Friday, July 30, 2010

Bird brain.

I think I figured out why they call it nesting. One day you're a fairly normal person and then suddenly (perhaps after an appointment with your prenatal care provider where she reminds you that you will have a new baby in your home...SOON), it's as if a bird flies into your head through your ear (probably while you're napping) and builds a big ol' messy nest where your brain once was. Where normal, rational thoughts used to grow, now there's nothing but twigs and grass and chewing gum (my mom convinced me from a very early age that discarded gum is how birds hold their nests together - that's why it was okay that she spit her gum out the car window that one time and why I should stop calling her Litter Bug).

Suddenly you are consumed with an innate desire to PREPARE FOR BABY. NOW! All else falls to the wayside as you drag every last baby item out of the basement, set up the crib, wash and fold all the 0-3 month clothes, pack the diaper bag, disinfect the toys, sterilize the bottles, set up the swing and the bouncy chair and the car seat and the stroller, take inventory of all the things you have and all the things you need and obsess, obsess, OBSESS until every last detail is in place and ready for baby.

I procrastinated just enough that all this nonsense took place over one fast and furious weekend. Well, most of it anyway. By Sunday night a few weeks ago everything was found and washed and ready except for two things: our crib mobile and our infant car seat. Pretty good, right? Not to me. When you have a nest in your head, being this close to perfect just pisses you off. Who cares if you have a perfectly made up crib and a dresser full of adorable clothes and oodles of toys and diapers and bottles and everything else you could possibly need if you're missing a piece for your mobile and the canopy for your car seat has gone MIA? That's enough to justify full blown hysteria!

I tried to tackle these problems rationally but it just didn't work out that way. After several days of scouring the house and the basement looking for the missing piece of the mobile and wondering, Did I really see all of the parts when I first opened that box or am I imagining things? Why would we have packed something away if it was missing a piece? Have I looked in the laundry room in the last hour? Maybe I'll look again just in case... I finally had to hide the damn thing in Finn's closet just so it would stop taunting me. If the piece turns up, fine. If it doesn't, whatever. Maybe I'll revisit the importance of a crib mobile at another time but for now, out of sight, out of mind (and boy howdy was I out of my mind!).

As for the car seat canopy, I immediately took a different approach. Unlike a crib mobile, a car seat is non-negotiable. I can't just hide it in the closet and hope for the problem to solve itself. Not that the shade canopy is technically paramount for safety but it does seem mighty important. But because I have a vague recollection that the canopy really is lost and not just messing with me like that stupid missing mobile piece, it was easy for me to skip searching the basement and go straight to searching the Internet.

Besides, I never really loved our car seat to begin with. I mean, it's fine and it definitely does the job but had I known when I bought it that it would be as much an accessory as the diaper bag for the first six months of baby's life, I probably would have chosen more thoughtfully. Safety is most important, of course, but there's no reason something can't be safe and cute.

As soon as I hopped online, my desire for something cute grew exponentially. I had no idea how many adorable ways there were to pimp your car seat! Sure, some of the car seat covers I found cost more than the car seat itself (like, a lot more) but I didn't care. I was in the zone! I had managed to convince myself that having a cute car seat was absolutely essential and I wasn't going to stop until I had one in hand.

It took most of the afternoon but I finally found The One. (I am incredibly picky on a normal day but when there's a nest in my head? Forget about it.)

How cute is that? And it's a bird print - ha!

Once I found it I became completely insane. While I am decisive about what I want, I tend to be really indecisive about purchasing what I want. I think it's the whole not having a job thing. I mean, you do the math: no income + $65 for something adorable yet arguably unnecessary + shipping = kind of a big deal. I felt compelled to spend the next couple hours justifying the fact that I was totally going to buy it (some of the car seat covers are like $200...this is the cutest one I found and it's a total steal...just think about all the money we're saving on reusing our crib and our stroller and everything else we already have...). Even though the pep-talk was really for myself, I was still pretty excited when Bill gave me the go-ahead. When I told him I pulled the trigger, I think he was pleasantly surprised. It's not unusual for his support to act like unintentional reverse psychology. He says "buy it!" and suddenly I don't want it anymore.

I waited patiently (yeah right) for a couple of days before the whole nesting insanity started to take over again. I checked my order online and found that it had been placed on hold. When I inquired with the company I found that it was out of stock - they could make me another one but it would be several weeks before it would be ready. Several weeks?! No way could I wait that long. Not in my condition. So I canceled my order and purchased the same cover from a different company I found online. I'm going to stop right here and spare you the excruciating play-by-play. Let's just say 10 days, four canceled orders, and many hours spent combing the Internet later, I gave up and bought a replacement cover for my car seat from Graco directly.

It's no Earthy Owls (sniff), but it's much cuter than my old car seat and looks perfect with this adorable blankie I got at my baby shower.

Swaddled model - my baldie from 1st grade, Mel Robertson!

On the upside, if I am still nutso insane about my car seat after our baby is born (doubtful), I will know exactly where to look to purchase a fancy pants new cover. While several companies carried the same inventory, Trendy Tots ~n~ Polka Dots was a bright and shining star when it came to customer service. She seemed to totally understand my unwillingness to choose something different or wait a couple of weeks for what I wanted. Like my nesting behavior was a perfectly normal thing that she deals with every single day. While I know I am being completely unreasonable, I appreciate anyone who makes me feel like I'm not.

So that's the end of the car seat cover saga. And hopefully with it the end of this stupid nesting!

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