The New Parent market is more lucrative than even the wedding industry. When Greg and I got hitched, we resolutely withstood most of the Wedding Industry pressures and kept things fairly reasonable. But selling a chocolate fountain to an insecure bride is one thing, preying on new parents' worst fears quite another. Once word of your pregnancy leaks out (via the Babies R Us gift registry, I suspect), companies line up to peddle "necessities" to the clueless new parents.
These range from diaper-wipe-warming machines all the way to services that collect and store the blood cells from your child's umbilical cord. The cord blood can then, theoretically, be used to treat a host of diseases if, God forbid, treatment becomes necessary.
There are no wipe warmers at Baby C's house, but I did sign up for the cord blood banking. It's insurance I hope we never need. Little did I suspect, signing up for the service also meant signing up to be a member of the cord blood company's sales team. The company called, ostensibly to assure us that the collection and storage went okay, but really to shake us down for names of other potential customers.
"Do you know any other expecting parents who would be interested in providing life-saving measures for their baby?" Ummm.... when you put it that way.
Greg politely but futiley tried to get rid of Mr. Salesman, who was on speaker phone. Luckily, his mother was visiting and heard the conversation. She introduced herself as a science teacher. After ten minutes of questioning about the biology underlying cord blood technology, Mr. Salesman couldn't get off the phone fast enough. I don't think we'll be hearing from him again.