As I frequently mention, I’m years away from parenting, should everything go according to my slapped together life plan. As I’ve demonstrated by my weekly Are You There Moms? It’s Me, Idiot column, I’m a big giant dummy when it comes to most of what goes into raising human beings. Sure, I’ve spent a good deal of time around kids in various capacities–being an older sibling, cousin, tutor, and nanny–but there’s obviously a great deal of separation between the occasional changed diaper and actual childrearing. When things get dirty, I can hand off to a parent, and escape any real ramifications of interacting with kids.
I feel completely unprepared for any aspect of parenting, and like any person with half a grain of common sense, I’m utterly terrified by the possibility of fertility issues, pregnancy, giving birth, and altering my life completely because I’d be responsible for human life that I’d love more than anything else on Earth. It seems like my fears aren’t completely unfounded–there’s countless products made to keep parents feeling like they’ve got the uncontrollable under control.
To a non-parent, looking at parents interacting with their children can be fairly confusing. The unbelievable amount of accoutrements that kids come with makes me think that kids are just poorly built machines ill equipped to function, and need a barrage of tools used to fix or facilitate their every action. It seems like every single human activity requires a special accessory for babies, and some of them are scary as all hell. Straight up terrifying. Help me.
1. This breast pump, available here
Pumping is super normal and enables women to carry on their normal days in ways that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. But if you’re telling me I’m supposed to be enthused to be hooked up to those milking machines, then there’s a lot we’ll disagree on in the future.
2. This manual breast pump available here
It turns out that things actually get worse, breast pump-wise. This one looks like an air horn, so I’m now picturing that to be the sound effect that goes with each usage. I’d imagine it’d be great for someone who’s REALLY HAPPY THEY’RE PUMPING. Save it for your kid’s high school graduation and make a real scene when he gets his diploma.
3. Bulk Nipples available here
Of course, rubber nipples are necessary for bottle feeding, and giggle factor aside (I double as a bar mitzvah attendee), there’s something deeply upsetting about the “bulk” aspect. I’m not sure how I’d handle finding a giant box full of nipples in somebody’s house, because this looks like something out of a serial killer’s supply closet. You don’t want to know what he uses the nipples for. Okay I’ll tell you. He puts them in his victims’ ears.
4. This kid toilet available here
Where do I even begin? To say I find this creepy would be a significant understatement, but hey, I’ve never tried to potty train a human who’s used to shitting his pants before, so let’s just say I haven’t really lived. I suppose the worst part is that excrement bucket, but I’m finding the portrait to be a bit off-putting. I won’t pretend to understand, and I suppose this throne restores the dignity and power to toilet time. Throne toilets for everyone.
5. Nipple Butter available here
I don’t want to live in an eventuality where I’ll have to butter my nipples. I know it’s coming, but, just let me live with my unbuttered nipples a little bit longer.
6. Nasal aspirator available here
This is a motorized mechanism that goes into your baby’s nose to remove all the snot. And I’m just supposed to be okay with that, I guess.
7. Baby Rectal Thermometer
Are you telling me that we can put a man on the moon but we’re still putting thermometers into baby’s butts? And we’re talking about circumcision as a violation? As my self-taught by Web MD doctor of a boyfriend just chimed in, “Nothing’s as accurate as the butt.”
8. Something called “Butt Paste,” available here
I understand the necessity of this thing, because I actually know what diaper rash is. I don’t recall suffering from it myself, but that’s just because my brain wasn’t formed. I do find this “butt paste” to be very nerve-wracking, indeed. Why does that baby look so creepy? Is it because he ate all the butt paste?
9. Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator available here
Here’s a fun take on the motorized nasal aspirator we saw earlier. I did some perfunctory research and this is apparently very effective at keeping the snot out of your kids’ noses. But it’s also based on the premise that you suck the snot out of your kid’s nose. I’m not really sure that I have the emotional fortitude to deal with that image.
10. Baby Shower Cap available here
Okay, so this one isn’t outwardly scary, but that baby looks so, so sad. That baby can’t even lift her head up (choosing to believe that’s a girl but what do I know) because she is so upset that she has to wear that hilarious umbrella hat. The idea of giving your infant hat-related clinical depression should terrify you, if you have any feelings at all.
I’m sure that once I’m a parent, all of these items will seem perfectly acceptable and won’t be quite so horrifying. It’s not lost on me that it’s probably not the actual products that scare me, but the whole parenting bonanza in general. A freaking snot sucker exists because babies’ noses get clogged and then they can’t breathe and that’s straight out of a horror movie. I’m supposed to be okay with the idea that babies are helpless and could actually be debilitated by snot? God, babies suck. Fuck them. And keep your bulk nipples away from me, please.