My precious bundles of joy were born five and a half years ago. I remember talking to parents of slightly older children, who oohed and aahed over the new technology available to me that wasn’t around when their children were born. Like the baby swing that rotated so that it swung side-to-side as well as back-and-forth. Or video monitors! Even though the screens were about an inch across and as staticky as the scary parts of Poltergeist.
I naively thought that when my children were born in late 2007, everything baby-related had been invented. I mean, what other cool stuff could they possibly come up with?
Well, smartphones, for one. The iPhone had just come out that year, but hardly anyone I knew had one, so all those cool apps that moms use now were only a pipe dream. Tracking the babies’ feedings was done with good ol’ pen and paper. Maybe an Excel spreadsheet if we were being fancy.
To eavesdrop on our infants, we used (and still use – do you know how funny five year olds’ conversations are when they don’t think you’re listening?) a regular old audio-only monitor. Now you can have a setup with multiple cameras, in full color, that can be accessed from your smartphone, iPad, laptop, or probably a chip implanted in your skull.
On the subject of baby swings, who really knew how advanced they could get? The first time I saw a friend’s newborn napping in this space age pod-like device, I was frankly a little frightened. Until I saw how happy her kid was, that is. You can plug your iPod in, set it to the “bouncing kangaroo” setting, and off the baby goes to la-la land. Frankly, I was thrilled when a friend lent me a swing that plugged into the wall instead of gobbling D batteries like they were popcorn.
One of the things I obsessed over before we found out we were having triplets was strollers. I wanted the coolest, most awesome stroller ever. Then you find out you’re having triplets and your only choices are bad, terrible, and the kind of awesome stroller that requires a second mortgage. We got the first one, my mom had the second one, and I was over the moon when some friends chipped in to buy us the third. That thing had a freaking steering wheel! I remember feeling so sorry for the moms whose kids were born before the steering wheel model came out.
And then this awesome stroller from Australia came out. Two kids on the bottom, one at the top. You couldn’t even tell they were triplets right away, so you could avoid the
20 13 questions you’d get with the other triple strollers. But by the time they came around, my kids were outgrowing strollers.
Nowadays you have Rock ‘n’ Plays and bottles shaped like breasts and swaddling devices that future Houdinis can’t escape from. Shockingly, my babies survived their infancy and don’t have complexes about everything they missed out on. Too bad Mommy can’t say the same…