b Papa Dog's Blog: Oh Yeah, and Asbestos Insulation. That Was Another Good Idea.

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Oh Yeah, and Asbestos Insulation. That Was Another Good Idea.

A not-infrequent topic among our little new parent crowd is “ways our parents endangered our lives that are frowned upon and sometimes even illegal now.” We were born in the mid-60s when, for example, it was not considered unusual for women to drink and smoke throughout a pregnancy. Din’t hurg me non. Back then, they didn’t obsess over the dietary rulebooks the way we do today. Nobody gave much thought to introducing new foods gradually to test for allergies. Back then, you gave the baby whatever you had in the cupboard, and if the result was anaphylactic shock, you just shrugged and said it was God’s will. Whenever Mama Dog and I come across one of today’s cushy plastic playgrounds with the padding and the soft surfaces, we inevitably get to talking about the deathtraps we played on as kids; hard metal jungle gyms, rusty jagged things set on thick concrete strewn with broken glass and exposed electrical wires. Or so it seems in retrospect. Nowadays car seats are not just a good idea, they’re the law. I remember when I was four years old I would sometimes get a ride with our across-the-street neighbours. There were usually more kids in the car than there was seat space for so, because I was the smallest, I’d ride on the shelf behind the back seat, pressed up against the rear window. Back then, that was just a way to pack and extra kid into the car. You know what it’s called these days? Child endangerment.

Mulling this over today, I was moved to wonder: what are we doing – what elements of our parenting technique are we employing even as I type – that Baby Dog will look back on in thirty years, unable to believe she survived to adulthood?


Blogger ArakSOT said...

You mean above and beyond allowing you to spawn in the first place?

11:18 AM  
Blogger RachelleCentral said...

I reckon things like mobile phones and microwaves could potentially reveal themselves as even more dangerous than we think (although I use both all the time). Also environmental poisons - toxic fumes from petrol (you say "gas"), cars, etc. Maybe the medication we rely on - I reckon there will be a much greater move towards holistic medicine. In Australia, that's already the case - many local doctors here do acupuncture, for instance.

But you probably wanted a humorous response, didn't you? Okay: those four pronged forks can be killers.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous big sister said...

WE are at the point that we protect our kids so much that they don't get to try anything, the become allergic to many things and they fear to try. Mud isn't going to hurt them - in fact it makes their immune systems stronger. We learn to make good decisions by trying and failing. We become confident when we figure out how to do things by ourselves. And we learn to amuse ourselves by being left to our own devices with something other than a tv or a computer.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Twizzle said...

Any kid whose parents owned a (pre-new-millenial) VW Beetle must remember fondly riding in the "way back" -- the little area, presumably designed to store luggage or a small canine -- behind the already small back seat.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between the ages of 7 and 9, I would ride in the front, _between_ the two bucket seats, more or less straddling the stick-shift as if I was a WWI fighter pilot and it was the joystick to my plane. That's what comes of trying to fit a 6-person family into a Subaru. Dad would even have me do the shifting, presumably because it was easier than reaching over me (and also because I thought it was too cool for words). I'd listen to the engine rev up, then he'd holler out "Second!" or "Third!" and I'd work the shifter into the required location and away we'd go.

No way would I inflict that on my kid -- mainly because sitting on the emergency brake handle is too damned uncomfortable. If I come down with prostate cancer later in life, that'll probably be the reason why.

11:09 AM  

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