Sam and Kate have a wall in their bedroom....one half chalk board, the other half cork board. They use it to hang up art creations, to play hang man, to keep track of their work jobs and in general to have fun.
The other night, while putting laundry away, I noticed that there was a thumb tack on the floor...a straggler that probably fell off while someone was rearranging their masterpieces.
Because we have a crawler, everything on the floor is fair game...so, just as I spotted the pin, so did Claire. We both motored as quickly as we could to be the first to get to the safety hazard. Luckily, I won. The experience called to mind all of the crazy things that we do to keep our kids safe and all of the ways that we go overboard to keep them stimulated and engaged.
From a safety perspective, we have five-point harness car seats, booster seats, baby gates, plugs for electrical outlets, water floating suits for the pool, organic fill in the blank (swaddling blankets, cloth diapers, baby food, formula).
From an engagement perspective, our babies are listening to classical music in the womb, not being exposed to sugar, caffeine, wine, beer or second hand smoke. They've mastered, "Little Einsteins" as infants and are now learning American Sign Language, French and sharing sushi with their parents.
Don't get me wrong, I happily subscribe to most of all of the above. It's just sometimes crazy to think back to when I grew up in the 70's and 80's. My parents smoked with the windows rolled up in the car. I don't remember a seat belt being a big deal. After a bowl of cereal, my brother and I were sent out to play for the day. We got on our bikes and trolled the neighborhood looking for friends and places to build forts. No one enrolled me in a specialized music class or recited flash cards in French. And, I think I turned out fine.
So, when I worry about all of the things my kids are or are not being exposed to, I pause and wonder, how am I screwing them up? Because I'm sure that the fact that they didn't have organic toilet paper is going to have a lasting effect.