The Mailman hates me.
Or mail lady. Mailperson? Whatever. That poor schmuck has a massive hate on for me. They must. Have to. Because as a maternity-leave home-bound mom to an almost 5 month old, I spend a lot of time shopping. Online. And oh, do their aching backs delivering all my packages know it.
First, there's the shopping "routines". These are the sites that offer cheap baby stuff on a first come, first served basis at a set time every day, like BabySteals (which my husband refers to as THE DEVIL) or Ecobabybuys.com. Just the premise of these sites makes me more likely to whip out the credit card, because if I don't buy it RIGHTNOW? It might be gone. Never mind I already have three diaper bags; that one on the site right now for 58% off might be The One, the mythical diaper bag to end all diaper bags, and what the hell, can't hurt to buy it, it's so cheap, right? Ha! At least, when I go to re-sell them all because I have more than I can possibly ever use, I can pretend I paid full price. Right? Ugh.
Then there's the stealth shopping queues, like the articles I'm reading in the parenting magazines or the newspapers or whatever, the articles that tell me about the Greatest Educational Toys In The World, the toys that, if your child plays with them, will cause them to solve world hunger or maybe become the next Versace or something. And because I have little to no adult conversation during most of my days to talk me down, I immediately jump to the internets to find that toy and order it for my little budding genius. Because it's good for her brain. Never mind she's more likely to find the box the truly interesting part and I could just go down to Canada Post and pay $5.99 for said box and save myself the trouble.
But the real danger around here? Books. This is red alert season for me: It's the pre-Christmas book blitz, where every author in the world is out hawking their publications, telling you about the book they just published that will change the world, and all of them seem to be doing interviews on CBC radio. Which is on pretty much 24/7 around here. Why, just last week, Po Bronson was on The Current, talking about his theories on children and praise and children and sleep, and did you know he just published a book with all of this great stuff - and more? And as if that wasn't enough, Alison Gopnik just released The Philosophical Baby, which tells us that babies are not only smarter than we thought they were, they are in fact smarter than we are. How could I be a good parent without immediately dashing to the Chapters website and ordering these books? And tossing in a couple copies of But Not The Hippopotamus to get free shipping?
Just last week alone, six books and a parcel arrived in the mailbox. The mail carrier (aha! There's the appropriate gender-neutral term!) rings the doorbell, silently hands me yet another recycled cardboard package, and gives me a faint judgmental smile. You seriously need to get out more.
But how can I, when I have all these books to read?