SOPHIE: WHY DOES EVERY MOM YOU KNOW SHELL OUT $20 FOR THE SAME RUBBER GIRAFFE?

At my first "new mommy" class at the 14th St. Y during my maternity leave, the first thing I did after assessing my baby's cuteness factor in relation to all the other babies (verdict: very high), was notice that each mother had taken the time to craft their own very specific blanket set-up on which to set their child. The blanket set-up said a lot about who you were as a mother and what kind of child you were raising. A quilted pink blanket with a ruffled edge meant you were counting down the days before you could enter your future Miss America in the Miss Pre-K East Coast Division Pageantry Circuit. A blue blanket with a truck or train motif meant you were never letting Joe Macho Jr. own a doll. A gender neutral green blanket meant your child would be watching The Rachel Maddow Show in lieu of Sesame Street. I, of course, didn't realize you were supposed to bring a blanket and all I had on me was the hospital grade recieving blanket I had gotten for free from NY Presbyterian. This said that I was either an unpretentious parent who was taking a stand against overblown consumerism or a cheap bastard that didn't really love my child.

But regardless of the individuality displayed in the blanket set-up choice, there was something else I noticed that brought all the moms squarely back onto the same page– every baby was chomping on the exact same toy...

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