I am trying so hard not to have a materialistic kid. Really I am.
Our little diva has amassed an amazing kiddie couture spring/summer collection ranging from baby gap to baby dior which probably costs more than both her parents spending on clothes this entire year. At this I plead guilty to reduced charges (most of this stuff were gifts, and I only bought quite lil dresses/shoes under the magic 4 letter word - SALE).
We have spent a small fortune so far on all of Sophie's stuff - some of it was really life-savingly useful, but quite alot of it is sheer marketing genius. Before we had her, I would have thought that Evenflo was some kind of plumbing company. I've learnt a whole new vocabulary comprising of wierd sounding words like catamini and clayeux. I even went through this phase of washing her butt with Avene thermal mineral water because I thought it was going to prevent diaper rash, when I realised that even if I DIDN'T wash her butt for the whole day, she still wouldn't get diaper rash anyway (this is not an excuse to start poor hygiene habits, but the point is that she blessed with an amazingly resilient butt).
I've come to the conclusion that baby-marketing plays on parents worst fears and secret hopes. Company names like Baby Einstein or Bright Starts try to sell you products so that your kid won't be dumb, and words like "developmental toys" are just designed to trigger some kind of parental buying button, whilst all the standard baby food companies roll out their organic baby food range to charge more and you can feel all virtuous about saving the environment too.
I wonder whether all this is really any use? Maybe Sophie would have been exactly the same delightfully charming and happy baby that she is, even if I left her shut up in a cold dark cupboard somewhere (though I frankly doubt it). The point is, I guess all parents want to provide the very best for their precious offspring, though the defintion of "best" is pretty personal.
As a case in point - go to this site and click the video and tell me whether you think that the mummy is unconciously "cueing" her baby by providing the right answer through body language. If you look really carefully at the video, I think that that the second before the baby makes the choice of the 2 answer cards, the mum's hand moves in the baby's direction, or am I just being really cynical?