When you're expecting a baby, particularly for the first time, you're faced with what can seem like 1001 consumer choices. Daunting and expensive, kitting out your life in time for baby's arrival is a major and — as I've argued here before — overblown exercise.
Because it's Earth Day, and because so many parents are concerned with making choices that are environmentally responsible, it seemed like a good time to let you know about the new Green Baby class at Becoming Maternity, a parenting centre at 350 Eglinton Avenue West.
Putting disposable diapers in a landfill versus having fossil fuel-burning vehicles drive to your house to collect cloth? Organic cloth sleepers versus hand-me-downs? There's a whole lot of factors to consider and "least-worst" options to weigh.
The class at Becoming Maternity, which launched recently with a huge range of services for expectant and new parents, will address how to sort out what you truly need from all those other "must-have" products (baby wipe warmer always comes to mind). It'll also outline how to create a baby- and earth-friendly nursery and home environment, as well as address topics like "elimination communication" (training babies super young, which means fewer diapers).
The class is on May 20th at 6:30 p.m. and the cost is $60. To register, visit the Becoming Maternity website, and call (416) 440-4020.
Check out staff writer Daphne Gordon's piece on going green to tame her expectant mom toxin fears. (In case any of you were wondering, she had a baby boy named Arlo). And read about how going green is second nature for today's school kids.
Cameron will be performing in his school's spring concert tomorrow, which is always super cute and delightfully earnest in its earth-friendly messages. My favourite number from last year was the junior kindergartener rendition of Jack Johnson's "Three Rs."
And as I wrote this time a year ago, our children really are the best emissaries for Earth Day messages. "Every day is Earth Day, Mommy," he said, while helping me haul the compost bin to the curb. Today he was a little disappointed that I wimped out and didn't ride my single-gear bike the 11km to work in the wind and rain, but I took the subway and promised to ride in another day soon.
What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day with your family?
On surprising his father with a performance on the harmonica:
Cameron: "When Daddy comes downstairs I'm going to surprise him by playing the harmonica and you do some of that ballet dancing that you like."
Me: "Hmm, I'm pretty sure Dad will like your harmonica playing better than my ballet dancing."
Cameron: "He likes those tricks that you do. You can just put in some of those."
This comes Arnold Smith, who read my call for cute kid quotes through twitter:
I am of Jamaican descent and my wife is pure Scottish. We have three boys, twins Gavin & Jordan (one with my complexion and one with my wife's) They're 11. And then there's Charlie, 7, an infinite source of both intentional and unintentional laughs. He's lighter skinned than the both of us.
When he was about 5. I was in the back yard with all three. And Charlie kept saying to Gavin "Dad said we could go." Gavin and his selective hearing couldn't seem to hear the word "Dad." Charlie repeated himself "DAD said we could go." Gavin again said, "Who said?" Finally Charlie said loudly, "Dad. You know...the brown guy!" I couldn't help but smile.
Thanks for sharing, Arnold (Charlie is pictured here).
If you haven't seen it already, Francine Kopun's article on the economic impact of maternity leave is worth a read.
It is absolutely true that we can get easily caught up with purchasing stuff before baby arrives. And it gets a little ridiculous. Do we NEED a bum-wipe warmer? Probably our babies can do without. (Designer diaper bag, I'm not so sure... Come on, it's like your purse for a year!)
Now, I've decorated two nurseries in two different houses with rather a lot of enthusiasm (and not enough recognition of the fact both my children are boys). But I have always maintained that no baby is going to come home from the hospital and say, "OMG, I can't BELIEVE you didn't finish the quarter-round on my baseboards. WTF, I'm outta here." Remember that these people can only see 20 cms in front of their faces, for starters. The nursery is about us, our nesting instincts, and feeling like we're doing everything we can to anticipate what cannot be anticipated at all until you've brought a squawking helpless creature into your life, bewildered, slippery, and wanting desperately to get back inside.
"Babies are an inestimable blessing and bother." That's my favourite Mark Twain quote.
There are some great points being made in the comments. Check it out.
Talking to his pal, also 5 1/2, on what it would be like to have a sleepover that lasted "1055 nights:"
"I think when you got home you would be older. I think you would be, like, 6."
Have you got a to-die-for kid quote to share? Send it to me at email@example.com and your kid can stand in for Cameron one day soon.