Stuff We Don’t Want

Having a kid is a fabulous opportunity to get more stuff. My wife and I are good American consumers, so of course we love all that stuff. Stuff, stuff and more stuff. Sometimes we need stuff to put all the stuff in. It’s great.

Every once in a while, though, there’s stuff we don’t want. I’ve been keeping a list, and here are the top five things we, as new parents, can do without.

  1. Unsolicited advice. I posted about this before, so I won’t flog a dead horse. (You can read the original blog, if you’re so inclined.)
  2. Although used clothes and toys are fine, and we really do appreciate all we’ve gotten, we don’tneed:
    • Permanently soiled clothes. Not sure what that stain on that onesie is? Neither are we–and we don’t really want to put it on Wolfe if it’s a possible fecal specimen. He can add plenty of those on his own.
    • Toys that are duct-taped together. Seriously, we’ve gotten some fantastic used items that Wolfe will have a blast playing with, but if it looks like the aftermath of a MacGyver episode, we probably won’t use it.
    • Anatomically correct pop-up books. (At least not for Wolfe.)
  3. Questions about when we’re going to have another kid. I know that sleep deprivation is a useful interrogation technique, but we will not break! And the truth is, for right now one kid is just fine, thanks.
  4. Unnecessary exposure to germs. Yes, it’s great that you have the stomach flu. No, we don’t want you to come visit so that Wolfe can build up his immunity. And for the love of all that’s holy, could you use a Kleenex when you sneeze?
  5. “Free” parenting magazines. On this one I’m pointing right at the OB/GYN practices. Sure, those magazines on your counter are free. But they still have subscription cards in them. And my wife is a magazine fiend. I’m worried our son will be crushed to death if her to-read pile would ever fall on him. And yet, I just found another subscription envelope in our outgoing mail. There are only so many clever ways I can dispose of these things before she catches on.

So that’s it. The whole list is much longer, but if I can just get the word out about these five things it will make my life easier. And if my life is easier, I’ll be less cranky. Thanks for your help!



  1. Ok, Matt, I read this one carefully to make sure I am not an offender! 🙂

    1. Don’t worry, this wasn’t directed at you!

  2. Frank Arnold · · Reply

    So you don’t want me giving you advice on how to raise Wolfe?

    (sarcasm. I promise.)

  3. […] means I need a lot of replacement t-shirts. So while I don’t always like it when people give me stuff, in the case of t-shirts, I love getting garments just to wear while I’m holding my […]

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