Transitioning from infertile to mom-to-be has been more difficult than just changing a mindset. I am still in disbelief that we will be parents in the next year and that our child may actually exist somewhere, either in-utero, in a family, or in a care center. This baffles me – it is a simple yet incredibly complex thought that proves too large for my mind to process. To start to prepare myself, I have been buying little things for the baby. I purchased almost every type of nuk, pacifier, mouth sucky thing one could imagine since I have heard from the “mommy crowd” children have preferences. Once I realized our child will not be bottle trained at the care center, I gave up my quest and am already preparing to apologize profusely for 12 hours of screaming baby on the flight back from Addis. My focus then shifted to small toys that could hopefully distract a child from screaming, so on my last trip to T@rget, I ventured into the baby aisle.
It was weird place, that baby aisle. I was distracted from my quest by a very young pregnant mother whose friend was advising her on which bottles to register for. Sometimes it can be so hard not to pass judgment and believe I know what is right. To avert the internal struggle that was brewing, I moved an aisle over and noticed the rattles. “Focus on the rattles,” I kept telling myself, “you babysat, you should know what kids like.” The problem is that there was not so much “stuff” when I babysat years ago. I was plenty content playing with the pots & pans and wooden spoons as a child, but I will be hard pressed to attempt to get those items past airline security. As a compromise, I tossed some colorful & pleasantly noisy infant teething rattles into my cart. I swallowed my pride and bought plastic toys for our child, but kept telling myself it was alright because there were no batteries. As the cashier scanned my items, I smiled as those shiny plastic hand rattles gave a little beep. It may have only been a beep, but it was the beep that signified that I was finally able to buy something for my child, my real child, the child that will be joining our family very soon.
I had not given much thought to the rattles since that day a little over a week ago until M. announced his presence in the kitchen yesterday morning by shaking a rattle and shouting “Hecho en China.” I chuckled out of courtesy and continued to drink my coffee. He persisted, “Hecho en China” and motioned to throw the rattles in the trash. I moved to intervene as he stated, “You can’t buy anything from China for our child.”
It never occurred to me to look where the toy was made. If I would have taken a moment to read the back of the packaging, I would have seen those 3 words many parents have come to fear and avoid – Made in China. Luckily I have a few months to get my act together.