I would like to live in Sweden
When my work is done
Where the snow lies thick and even
'Neath the midnight sun
The Divine Comedy, Sweden
As well as Disney having more of an influence in our lives, the Boy seems to have resulted in us buying stuff from Sweden. The Swedes seem to have something of a reputation for producing high quality, well designed but affordable baby stuff. Which, as we shall see, is not always entirely deserved.
Although, we love the Baby Bjorn carrier we got. It's made the Boy much more transportable. It's one of our favourite bits of kit, particularly with the carrier cover. Apart from being endlessly useful, it makes him look like a little hooded hobbit. Later, he will get bigger and face outwards on the sling, and the hood also turns round to look like... a niqab. I can't wait.
Then there's the flip side. Fucking Naty Nappies. We got a big bag of them on special offer. They were cheap, but also because the package promised they were eco friendly, well designed and all those other admirable Scando attributes. They even had Swedish flags on the packet.
Maybe Swedish babies have differently shaped bums, but Naty have been involved in many incendiary nappy incidents in our household. Poo leaking out the sides, up the back. They just don't fit, and any eco-friendliness is negated by having to do more loads of washing. And the special offer was buy one get one free, so we've got endless numbers of the bastard things to get through. We've started alternating them with another, less leaky brand, and my heart sinks whenever I go through to the change mat and there's a Naty at the top of the pile.
From the good, to the bad, to the ugly. The other big Swedish brand for all things child-related is, of course, IKEA.
The thing is, I've never liked IKEA and, although everyone seems to get their nursery furniture there, we didn't. I like the idea of it, but then, like any sort of home improvement store, I go and then lose interest within about five minutes. I'm just not that interested in house-y stuff and IKEA goes on and on and on, and not even the furniture with names like WNKSTIN or FINJOPOKR is enough to make it tolerable. The thought of wheeling the Boy around one for the afternoon makes my heart sink, even with the allure of the gingerbread houses, meatballs and the novelty ice molds.
I've never been to Sweden, although I'd like to. I always associated with hiking trails, attractive locals, open sandwiches and... that's about it. But now, thanks to parenthood, I also know that it is populated by blond people striding around with their babies in carriers with poo leaking out the sides. We will wait until the Boy is potty trained before we visit.