Thursday, March 4, 2010

They're Coming to Take Me Away! Haha heehee hoho..

Yeah that's right. I listened to Lard when I was a stupid kid. I just dated myself. Big whup, wanna fight about it?

That has nothing to do at all with the forthcoming rant - except that, every time I do something that I'm "not supposed to" with my kid, I picture Child Services screeching up to the house in a van to take me away, and then the words to that particular song run through my head.


So, yes. It's a rant. And I'll just dive right in and let you know what a horrible mom I am.

Up until a couple of days ago, The Nipplehawk had a kind of walker thingy that I could put him in while making coffee and breakfast amid the chaos that is mornings around here. It was callled a Rock n Bounce because it had a rocker on the bottom, where the wheels used to go on those (now banned) old school walkers. The Nipplehawk loved it. He would cruise all over the kitchen in it, tipping it forward on its rockers and pushing with his strong little legs. He was pretty proficient with it too, able to back up and pull alongside things. He had figured out that the tray in front was too long for him to be able to reach over, but the sides of the Rock n Bounce were narrow. He could easily grab stuff (his favorite pastime EVER) if he pulled up alongside it.

I loved the Rock n Bounce too. It kept the Nipplehawk entertained until I became conscious and somewhat organized. It also kept him moving, and damn if it didn't challenge his bright little mind. (Pulling up alongside stuff? How cool is that? The kid's only 6 months old, but obviously a genius. Totally unbiased opinion.)

The Rock n Bounce met an unfortunate end the other day. It was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and was fallen on. The faller, by the way, is fine. But our beloved Rock n Bounce didn't survive.

The next morning was awful. I had to put the Nipplehawk in his old swing whilst I made coffee and breakfast and washed toys and washed dishes and and and....

The Nipplehawk was clearly unimpressed. "Where's my car?" he howled (in baby, of course)
and "I'm bored! and "pick that up!" and "pick ME up!"

The screamfest was enough to send us to the nearest BallsMart to replace the Rock n Bounce. Alas, nothing of the sort was to be had. There is absolutely nothing at Ballsmart that a baby can self -propel. "Fair enough", I thought. After all, we live in a tiny town, and the selection of baby things is astonishingly poor. (I say 'astonishingly' because frankly, there's not much to do here except drink, fight, and, er, make babies. There's always a baby boom here.) So I got on the 'net. Surely I could find some sort of Rock nBounce facsimile out there. All I want is something to keep my active little guy active. It was sad watching him squirm around in his swing, clearly wanting the freedom of movement he had become used to.

I couldn't find a damn thing.

The (rather lame) replacement for a walker or Rock n Bounce these days is a kind of stationary play saucer, where the only part that moves is the seat. It rotates 360 degrees so that baby can play with all the cool doodads that are placed around the outside of the saucer, which is okay, I guess, if baby doesn't mind sitting still. It's even got an attached bottom, so that baby can't possibly push the playsaucer across the floor.

I started thinking about all the baby things I've looked at in the past few months -and believe me, that's a lot of baby things - and I realized that 99 percent of them are designed specifically to keep baby entertained while stationary. I suppose in theory this is a good idea. No one wants their child to fall down the stairs, or get too close to the stove and get burned, or be bitten by a dog. No one wants their child to get hurt.

The thing is, we're raising another generation of kids that are so wrapped up in safety gear they can't even take a step. We keep them inside, because the streets are too mean. We're raising kids who are reliant on the entertainment to come to them, instead of the other way around. And, perhaps worst of all, we're raising those kids to be stationary, to not take risks, to not be active, because it's too damn dangerous.

Is it really safer for a kid to spend most of his time indoors, away from the big bad world? How is he supposed to get street smart? Is it really better to keep him on the couch or in a chair, in front of a computer or a console, getting soft, than to let him stretch his legs, run, jump, play and even fall? How is he supposed to know the limitations of his body if we don't let him learn through physical activity?

I guarantee, it's gonna suck when the Nipplehawk hurts himself. But he is going to. And he's gonna play outside, under that carcinogenic sun, doing things that are probably not CSA approved. He'll have a helmet when he rides his bike, for sure, but he will never be a bubble - wrapped kid.

Eeeeep. I told you it was going to be a rant.

Anyhoo, I was talking about this to a friend of mine the other day, and she (awesomely) offered me her son's old walker - the kind with (gasp!) wheels. I'm gonna buy some gates and take her up on it ASAP. I'm totally stoked to see my little man in action again. I can hardly wait to see him zipping around the kitchen, pulling things down, terrorising the dogs and grandma...the dogs are gonna freak out when they find out he's even faster than before. They'll never be the same again....

I'll be waiting for that Child Services van.


  1. i had a walker type of thing...more like an activity place set, that he could sit in the center and bounce him self and turn in circles to play with the different gadgets, but it didn't have wheels. it was awesome for a while as a great distraction and helped keep him upright and build his little leg muscles. good luck finding a replacement!

    thanks for visiting my blog. i have added your blog name to the list of participants in my "reduce clutter; create space" quest. sooo happy you are joining us. feel free to share comments and your blog posts on the FORUM on my blog.

    happy day!

  2. Wow! Thanks for commenting. You will always be my first commenter :)

    We did find the Nipplehawk a walker, and oh my, he LOVES it!

    The dogs, not so much.