Remember those ridiculous pair of overpriced heels that make your heart burn every time you see them sitting daintily in the show rack because there's no way you can actually wear them and survive to tell the tale? This list is the parenting equivalent of those heels. Oh-so-essential in the heat of the moment but completely frivolous in retrospect. I hope this list makes you laugh, because an excited "Et tu!?" is a whole lot better than, "Was I the only idiot who thought this was a good idea?" Enjoy!
The first birthday party
I am yet to see a single child enjoy her own first birthday party. A lovely grand hall decorated in the mother or father's favourite colours, an evening planned around her sibling's favourite cartoon character, a lovely cake that only the guests will enjoy because the parents are too busy calming the birthday baby who is howling due to all the unwanted attention, a dozen-odd (conservative number) kids (that she might not even grow up to be friends with!) making such a ruckus that you want to go back in time and kick your naïve self for thinking this party was a good idea. And who can forget the entertainers and take-away gifts. A lot of expense over something she would never remember. Sounds familiar? You're not alone.
Onesies for a newbie
Whoever thought that onesies were appropriate clothing for a newborn, was obviously not a parent. Supporting a newbie and her wobbly head with one hand and pushing the clothes down on her with the other is a skill comparable to oh, I don't know, performing open heart surgery. While cooking dal makhni. And discussing India's foreign policy. Okay, I might be exaggerating just a teeny tiny bit, but it's definitely not an easy task for a first-time mom. Maybe by the time the second one comes around, the mum becomes used to being a one-arm human. But I'd advise all gift-givers and parents to steer clear of the onesies rack for the first few months at the very least.
A fancy stroller
Ever since I became a mother, I'm forever observing other moms, their babies and the things they do. And one of the scenes I see playing out each day at the park is some mom or nanny with a LO that looks like he's been suited up for a mission on Mars-all strapped in, with, rash cream, disposal bags, wet wipes and enough milk, food and nappies to last a few light years in case his personal shuttle meanders off course. By shuttle I mean frighteningly high-end strollers, of course. Even if it might not be able to land on Mars (yet), I'm fairly certain that some of them must have a built-in baby butt massager. Try maneuvering this monstrosity on the average Indian playground and you'll soon be using it as a grocery cart at the friendly neighbourhood departmental store.
Even if you've managed to be clever about the previous three scenarios, this one will wipe the smug smile off your face! We've all bought criminally expensive oh-so-cute-I-had-to-buy-it bits of clothing for our kids that they promptly outgrow within a fortnight. Those ungrateful little adorable brats, I tellya! Every time I go shopping, I set out with every intention of buying only and only functional clothing. But then…stuff happened. And two weeks later, with a heavy heart, I'm packing my month's budget for groceries in outgrown clothes to give to the local charity. Oh well, at least it's for a good cause!
Fancy and huge stuffed toys to make the room look cute
Okay, this one I'm totally not guilty of. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and the first thing you see is a giant pink ball of fur! I would howl and wake up the household, too! They might make the room look cute but teddy bears (or other big stuffed toys) are the worst toys for kids, in my opinion. Not only can they be intimidating, but the fur attracts dust and can be a health hazard.
Are there other silly expenses that have made you go what-the-hell-was-I-thinking? Laugh about them with other parents by sharing your story in the comments section below.