Now I know that Blake Lively likes her baby wipes warm. Lively's "Baby Essentials" registry on Amazon includes a detailed list of baby items that the veteran mom of three can presumably still be bothered with. The exercise of logging her favorite baby items is philanthropic (purchases of the items funnel funds to Child Rescue Coalition). More than that, though, it is an exercise in vicarious living for me, random online mom.
Picturing Lively scunging about her kitchen snacking on Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites and sterilizing baby bottles in her aeronautical-looking Baby Brezza Baby Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer Machine (Universal Fit) is better celebrity rubbernecking than anything I've yet seen on commentsbycelebs. I don't want to know what attachment style a celebrity has; I want to know if they allow plastic in their house. I want to know if they dry their Dr. Browns baby bottles on the same patch of fake grass in their kitchen that I do. (A: Yes.)
Before Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds dropped a surprise 3-month-old on us, along with their registry, Whitney Port listed her baby "registry" on Amazon, as a result of which I know that her celeb baby has spent some time, like my very ordinary children, gazing up at those sateen animals dangling from the Skip Hop 3-in-1 Activity Center. Port celebrated her baby shower on a rooftop in Los Angeles, "where they enjoyed an artisan BBQ dinner," as Parents reported at the time in adjunct coverage of the registry. This, I thought reading about it. This is the stuff of life.
It’s comforting to know that, in amongst doing Pilates, Blake Lively is also ready, at any moment, to crack out her "Baby Nasal Aspirator NoseFrida the Snotsucker with 20 Extra Hygiene Filters." The visual of Lively rolling out an extremely utilitarian waterproof change mat in the back of her SUV is easily more compelling than anything featured on her short-lived lifestyle curation site, Preserve, where (I am sure you have not forgotten!) she debuted her first "baby bump" in 2014, surrounded by paisley canopies, bundts sitting under glass cloques, and a princely mound of Red Delicious apples. (“I mean, it’s stupid, she could be an actress!” said lifestyle kween Martha Stewart of Blake's website in an interview with HuffPo at the time.)
The "shoppable" story of Lively's emergent bump included such items as:
- Sly Fox Slip-On Baby Shoe, Cade and Co. $36.00;
- Set of Girl Votives, Miss Millie, $40.00; and
- Stone Bangles - Lapis Lazuli, Restrung Jewelry, $100.00
The arrival of a baby has a tendency to put your stone bangle habit in perspective: five months hence, everything in your living room has a rubber skirting on it, or is emblazoned with a pastel chevron. Wood block photo prints just arrive in the mail. It is how things go. And I have learned, via her registry, that Lively is not immune. Just compare the two shopping lists.
On maternity leave the first time around, what struck me was the lack of profundity: the only difference after the life-changing arrival of a baby was my house was full of way more crap now. It was utterly mundane cycling through those early days, changing diaper after diaper after diaper, and going through packets and packets of wipes. Life was a circuit of hosing off my undercarriage in the bathroom with the peri bottle, layering witch hazel pads into my ginormous underwear, then heading out to the living room to prop my strange new baby on the jungle-patterned Boppy pillow I got because everyone told me I needed it, where I would once again try to breastfeed.
At this time, I developed a bizarre, maybe certifiable, fondness for the scent of Tucks and spray-on pain reliever. I associated the smell with life as mom of this crazy new soul who slept next to my bed each night, and was there, smiling and a little bit bigger, each morning. Motherhood then wasn't about the big moods, but about the sh*t everywhere, the brand of nappy that didn't leak everywhere, the clutter of collapsed Amazon boxes, the literal minutiae.
"What really matters is what you like, not what you are like. Books, records, films, these things matter," said John Cusack's character in the film adaptation of High Fidelity. "Call me shallow, these f*cking matter."
Parenthood is not what I thought it would be! But turns out it's still pretty shoppable.