Sunday, September 12, 2004

Wee Sing(tm)...the Devil's Handiwork?

Like many caring parents, I’ve been barraged by much marketing about toys, games and activities that I should purchase so my son grows into a smart, well-adjusted, emotionally stable young adult. In the interests of introducing my son to music (other than the Pearl Jam riffs he hears whilst riding in the car with me), I purchased a CD entitled “Wee Sing for Babies”. The name itself is so cute, you can’t help but like it, with the clever pun and all. With a price tag under $10, it was a no-brainer. I brought it home, plopped it into the portable CD player in the kitchen and voila! Alex loved it! It’s little kids singing very short songs and nursery rhymes.

What good parents we are! we thought. We puffed out our chests and were proud of the fine appreciation of music that we were instilling in our young tot. Until… the backlash.

I was lying in bed on night, after a dinner enjoyed with the Wee Sing CD cutely playing in the background. I could not get to sleep. Was it because I was thinking about work the next day? No. Worried about personal finances? No. Daydreaming about dimply Jeff Probst? Unfortunately no. It was because I had the “Peas Porridge” song on loop and repeat in my brain!

You know how you get a jingle from a commercial stuck in your head? (FAO Schwartz is the big violator here) ALL these songs are jingle-sized! They stick in your brain like toddler snot on your favorite silk blouse!

Meanwhile, I'm laying in bed trying to think of a new song…any song…and I finally did, except it was “Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands”. ARG! Then “Hickory Dickory Dock”…then “John Brown's Baby”. Then I finally fell asleep…and DREAMED OF THESE DAMN SONGS! AAAHHHH!

I mentioned it to my husband the next day, and he had been having the same experience only at work! The next day, I was minding my own business, working hard, and an email came in from Randy (ding!). Guess what it was? He had typed “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old…”. Bastard. AAAHHH! AAAHH! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!

You’d think we would learn our lesson – toss the CD and be done with it. But the look on Alex’s face when we play that damn CD is just so precious. His little eyes just light up and he starts hopping up and down (toddler dancing, we think). I fear this is a precursor to things to come, but yes, Wee Sing is still resident in our kitchen CD player.

Serve me up some peas porridge…hot please.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Mister Peanut...Friend or Foe?

One of the things new parents learn quickly is that your young darling should not eat peanuts. I heard about this in some baby book that warned about the severity of nut allergies and that babies and toddlers can have life-threatening reactions to just a small exposure to the Evil Peanut.

So...we have been avoiding giving Alex peanuts. No peanut butter. No chocolate chip cookies with walnuts (Evil Sibling of Evil Mister Peanut). No Pad Thai (okay, he really wouldn't miss that one). Once you start looking, everything fun has nuts in it!

Anyway, I got sick of all the "tip-toeing around the peanut" that we were doing, so the other night during dinner, I rubbed a peanut on Alex. Yes, I actually took a peanut and rubbed it on his arm. "What will that prove?" you may ask. Well, I'd heard that some peanut allergies are so severe that someone inflicted often can't even stand to be in contact with the peanut oil, so I figured if he had a reaction to the peanut rub, he had a peanut allergy. We would know the truth and could move on.

Of course, since we have been brainwashed to fear the Evil Peanut, Loving Husband was horrified! "What if he would have had a reaction?!" he ranted. "But he didn't", I cleverly countered.

Following this, we had dinner with some friends and I mentioned the Nut Rub Experiment. One friend said, "Well, you know that with kids, the first exposure actually may cause the antibodies to form that produce the allergy" (or something scientific crap like that). Uh-oh, I thought. Had I just caused Alex to have an allergy? Oh crap!

But then, I had lunch with another friend, who informed me that her sister had been given her two kids peanut butter since age 8 months! "Horrors! How can that be?" I asked. "What about allergies?" "Allergies?", she said. "No, you don't give them peanuts because they can CHOKE on them, not because of allergies". I was confused (not an unfamiliar state for me).

Is Mister Peanut the Big Bad or just a Harmless Scapegoat?  I still don't know the truth.