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How to really spoil your baby

by Pam Marra

LIFESTYLES EDITOR

Did you ever get a catalog in the mail by mistake but looked at it anyway -- and then wished you hadn't?

Last week I got one that sold designer stuff for babies.

Well, it was a mistake, all right. I couldn't believe my eyes.

There, for the most discriminating (i.e., spoiled) tastes, were things like Gucci carrying cases for your child's bottled water. $600 each. Water not included.

A tiny Burberry trench coat. $450. For who? A baby flasher? Colombo's kid?

Or, for the most pampered little behinds, diapers with diamond-embroidered initials at a mere $1,500 a clip. And get this -- they're disposable.

"Honey, will you change the baby's diaper? He just pooh-poohed."

Oh, yeah. There's money down the toilet. Literally.

Then, for the baby Barbara Bush-wannabe, there's a tiny strand of cultured pearls with matching bracelet. I guess the kid wears those with the fur-trimmed T-shirt featured on the next page. Which was a mere $4,000. Unbelievable.

And what infant's room would be complete without a crib with built-in TV and CD player. I guess to grow couch potatoes, you have to start with little spuds. RICH little spuds.

The catalog was dotted with comments from boutique and store owners, raving about the stuff.

One was particularly insightful, though. "Buying these things teaches children an appreciation for beautiful things."

Pepto Bismol, anyone?

Maybe I'm just getting cynical in my old age, but what's wrong with good old Buster Brown and Carter's?

Sure, they're name brands, too, but mom and dad don't have to mortgage the house or sell one of the kids to get 'em.

But I guess that's the point. The catalog isn't aimed at normal folk. It's more for, um, for, well, I don't know who it's for.

Let's just say that, after looking at it, "baby booty" takes on a whole new meaning.

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