Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Votes Are In....

To say a lot has changed for babies in the last three decades would be like saying I have a lot of freckles...kind of an understatement. Some of the most significant changes include the increasing role of the father in raising the children, new approaches to discipline, development, and overall communication when interacting with children, the onsluaght of developmental infused products (e.g. Baby Einstein, Leap, Imaginarium, etc.), the constantly changing views on immunizations and health, and, most certainly, the Internet, which allows you to find the answer to everything, share ideas, pictures, and space, and, obviously, support all those silly blogs.

So this leads us to this week's vote: Which do you think was the greatest invention for babies in the last 30 years? The clear winner was the baby monitor. Once again, not my vote, but I understand why it won. With the beauty of technology, parents are now completely equipped to watch over their small children even while they are sleeping. Even fancier, some monitors are currently equipped with a television monitor so visuals accompany the audio to make for a more complete surveillance.

When I first had my daughter, I was paranoid about those first weeks. I had her in a bassinet in our room and actually made a tower of pillows ten high so that I might be able to have her in view at all times...not exactly condusive to restful sleep. With every gurgle, squeak, and grunt, I was awake and evaluating. Things got better when we moved her into the crib, but every blip on the monitor had me bolting out of bed. My one friend Karen actually still bears the scars from bolting too quickly and almost losing a leg as she ran from her room. So, monitors are helpful...but maybe too helpful? And to my friend SL, if you are staring at the computer screen in a trance...look away.

At second place was the Baby Bjorn and related carriers. I actually almost chose this one myself, since I use mine almost daily. Now with two children, the youngest gets the Bjorn while the eldest gets the seat in the shopping cart. It's also his place for all the different activities we enjoy and is great because he loves to be upright, looking around, and part of the mix. The only down size is that they're somewhat short-lived. Having sired two large off-spring, I am running a mental bet as to which one will break down first: the Bjorn or my back. Finally received a very adamant message from a regular reader (his name rhymes with splat), who questioned the manhood of any dad who might don one....little does he know he'll soon join the ranks.

My vote was for the sippy cup. Between everyday use around the house, to car rides here and there, I have a hard enough time keeping up with the everpresent mystery stains left by my little ones...I can't imagine grappling with water, milk, and juice spills all the time. Tied with sippy cups were washable crayons and markers that provide the same convenience of the sippy cup. Now, if only they could invent a self-cleaning house, robotic diaper changer, and crib that rocks on command, life would be so much easier.

Finally, we have the diaper genie. This malodrous mechanism inevidently appears on every baby registry (including my own) and I have no idea why. First, the scent dispensed to mask infant output is not much better than the alternative. Second, that somewhat sweet scent characteristic of a newborn only lasts but a few months before solids are introduced, causing your nose hairs to burn daily. Clearly the more potent poops are no match for the genie and it is really just a waste of time and, well, waste.

So there you have it. Another vote down and I am 1 for 7 at picking the winning outcome. Clearly, I am not ready for gen pop, but hopefully I will do better this week. Speaking of which...feel free to make your pick at the newest poll.

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