One of the ancillary benefits of parenthood is the the mailbox jamming flow of catalogues we now receive. BD (Before-Dylan), it was a thrill and a joy to walk out to get the mail and find the Fall edition of Cabelas or, in Regina's case, this month's "Pretty Glamorous Wine House" magazine. Now we receive an avalanche of Baby! Baby! Baby! magazines and catalogues.
My favorite catalogue (now) is called "One Step Ahead" and generally features a fit guy on the cover who looks like he won best dressed in the psych ward. Our Spring Preview 2008 edition is loaded with gems and it reads, surprisingly, a lot like the Sky Mall you'll find in airplanes.
Along with cool gadgets like toddler-leashes and battery operated booger suckers, this season's issue has a few standouts. For example, the "Instant (cushy) Travel Crib." Sounds handy -- until you see that it's little more than mosquito netting over a frame that you place on top of your baby, like trapping a bug under a (breathable) jar. Great for trapping babies in the wild, but a little freaky in your own backyard.
Another favorite is, for $30, the "Baby B'Air," which connects your baby, through a vest and harness system, to your lap belt on an airplane. It claims to "hold baby safely on your lap during flight," but is, "not approved for taxi, takeoff, and landing." So, instead of just, you know, actually holding your baby with your arms during flight, you can strap your kid to your lap. This is useful for either people with no arms or for those who see air travel as their private cocktail hour and cannot be distracted from their gin and tonic.
My personal favorite, found on page 17, is the Wee Block. The heading reads, "Put a Lid on Li'l Squirts!" and is a product which looks like a colorful and miniature version of a catchers' cup. You place the block over your baby boy's weiner during diaper changes to prevent any kind of golden shower. It comes in "Li'l Squirt" or "Wee Wee Man," but I don't know the difference between the two styles. I assume it's a color difference, not an endowed difference.
Of course, all of you parents of boys might just be asking, "Where can I find the Wee Block?" As a father to a girl, pee-facials is one parenting joy I don't have to endure. And yes, I know, I've got it coming to me in about 12 years, but for now, I'm happy not getting peed on and I'm seriously checking out the "Spoon on a Spring" self feeder on page 35.