One evening not so long ago, two gigantic cardboard boxes arrived on our doorstep. We sprang eagerly from our seats on the couch, because we’d been anticipating the arrival of the crib and changing table from the faraway land of Tar-jay.

D turned on XM satellite radio’s 60′s on 6 channel, and we set to work opening the boxes, reading the instructions (that was mostly him), taking pictures of D reading the instructions (yes, that was me), and assembling two new and strange pieces of furniture, the Jenny Lind crib and changing table in cherry – all while listening to songs like the Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and the Youngbloods’ “Get Together.” Right around the time we started bickering over putting together the changing table, Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight” started playing.

At one point, it hit me how strange all of this was – how strange that we were doing something so normal. Putting together the crib is the thing they always show in the getting-ready-for-baby movie montages. It’s the cliche. And we were getting to do it!

In everything else about trying to have a child so far, we’ve been deprived of the “normal” things. There has been no pregnancy test with a little plus sign, no jumping up and down afterward, no telling people “we’re pregnant!” in cutesy ways. We don’t get to announce, “our baby is the size of a lime this week!” (which one of our currently pregnant friends charmingly does). We don’t get to post sonogram photos on Facebook or buy teensy newborn socks (yet) or take pics of my belly getting bigger (instead I’m trying to make it smaller!).

But putting together the crib, this we got to do. And I realized, while holding up the rail so D could attach it to the frame, that part of me had never believed we’d get to do even this. It’s still hard to comprehend there will be a baby in this house, but now that there’s a crib, sheets with baby animals on them, wooden stacking rings from Ikea, green felt baskets from Pottery Barn Kids, and a Cookie Monster puppet I just couldn’t resist, well … it all seems a little closer to real.

Almost too real – when I was browsing the aisles at Babies R Us, I began to feel a creeping sensation of panic. Thermometers, pacifiers, hairbrushes, bathtubs, bottles, booster seats, and those bulbous nose-sucker thingies – all in a million varieties! How does one tiny baby need so much stuff, and how do we figure out which nose-sucker thingie, etc. is the right one?

That led to wondering about the tougher questions – how will we know what to do? What if I can’t do it? What if the baby cries, and I don’t know why, and I can’t make him/her stop? What if he/she won’t sleep – ever? What if I’m just plain bad at being a parent?

I called D with these concerns, and he laughed and reassured me. We’ll learn our baby’s cries. We’ll figure it out. Almost every first-time parent knows as little as we do.

And I realized that’s another normal thing we get to do – be terrified.

Still, though, I signed us up for Infant Care and Infant CPR classes … just in case.

Meanwhile, the nursery is getting there. We had to take apart the treadmill to get it out of the room and relocate it to the back bedroom. The changing table is all set up, with my purchases arranged on it so I can admire them, and Cookie Monster seems to be enjoying his new home.

As for the crib, just see how proud (and disheveled) we looked after we assembled it:

crib

We assembled it in the hall, but it’s been moved to the baby’s room. Here’s how we plan to arrange the furniture, most of which we now have (except for the bookshelf, which I still haven’t found, and toy box we don’t find necessary yet):

crib

That big open space to the left is where the fireplace and – at the moment – a fainting couch are located. The fainting couch may or may not stay in the room. We keep forgetting it’s there. The closet is to the left of the rocking chair. I’m pretty satisfied with it – there’s plenty of open space in the middle for playtime once our little tot is old enough to have heaps of hideous plastic toys. The rocker is a vintage walnut one we’ve had for a while, but after sitting in the cushy gliders at Babies R Us, I may have to trade up to a more comfy model.

As for crib bedding, I decided not to do a matchy set. I found a lot of cute ones (my fave was Enchanted Forest), but of course, I always like the expensive ones, and I got freaked out by the possible SIDS risks of crib bumpers, and they all seem to come with them … and valances I don’t need and diaper stackers I probably don’t need and so on. So I decided to just get a few different cute sheets, and I have one clearanced green and white striped quilt from PBK and a duvet and duvet cover from Ikea. I haven’t decided yet on whether I need a dust ruffle. I may supplement with some of the cute Enchanted Forest accessories, like the clothes hamper with an adorable fawn on it. And I’m sticking with the Persian rugs we already have.

So in spite of the huge amount of economy-stimulating I’ve been doing lately in service of the nursery, it’s really not too over-the-top expensive. And I’m pretty much done with the buying part. My goal now is to buy nothing non-essential-to-daily-functioning for an entire month. Wish me luck.

posted by K | filed under Adoption, Bedrooms, Nursery, Shopping Disease | 8 Comments

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