What's with all the toys we buy our kids?
Perhaps I am getting old and am too much of a curmudgeon, but does it ever strike you that our country is slowly going daft?
I was sitting at a restaurant the other day, watching a mom and a dad arguing with their little girl about whether the dad should take a new job. I couldn't help overhearing (because I was concentrating really hard to catch everything), but it sounded like the new job offered a lot more pay and was a good opportunity. The problem was that Brat (who looked about 4 years old) was screaming at the top of her lungs that she did not want to move away from her friends. This ridiculous tantrum inspired weepy mom to say that perhaps it would be better if dad did not accept the better job.
Is she absolutely out of her mind? Does Brat have the analytical ability to decide whether dad should pursue the opportunity for a better life or is she still trying to understand the concept of next year?
It's clear that the parents had lost control of their petulant daughter, but I also thought it clear that they had also lost control of their senses.
This incident got me wondering about whether we have gone too far in spoiling our children. We let them make decisions they should not make, do things they should not be doing and buy junk they should not have. I think some of us may spoil our children too much, and in that way perhaps fail our kids as parents.
I think the way we have come to overly spoil our kids is obvious in the stuff that we buy for them. With that idea as my inspiration this week, here are my 11 finds for the foolish ways we spoil our kids:
11. Grocery Cart Quilted Covering Pad
The merchant for this item says: "You're at the store with your precious little baby as you turn to select an item from the shelf. What horror awaits your return to the cart? Well, there's your sweet little flower enjoying the shopping cart handle as if it were a lollipop. Yuck! Many of us have experienced that scene and wondered just how many other babies did that today. Now you can eliminate the creepy crawlies with an inexpensive solution known as the Clean Shopper! - the cotton, quilted grocery-cart cover..."
I am wondering what do we you need this for? Isn't it just as easy to swipe the cart with a disinfectant wipe and cushion the baby with the blanket than it is to buy, lug around and put on a cover for the grocery cart every time you go shopping with the baby? I am told it's one of the most popular items at the Baby-Wise.com, but I don't understand why people would waste their money on this. I think the sheer popularity of this item shows how clearly whacked most of America is, don't you? If you had to get a specific item to minimize every risk a kid faces, you would be buried alive in stuff and absolutely penniless. Germs help babies build up immunities so they don't die when they are adults!!! Buy It Here.
10. Deluxe Oral Care Kit for Infants (i.e. babies without teeth)
The merchant for this item says that "The Deluxe Oral Care Kit ... is a comprehensive, 8-piece kit that provides all the essentials in one convenient bag, includes...
* Angled mirror - helps parents examine "hard to see" areas in child's mouth
* Gum massager - provides gentle relief to baby's gums when teething
* Stand - allows for convenient bathroom storage of the 4 most used items
* Sterilizer - can rest the toothbrush in microwaved water to sterilize
* Travel finger brush - provides greater control for massaging a young baby's gums when they start teething." Buy it here.
This is the type of product I really don't understand. I mean, how do you think we all managed to grow teeth without an eight piece deluxe teething kit? Don't you think this is a bit of overkill here? The kit includes a "special gum meassager". Isn't a clean finger and washcloth enough for temporary teeth that are going to fall out anyway?
9. Talking Toilet Paper Holder
The merchant says "The Potty Mate Talking Toilet Roll Holder is a new potty training system that makes potty training easy...Kit includes a patented re-recordable toilet paper holders, potty training guide and toilet training reward stickers." See it here.
We spend enough time hovering over the kids. If they are potty trained enough for you not to be there talking them through the process, why the heck do they need to hear your voice there with them. I go to the bathroom to have some peace and quiet. Why can't you let the kids have some free time too? No one needs to hear your yapper cooing "Good Boy" all day long.
8. Faux Fur Bedding for the Bed-Wetting Baby
The merchant says "This is the most fabulous line of faux fur bedding.... It is made with Italian faux fur and it is pure luxury. Spoil your child .... Available in a variety of faux fur choices with satin or fleece backing combinations. Dry clean only. "
So how does it make sense to have toddlers who are barely able to hold their pee all through the night sleep in fur lined bedding that can only be dry cleaned? It makes no sense to me.
7. Giant Kid's Exercise "Gaming" System
The merchant says "Kilowatt Gaming System (on sale from $1200, now for $674.99) Develop your gaming skills while you build-up your muscles–not to mention your stamina. The KiloWatt Gaming System is a life-size video/computer game controller. You have to keep moving in order to control the game, and the more vigorous you are, the more control you have." See it here.
In spite of all the good intentions, adults who buy exercise equipment rarely use them. They end up collecting dust and being used as a very expensive clothes hanger. So what makes anyone think that kids will want to have their own exercise machines in their rooms and actually use it? Do they really think that calling it a "gaming system" is going to fool kids into exercising in their rooms?
6. Baby Knee Pads
The merchant explains "Knee pads prevent baby's knees from becoming cut, grazed or red & sore... Knee pads are secured with velcro straps for a comfortable fit and a happy baby!... Traction beads embossed on to the Neoprene enhanced traction and prevented slipping... Knee pads protect a baby from early crawling right up until he is riding his first bike." See it here.
What is your baby crawling through that it needs knee pads, broken glass and hot charcoal? Knees were created so that we can scrape them, bruise them and abuse them. If you cushion every single source of possible pain for your baby, the baby will grow up unable to deal with the daily pain life always finds a way of dishing out. I never heard of a baby crying because its knees were sore, so save your money for a good helmet and knee pads for when the kid is moving more than at crawl speed.
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