MEMO TO MY CHILDLESS FRIENDS:
I know that you all mean well. And I'm touched that you care so much about my newborn daughter that you've made the effort to go and buy her a gift. It truly means a lot to us. But I want to take the time to share some honest gift-giving advice that most parents won't tell you because they're too polite. But not me. Here at MetroDad, our unofficial motto is "honesty so truthful, it hurts." So here's the real scoop...
First, we really don't need another baby blanket. Our apartment is awash in a sea of pink baby blankets. At last count, we'd received over 24 of them! We're thinking of stitching them all together into something so big that it would make the AIDS quilt look like a fucking snot rag. We've got so many of them now, I'm praying that all my pregnant friends start having girls so I can re-gift every single one of them (except YOURS of course. YOURS was great!).
Second, always consider the parents when buying clothes for the baby. Living in Manhattan, BossLady and I usually dress in some form of urban black (usually dark jeans and a black shirt.) So what makes you think that we would dress our daughter like an extra from Petticoat Junction? If I walk outside wearing my usual duds and requisite Oakley sunglasses while carrying an Amish-looking baby in a pink frilly lace-covered smock, I'm not going to last 5 minutes before the cops stop me for questioning and issue an Amber Alert!
And lastly, enough with the baby socks! Why would anyone give a baby a pair of socks as a present? How would you feel if someone gave YOU socks? You'd be pretty fucking pissed, right? And yes, I know that these socks will keep the Peanut's feet warm as her circulatory system develops. But I want to know who's the seeing-impaired individual responsible for all these "whimsical" designs and "interesting" colors? I'd rather bind the Peanut's feet in scotch tape than have her wear these fugly socks. Seriously! I put some of the socks on the dog...and the cat started making fun of him.
So what gifts should you consider for a newborn? Here are some suggestions...
1. Vodka, champagne or scotch. Obviously, these are not for the baby. But they'll be greatly appreciated when I've finished rocking the baby to sleep at 4:00 am. And if you bring these gifts, I guarantee that I'll tell my daughter how cool and good-looking you are! And really, isn't that the most important thing?
2. Cash. I know this gift could be considered a little tacky or tasteless. But it's a very Asian thing to give (apparently Confucious never had time to shop). And who am I to deny my heritage? Besides, they don't call it "the gift that keeps on giving" for no reason. And to quote Yogi Berra, the great thing about cash is that "it's just as good as money."
3. Baby books. In all seriousness, these are great gifts. We've received a few from friends and we always write their names in them so that the Peanut will know who gave them to her. She'll treasure these for years. It's especially touching when people give the books that meant the most to them when they were a child. Any time I read the Peanut a book, I tell her who gave it to her and mention a little something about the person.
4. Utilitarian gifts. These are usually the greatest gifts. And they're usually given either by great moms who know better or friends who are more creative. For example, our friend A brought us a giant L.L. Bean bag with the Peanut's name embroidered on it. She then stuffed the bag with all the baby essentials (extra pacifiers, baby cremes, etc) that mommies need. How great is that! Our friend J (the Godfather) gave us a Sharper Image Ionic Air Purifier for the baby room and a gift set of Baby Einstein DVDs. He wrote the Peanut a card saying he wanted her to breathe fresh air and to learn to read as well as mommy and daddy. Awwww!
I know I'm not the only parent out there who thinks like this regarding presents for his newborn, am I? And though I don't want to appear ungrateful (which seems unlikely now), I hate to see people spending their hard-earned money on superfluous gifts. Besides, in gift-giving as in life, I've always been a firm believer that a little imagination goes a long way. The best gifts are always the ones that show the most forethought and creativity. Am I wrong?
Anyway, Internet. What's the WORST gift that you've ever received for your baby? An inquiring mind wants to know! (Winner gets a pink baby blanket)