Once paperwork was completed, we were given a list of the 468 essential baby items, issued a canteen of Dasani Spring Water and sent into active duty, armed with a barcode scanner gun. We set out to forge 16-square acres of foreign consumerland - a far cry from my Hippie Earth Mother days of breastfeeding and homebirthing and Continuum Concept Parenting. We began our march. She proceeded to shoot everything in sight, because that's what you do. You shoot everything. You need everything. Babies R Us says so, and they must know. Combat booties. Rectal thermometers. Camouflage diaper covers. Miniature portable prisons and leashes and electronic babysitters and 2-way radios and something called a Keeper akin to a prisoner-of-war torture device that allows you to hang your offspring over the latrine door like an old coat, while you take care of business. And while we're on the subject of latrines, the Winnie-the-Pooh pottie chair is a must-have. (A Pooh Poo Chair? Really?)
After a good hour of listening to the cadence of mobiles and music boxes and baby sing-a-longs, we discovered what could only be the war room: a cushy little nook in the back of the baby wilderness with a circle of amazingly comfortable recliners where general decisions are made and major problems are solved. We sat down. We breathed. After a few minutes away from combat, our heads cleared, and my daughter looked at me and said, "What did I sign up for?" Then she took out the "delete" barcode and began to systematically eliminate all the unnecessary items from her registry like a military sniper. What was left were some cloth nursing pads, a couple of BPA-free pacifiers, a carseat and a few miscellaneous items. Some basics may have become collateral damage in the onslaught, but she decided she could always add them back online.
Looking proud of herself, she said, "What now?" My reply was "diapers and wipes". So we forged past the name-brand chemical-laden plastics and went toward the more "green-friendly" disposables. She scanned a couple of each, then looked at me and said, "Just how many diapers will I need?" So I gave her the coordinates: 8 to 12 a day as a newborn, 6 to 10 as a baby, 4 to 6 as a toddler, with the average "Tour of Doodie" being 30 to 36 months. She looked up and to the left to engage the mostly unused left-side of her brain, mumbled something about "20 or 30 to a pack", then exclaimed, "That's like a million boxes of diapers!" Then she pointed the gun and open fired on the diaper barcodes.
After that we found a supply officer who was able to help us fill out the requisition forms for a pair of Pants, Khaki Maternity. Knowing we could potentially face a courtmartial for not completing the orders for "essential items", we utilized our best covert evasion techniques to return the Barcode Weapon and escaped out of enemy territory without qualifying for a Purple Heart.