What do these things have in common? They are “tools of the trade” for my daughter, the mother of a delightful two and a half year old!
Things have greatly changed since my children were toddlers. I am fortunate I never had to carry babies around in those heavy seats. I would not have been able to have more than one baby at a time, and I am sure I would carry it with 2 arms wrapped around it lest I drop it. For the child’s own safety due to my clumsiness, I probably would have stayed home all the time! Our car seats stayed in the car and the babies and toddlers went straight into the umbrella stroller when we were out. It was easy. They could see the world, and my hands were free. Using the stroller also had the wonderful advantage in that when clothes shopping, they could be hung on the back of the stroller. I had to be careful on clearance day, though, lest the weight of the clothing supersede the weight of the particular child in the stroller. While I did misjudge several times, the stroller and the child would just fall back onto a nice, soft pile of clothing. I have such empathy for parents lugging the infant in the infant seat. They look sooooooo heavy!
My daughter, Dinora, has child proof locks on her cupboard doors. What a great idea!!! I used to keep the poisonous soaps, sprays and cleaners on top of my refrigerator. They were safe there, at least until Steven began to climb like a monkey! Whoever thought of the lock on the cupboard doors was a genius! Unfortunately, I am not genius level. When I babysit for my grandson, I cannot figure out how to open the darn locks! It appears that you have to use 2 hands to do so and my hands do not cooperate with each other. During my futile attempts, my grandson stands there crying for his macaroni and cheese for supper, and I can’t get in the cupboard to get the box! Those locks are childproof and grandmother proof! He doesn’t really mind, though, as he much prefers the pizza I order instead.
The other amazing “new invention” is a toilet that makes music when you pee in it! (I am, of course, talking about a toddler potty.) What a wonderful motivator for toilet training! It is certainly be healthier than the M&Ms I used to give, and everyone within earshot can hear the delightful music and cheer the performer on! The only downside leads to my next observation about toddlers these days; my daughter will need to get a different potty if her next child is a girl, who wouldn’t dream of peeing in a Superman potty. With parents knowing before hand if they are having a boy or a girl, baby items now seem to be all girly or all masculine, with little in between, unlike in “my days” when babies wore a lot of green or yellow which would suffice for either. I have never seen so many princesses and action heroes in my life! So much for sexism, I guess…
Imagine my surprise when my grandson climbed in my lap carrying an IPad and started to play a game of Angry Birds. At TWO and a HALF years old he was independently using a computer! But ANGRY BIRDS?He was lopping these little birds through the air to their deaths, feathers flying everywhere. And giggling! This must be the training game for all of the fighting and war games that will come when he is older.
A final reminder of how much things have changed happened when Dinora, my grandson and I went out to eat breakfast in a restaurant. While he played with child aps on the IPad, we had a lovely adult conversation with fussy interruptions. (There were times when raising young ones that I would have died just to be able to drink a hot cup of tea without an interruption.) At the completion of this wonderfully enjoyable meal, my grandson, whose speech is somewhat delayed, managed to ask his mom for some “sanitizer”. I almost flew off my chair! SANITIZER? What a word for a 2 year old! He dutifully put out his hands and she dutifully squirted the sanitizer, a beautiful fragrance of lilacs and honey. (Who comes UP with these combinations?)
Things are certainly different these days, with computer aps for toddlers, musical potties, disposable training pants and bibs, sippy cups in all shapes and sizes, locked cupboard doors, and super hero and princess everything (sheets, toys, cups, dishes, silverware, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, shirts, pants, socks, shoes…you get the idea.) With the exception of having to tote an infant around in a car seat instead of in an umbrella stroller, these days of raising children seem like a lot of fun! (Maybe it’s time for me to foster a few more…)
My husband must be a mind reader. I just heard him faint…
Link to my book
Link to the Readers Digest review of my book: http://www.rd.com/recommends/what-to-read-after-a-hurricane/