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DIANE KNOX: Diapers, pacifiers and cribs – baby shopping is no stroller in the park for Invernessians in the USA

By Diane Knox

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AS the schools head back on both sides of the pond, my social media feeds have been filled with cute photos of grinning (often forced) kids in their uniforms, with their backpacks, all set for another school year to begin. These images are often accompanied by very happy parents.

I still remember that feeling well. Anxiety mixed with excitement, and the sheer joy that new pens, pencils and notebooks would bring me. Plus the fact you got to see you friends and be reunited with all your classmates after the summer that had gone by in the blink of an eye.

The start of the school term is hitting differently for me this year, especially as I wait for my baby boy to make his entrance into the world. Granted, we have many years before I’m a bawling mess at the school gates, but I still can’t quite believe I’m going to be a mum in a few short months.

Things are certainly “bumping” along! I’m now about to enter the third trimester, or the seventh month of pregnancy. It’s so confusing; never in my life have I counted weeks over months for anything. It’s funny when people ask how far along you are – chances are, if they’ve had a baby they’ll speak in terms of “weeks”, but for those who haven’t encountered the pregnancy journey, it’s all about the months.

It’s so crazy for me to think we only have just over two months to go before Baby Balas is due. However, it’s starting to feel very real.

Last week, we started building his nursery furniture and putting his cute wee room together. Grandpa Mike and daddy Garrett were in charge of assembling the gazillion parts of flat-pack furniture to make the cot and chest of drawers (or “crib” and “dressers” as the Americans say), while my mum and I started stocking up on the essentials.

A trip to the baby shop is a complicated experience for a pair of Invernessians in the US. So I told you that they use the word “crib” for cot, but alas the confusion doesn’t end there and I just cannot bring myself to use anything other than the words I was brought up with. A nappy is a “diaper”, a dummy is a “pacifier”, a push chair is a “stroller” and, oh my gosh, don’t get me started on Moses basket; we asked where the Moses baskets were and were met with very blank stares and directions to the Bibles!

The “stroller” situation confused us greatly. I wanted to get a pram, but prams just don’t seem to exist over here. My (American) dad even tried to help us out by calling it a “Silvercross”! So, it turns out the American “stroller” is a combination of the pram, push chair and Moses basket – it just has different attachments that fit on the wheels. Who knew?

Pregnancy seems so much easier at this stage now that the sickness has subsided and I’m full of energy. I’ve definitely adopted the pregnancy “waddle” and the thought of squeezing into any sort of trouser or legging seems next to impossible.

Anyway, we’re getting there – regardless of the language barrier – and counting down the weeks, or months, whichever way you’re inclined.

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