So I actually have two stories that fall into the “Things Should Be Called What They Are” category but I will post the second one at a later date because I’ve learned that when one post gets too long, you people don’t read it, even if I’ve done my damnedest to keep it entertaining throughout.
But fine, you guys are lazy and busy. I get it. I don’t read stuff either. Because Instagram! And texting! And staring at walls blankly whilst in the grips of crippling anxiety!
Anyway a few months ago I was working on my baby registry with my sister, when I noticed something was missing from her list of newborn essentials.
“I’m no expert, but doesn’t the baby need, like, clothes?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she answered, “But Mom will get you all those things when she takes you for the layette.”
“Oh, ok, cool,” I said. And then, the second she left the room, I googled, “What the fuck is a layette?” because seriously WHAT THE FUCK IS A LAYETTE.
I’ll tell you what the fuck a layette is– it’s buying stuff.
There is absolutely no reason for it to have a name other than “we’re going to go to a store and buy some shit the baby can wear for a few months so she’s not always naked and so your neighbors don’t call the police.” I guess referring to it as a “layette” makes it sound fancy and whimsical, but I personally found it unnecessarily confusing and, for lack of a better word, dumb. And to be honest, it caused me a bit of anxiety, like there must be something wrong with me and it must say something about what kind of mother I’m going to be if I don’t even know what a layette is. Which I know is crazy and totally over-analyzing but hi have we met?
But ok. Layette. Free stuff! (for me. Stupidly expensive for my parents.)
So I gave my belly a gentle pat and whispered, “Don’t worry baby girl, I’ll have this shit all figured out by the time you get here,” which was obviously a lie but luckily she knows zero things.
My mom and I went to Lesters on the Upper East Side, where you make an appointment to have a person walk you through what you’ll “need” (in quotes because we all know the only thing newborns NEED are diapers and a boob). Having already done this with my sister, my mom warned me that the saleslady was going to be pushy and try to get us to buy a bunch of unnecessary crapola, so let’s just be as practical as possible. This is easy enough for me– I am generally the queen of practical. What amused me is that my mom was giving me this warning, as when it comes to buying stuff she is about as practical as she is speedy (that’s funnier if you know her and have ever tried to walk alongside her. It’s literally impossible to stay at her snail’s pace if you have more than one working leg.)
So we’re halfway through the layette, and I’m being a total Practical Patty and turning down the more ridiculous items being presented (“Oh, that’s something I throw over my shoulder that she’s going to repeatedly barf on? It’s literal purpose is barf collection? Yeah I’ll take the plain, cheap rags then and forgo the patterened organza and no I don’t need it embroidered because WHAT IS HAPPENING”).
Mom was also totally behaving herself, aside from a few absurd comments such as suggesting that this onesie I picked out was “really more for a boy”:
Me: “Why do you say that, dare I ask?”
Mom: “Well, the animals at the bottom. They’re boy animals.”
To be clear– these. She meant these:
I nodded and tried not to be disturbed by the fact that my mom lives in a world where a girl can’t possibly sport a monkey in a bee t-shirt riding a polka-dotted crocodile, and quietly placed it in the “definitely buying this with your money” pile.
Mom was also confused by my excitement over this get-up, also found in the boys section (because as we all know, fruit is gender-specific), but honestly what is NOT exciting about YAWNING BANANAS HAVING A HEARTY MORNING STRETCH?!!
If you can’t appreciate a sleepy banana waking up to greet the day then your soul is dead and I’m sorry.
But my favorite part, in terms of Mom reminding ME to be practical, was when the saleslady presented us with baby’s “going home from the hospital” outfit choices. That’s fine, I can get on board with purachsing something cute and special for this moment, but I drew the line when she tried to pair it with a $75 matching blanket.
Me: “Oh, I really don’t need the blanket. I already have some blankets.”
Lady: “Yes, but this one MATCHES the outfit.”
Mom: “Yeah, it’s cute, I like how it matches. Look how cute that is.”
Mom: “Why don’t you just get it?”
Me (confused, thinking the plan was to be practical seeing as though SHE TOLD ME THE PLAN WAS TO BE PRACTICAL): “Because, again, I have blankets. Plenty of blankets. And it will be August.”
Saleslady: “But what about for a picture? It’s nice to have a matching blanket and take a nice picture.”
Mom: “Yeah, for a picture, it’ll be cute if it matches. You can put her on the blanket in the matching outfit.”
I did not get the blanket.
And personally, I feel my mom owes me $75.
But all that minor nonsense aside, the layette was a surprisingly pleasant expereince. I say “surprisingly” because generally I hate shopping and making decisions and being overwhelmed and doing stuff that isn’t on my couch.
But I totally recommend it for all you first time moms out there. Let me be clear, though– I’m not recommending “doing a layette,” I’m recommending what it truly is: “getting some shit for your newborn and letting someone else pay for it.”
I guess “layette” looks better on the Lester’s signage.
P.S. Thanks again Mom I lovvvvvveeeee youuuuuuuu!!!!!!!