don't need to. As we unloaded from the car, I swear even Sophie seem to be excited for our little trip.

Passing through the oversize double doors, I got my first whiff of BRU in all its glory. Once in, we went up and down every aisle. Played with all of the toys, fondled all of the clothes, gawked at the pricey strollers and contemplated the different car seats. When a pregnant woman or couple walked by with their registry gun, I wanted to take them by the hand and tell them that they will never use three quarters of the stuff they get and then guide them item by item on what is useful and what is not. Tell them that after the shower, they should return half of the clothes and get the next size up or even two sizes up, because although it broke my heart, I packed away newborn and 3 month clothes that were never worn. But this advice would have fallen on deaf ears. I know because even I didn't listen to those who tried to steer my choices. I just thought "well, my baby will be different." But they were right, and now so am I, but I leave these hopeful folks to their dreams of little fingers and toes.

I found the particular item I had come for and was determined to make it out without buying any extraneous items or going over my $50 limit. I was nearly at the checkout when I spied the clearance clothing rack. Oh, clearance rack, how could I resist thee? With your 75% off signs and oh-so-cute little dresses. I am helpless when confronted with a bargain and will come up with a completely rational (at the time) argument for why this item should be purchased. In the end, I made it out with the travel tote, an outfit, a hat (yes, it says Bling Baby and no, Neil wouldn't let me take her out of the house in it) and a bath toy. For a grand total of $42 after using the 15% off coupon I had! Success! Then I remembered the other reason I was there was a gift certificate for a friend's baby's christening. Damn.

Oh BRU, you get me every time.


  1. Well, I can NOT resist Target. I go there once a week at the minimum. Then, last week I saw that a brand new bru opened just two miles form my office. I am toast.

  2. Um, I just wrote a lengthy comment about how I once sobbed in the aisles of BRU and called my husband at work in the middle of this emotional breakdown because I could not determine which carseat to register for. Then, I accidentally deleted most of the comment. Suffice it to say, I associate BRU with my own feelings of inadequacy and ignorance as a first-time parent. It was not a happy place for me early on.

    Now as a "veteran" (yeah right) mom of two, I had a pleasant visit to BRU last week. I won't be there every day, but I can now view the store with a sense of appreciation.

    As for Target, don't get me started. I could write a book on my love/hate relationship with Target . . . not a book anyone would want to read, but still.

    Loved this post.

  3. I didn't have a BRU near me when my kids were little, but I did have the opportunity to shop there once for a shower gift, and my was it GINORMOUS! Every baby thing you could imagine, and even things I couldn't! I was a little jealous--I'll give you that.

  4. Enjoy your BRU for now. I am finding they don't stock many clothes in Fly's size. (Maybe it's a boy thing? There are waaaay more clothes for girls.) The love affair ends before you know it....

  5. OK...
    So for years I've written the whole store name out. Why couldn't I come up with BRU? Yeesh! You are brilliant.

    I love that store. Used to go to the Mother's Lounge and breastfeed...I mean, I was there that much with my firstborn.

    Good times in BRU...good times.

  6. I used to love BRU. It's a long drive from my house so I didn't have the temptation unless I had to buy formula which I would buy by the case at BRU because it was so much cheaper. After we kicked the formula habit I quit going as much. My last visit was for baby proofing notions, and I was so sad as I realized we had totally outgrown the store. I had some remaining money on a gift card from a return, and had to ask if I could use it at ToysRU instead. O sad day.

  7. To heck with BRU or Target, Get a load of that toothy grin!

  8. Thanks for your comments! Yes, the iphone rates are excessive and I will soon too be a sahm but I couldn't resist. I think the hubby is sick of hearing me complain about every cell phone I've ever had so he figured he would shut me up with the iphone. So far, it's working.

    There's no BRU near me so going there is quite the event. Looking over my registry, I have a feeling I'm like one of the parents to be you described, who register for stuff they don't end up using. I do love the expectant mother parking though. I wish every store had that.

  9. Why is buying things for our kids like TWICE as satisfying as buying something for ourselves????

  10. Heather and MEP - I could write an ENTIRE blog on my love affair with Target. Lucky me there is one just 10 minutes from my house. But the baby section is pretty lean, so BRU takes over in that department.

    Christy - It is ginormous, which is why I have to keep going back and back and back...

    Damselfly - I have noticed they have a much wider girls' selection than boys'. Which isn't always a good thing, as Sophie's overstuffed closet can attest.

    Lula - I can't take credit for BRU but I do love it!

    Merecat - I am finding myself less enthralled with the place than I used to, but it's still a good time.

    Macdady - How about that grin, eh!?

    Bailey - Pick out everything you could ever possibly dream of needing because you just never know and much better to get it as a gift than have to buy it. My real recommendation is SAVE GIFT RECEIPTS!

    Maternal Mirth - Even though she doesn't understand any of it yet, I LOVE buying things for her. I guess that's the "their happiness above our own" bit.

  11. Enjoy your BRU....
    I remember those days like they were yesterday....
    And now when I happen upon BRU only with nostalgia with my tween in tow... Too old for toys, too young for boys...

  12. I absolutely love the "bling baby" hat!! LOL Makes me want to have a baby so I can buy one. Okay, maybe not, but it's still absolutely adorable!!

  13. Not to brag, but I have a Target AND a BRU across the street from work...and did I mention TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and DSW??? Sometimes it is a wonder I return from lunch...


Give me some sugar, baby!