Saturday, December 03, 2005

No strings attached

Unlike many women my age, I had extensive experience caring for children long before I had my own two little ones. As the oldest of ten, I had plenty of opportunity to learn. So sometimes I find myself referring to "how it was done back in the day," even though I am really not that old. But somewhere between helping with my siblings in the 80s and having my own in the early 2000s, things have changed. Now we care about child safety! Those crazy parents of yesteryear had no common sense! Didn't they know about all of the dangers out there? Didn't they love their children? There are many examples of this, but for now I will focus on one of my pet peeves: strings.

Back when my mother was raising us, there were some simple devices for keeping children warm - drawstrings. Children's jacket hoods had them. Just try and find a baby or toddler jacket with one now. I haven't seen any in stores. Now you can't keep your child's head warm, as those hoods will not stay on.

Little baby nightgowns had drawstrings in the bottom. How I loved cinching those little baby feet in all snug and warm. You could completely close the bottom, but yet so easily open it for diaper changes. Now manufacturers just put a lame elastic in the bottom, which does nothing! I would like to know what three week old baby is going to pull out the string and strangle themselves with it. We have become a society full of irrational fears.

Lastly, in the old days, a child's mittens were joined by a long piece of yarn or string. That string ran through the sleeves and back of the coat, and the mittens hung out the ends of the sleeves. No more lost mittens. A kid could take them on and off without losing them. They were always where they needed to be. This one, I admit, is slightly more hazardous than the others. But, by golly, I bought my daughter some new pink mittens today, and I am going to get some yarn and string them together! So there!

So in order to protect our kids from a neglible danger, we have made it harder to keep them warm. What ever happened to common sense?

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