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.