When I attended my first friend’s first kid’s first birthday party, I was secretly pregnant. I had just decided to go through with the not-quite-planned pregnancy, and let me tell you: That birthday party very nearly changed my mind. It was like a slow death by rainbow-colored materialism. Over the course of an hour’s worth of unwrapping, I watched the adorable 1-year-old become buried in more toys, books, clothes, and gadgets than anyone could possibly need — or use — in a lifetime. I...

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