Friday, February 25, 2011

Contraband crib, continued

So I walked into kiddette's room yesterday morning to see her clutching the drop side of the crib, jumping up and down like she's on a trampoline, grinning ear to ear. Boy, if that doesn't wear out the drop side, nothing will.

I ordered the immobilization kit. Even though I am really pretty offended by the whole situation.

How do you jump like that in a sleepsack? Honestly.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The contraband crib

As of June, kiddette's crib becomes illegal-ish. That is, I think we can keep it but we can't resell it. Or we can't let it out in public. Or something.

The problem is that since our drop-side crib was never the subject of any recalls, and I'm feeling confident it was assembled correctly, and frankly we haven't even moved the drop-side part since before kiddette started sleeping in the crib, there's no clear-cut course of action recommended. This blog, which seems to have good info, basically says, don't use the drop-side and keep checking the parts for wear. One-half of which we've already done. The CPSC -- which now has an entire section on its site devoted to cribs -- says get an immobilizer kit anyway, because you never know.

The company that made our crib very nicely pointed out (after congratulating me for being such a conscientious mommy -- um, thanks?) that their cribs hadn't ever been recalled and they stood by their products, but if we'd like to buy an immobilizer kit they have one. Of course, there's no clear picture of said kit on their site, so I have no idea what it looks like or how it would work, and by the way wait three weeks for delivery.

We've had absolutely no problems with the crib, ever since it was kiddo's. If anything, the drop-side was too tough to lower, not too easy. And every time I pulled it back up, I'd lean on it and jump up and down a couple times, just to make sure it was firmly in place. Yes, I really am that way.

But I know hearing about all the other crib problems is going to get in my head. Which exasperates me to no end, because then I feel like we're being penalized for other people's screw-ups. "Other people" of course meaning the shoddy manufacturers as well as the people assembling the cribs who apparently had no idea how to follow directions. Really, installing the drop-side upside down? Backward?

And that just gets me worked up all over again about how many kids' products out there are cheap, useless, dangerous crap. It's like manufacturers and retailers have absolutely no regard for the potential harm their products could do, as long as they get your credit card number first. How can anyone seriously come down on parents for being neurotic crazy messes when they can't even trust their child's bed to be safe?

I don't know if parenting really is harder than it used to be, but I do know worries like this absolutely should not need to be part of the job description.

Anyway. Still debating the kit. Cause I guess I'd be some sort of bad parent otherwise, right?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Strike out

So we're developing sort of a preschool social life here, which is good because it'll help kiddo further settle into this new place we've deposited him into, and also because you can only have serious conversations about potty usage and tantrums and snot color with other parents. Non-parents must think we're loons at this point.

Kiddo had his first bowling birthday party the other day. This had me a little worried, because he'd never been within 50 feet of an actual bowling ball in his life, and also I was going to be no help, because I suck so much at bowling that I'm not even sure bumpers would help me. Also I hate doing badly at things in public. I don't even enjoy Trivial Pursuit games once I've blown a couple questions too many. (Which inevitably happens once the sports questions roll around.) DH of course is a fine bowler, and owns his own ball and shoes. He also couldn't come to the party. Leaving me to coach kiddo, which is a bit like asking that Sanjaya dude to teach you opera singing.

Most of the other parents were bowling themselves, and were all shoed up and ready to go. I begged off on account of my suckitude, and also I suspected kiddo would run up and kick the pins over himself if I weren't watching him. Tactical error: You're not supposed to walk onto the lane part in your street shoes. Not wanting to break the rules, I hovered near the ball return as kiddo staggered up to the lane, carrying the ball with both hands: "OK, bring the ball up to the line. Not that line. The other line. No, that's not your lane. Go straight ahead. Straight ahead! OK, now push the ball down the lane. Push! Go ahead, push! That's it! No, don't cross the line! Don't cross the -- "


"OK, that's OK, come on back, you get to go again. Come get your ball. Now bring it up to the line. No, don't push it from back here. Up to the line. Up to the line. Go ahead! No, not that far --"


Seriously, I think his score sank into the negative numbers.

Before we started, he'd discovered the glory that was the video game nook behind the lanes we were using. He was especially fascinated by the racing car game, even though he never caught on that what he was "playing" was the demo. Hey, he's entertained, I get to keep my quarters, it's a win-win. But naturally this racing car game was way more fascinating than whatever arcane task I was trying to get him to perform with the bowling ball, so every time he was done with his turn, he ran right back over to the video games and grabbed the steering wheel. I spent several frames positioned between the games and the bowling lanes, watching the monitor, so I knew when to grab him and haul him -- over his protests -- back over to the ball return. At about frame six, I had a sinking realization: There are four frames to go. What if we were expected to actually finish out a game before they wheeled out the pizza and cake? How long were the lanes reserved for? Could kiddo maybe nap in the party room in between turns?

Thankfully, that was when they wrapped things up and we commenced eating.

Don't get me wrong, it was a nice party. It's just that kiddo, clearly, is my kind of bowler.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Testing testing

Going car shopping on your own is kind of fun. (As long as you don't examine the price sticker too closely, that is.) Going car shopping with two small children is a logistical nightmare. Do you: 1. haul the car seats into the car to be test driven, so you can make sure said seats and children fit inside the car, knowing you'll have to haul everything back out of the car five minutes later; 2. take turns watching the kids at the dealership while the other person drives the car; or 3. make the nice man at the dealership watch your kids for you while you motor off into the sunset? Believe it or not, the guy offered #3; we went with #2.

They had a little kiddie area at the dealership, with some 1970s-looking toys and a tiny TV/VCR combo that, impressively, still worked. We watched Elmo. I swear I will never understand the appeal of Elmo, what with the squeaky voice and the grating little laugh and the weird grammar that's almost as tortured as Yoda's. I say this even though I've been reading interviews with Kevin Clash lately, since there was a documentary about him showing at Sundance, and he seems like a lovely person. Basically I'm just a Big Bird kind of girl.

I suppose I should have been horrified that Cookie Monster came out to sing "C is for Cookie" because it gives the kids bad ideas about cookie cookie cookie no bad sugar -- isn't that how moms are supposed to react these days? -- but mainly I felt sweetly nostalgic, and I caught myself singing it to kiddette the other day. Hey, I grew up with it, and I eat salads anyway. (And cookies.)

Ultimately we went with the car we test drove, which is an SUV but not a scary behemoth gas-guzzling one. Good thing we did not go with a minivan, since the one we were renting while we waited for our car to be trucked in was both behemoth and gas-guzzling. Apparently the needle flipped to empty if you breathed on the dashboard a couple times. 

So here we are, a two-car family once again. Back to normal ... ish. Though I don't know whether DH will ever be comfortable highway driving again. I guess time will tell.

At any rate, we can spend our weekends doing something more relaxing than car shopping.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

And as if I needed a reminder ...

I passed a flipped-over car on the way to work today. On the roadway, not on the snow, and resting more on the front end than the roof, which is where DH's ended up. It looked pretty bad, crunched in all over. I'd have to guess head injuries at least.

Then checking the headlines from work, I found out there were three other accidents on that same highway later in the day. All car rollovers. All with injuries. One happened right near my exit.

DH is looking luckier and luckier.

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that you need to take your life into your hands just to get to work.

Maybe it won't be as bad tomorrow.