On Location: Isis Maternity

By Michele Orecklin | Boston Magazine |

When it opened in the Prudential Center last fall, Isis Maternity upended what to that point had been a fairly stable ecosystem. Previously, workers on coffee breaks from adjacent office buildings mingled harmoniously with Legal-bound tourists, loitering teenagers, and the occasional upscale shopper seemingly blown off course en route to Copley. But as the shop’s first anniversary approaches, it’s clear that this specialist in products and classes for new parents has introduced a peculiarly invasive species into the environment: the Isis mom.

To observe the phenomenon up close, wander the vicinity of the store—next to the post office, just down the way from Dunkin’ Donuts and Ann Taylor Loft. Throughout, you will find throngs of well-groomed women, most in their early to mid-thirties, pushing high-end strollers with snacks, toys, and protection against every possible weather condition stuffed in the basket underneath. Peek inside the shop, and you’ll discover one reason they are drawn in such numbers: shelves upon shelves of shiny plastic objects that promise to make a child sleep better, cry less, and behave all-around more cherubically.

But the women (and they are almost invariably women) are equally lured by the possibility of finding a like-minded community. With Isis as their base, they have created a society where they can meet up with those who are similarly exhausted, giddy, confused, and eager to talk endlessly about the implications of nipple confusion and teething rings.

On very hot or rainy summer days, when infants are best kept indoors, the population swells. The women spill out of Isis and cluster at the lunch tables directly across from the shop’s entrance, where they park their strollers and spoon food into the mouths of their young. Others breastfeed, some donning protective smocks but some nursing openly, too tired or uninhibited to care. Afterward, they often break off in groups of two or three and orbit the mall like satellites from the mother ship, making stops at Barnes & Noble, picking up a coffee at Starbucks, or simply roaming, happy to have a large, indoor space.

The good news is that the Isis moms are less concerned with gaining dominance over any other mall group than with protecting their offspring, but beware: If you stray into the path of one of their leviathan strollers, they can—and will—take you out.

Isis Maternity, Prudential Center, Boston, 781-429-1500, isismaternity.com

Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2009/08/on-location-isis-maternity/