When my friends found out I was going to the Baby Show, they commended me on making such a brave decision. Which seems odd – if I’m going to buy an Apple Mac, I’d think about going to the Apple Show. So surely deciding to go to a baby show – to give us a clue as to what lies in store for the next 15 years – is a no-brainer?
This turns out to have been not an altogether-wise decision. Silly us, we thought bringing up a child would be about meeting its basic needs, and ensuring it was loved and cared for. Oh no, apparently it was actually all about getting expensive and irrelevant nursery equipment, even more expensive buggies that are sold like cars (ie no price guides), and some frankly bizarre stands. Designer clothes for babies? Ensuring your child is circumcised by hiring the CircumSurgery?
There was a huge line to get a free Pampers plastic box. But in order to get it, you had to give your personal details to their marketing ladies. Top marks for getting us all to type it into a netbook instead of filling out bits of paper, but did we really need to give you answers to two random questions? It’s a nappy, not a bank!
There was also a stand promoting a website where dads could talk to dads. Why it needed four people to man it is another question entirely – but maybe one of them should have gotten some spell-checking skills. The website required me to register with an email address, whereupon I got a rather interesting email titled “RESPONCE REQUIRED”.
For a website that discusses fatherhood, it was also a bit disconcerting to find fatherhood 9th on the list of topics, and some boards not updated since late September. The board on jokes and current affairs, on the other hand, is alive and flourishing.
What other baby forums are there for fathers? Is there a DadsNet? Or should I just set up my own ?!