Last night I picked up one of the many Readers Digests that we have stockpiled in our bathroom. I happened to just flip straight to a specific story without even knowing it was in there - it was titled Bubble Babies. You should take a few minutes to read it, but here is the gist: The author describes some 'extreme' products out there that parents are buying in to to protect their children from life's littlest bumps and bruises. My opinion was mixed - some did seem like extremes, but others seemed like common sense and even necessary in my eyes.
As I was reading the article I started to cower a little bit. I was actually a little embarrassed because the $19.95 kneepads that the author discusses early on - and makes fun of - were spread across my laptop screen just one day earlier after having looked at Riley's poor little red knees - her badge of honor of crawling like a maniac. I didn't order them, but I did think about it for a little bit. But making light of something like baby moisturizer (read: baby lotion)? I've skipped putting lotion on Riley some nights after her bath, but the result has been eczema-like spots on her arms. Sure, babies are soft already, but just like any other human being, I think they need extra moisture. This article may make me roll my eyes about some of the extremes, but it won't shame me out of using my (incredible Aveeno) baby lotion!
Sure. I ate dirt when I was a child. And my brother and I literally fried eggs on a hot sidewalk one summer and ingested our fair share of gravel and dirt and bird poop while eating them. And there was the time that I couldn't wait for my mom to get off the phone and pour me a glass of water that I drank directly from the watering can ... without knowing it was loaded up with MiracleGro (cue frantic phone call to poison control). And there is the disgusting story that my brother seems to love to tell when I actually ate a small piece of ... I can't even say it. And how about all of those imported toys from China that we put in our mouths time and time again and - so far - I haven't had any lasting effects from lead poisoning.
But still - my pledge and responsibility to protect my daughter as best I can is at the forefront of my mind. If that means spending a little bit more money to give her a little more safety or protection, I'll do it. And yes - even before she was born I had a cart cover sitting in her closet, just waiting for her first day sitting in a shopping cart or public high chair. You won't find me buying gLovies, or slapping a Thudguard helmet on her noggin' the minute she starts toddling around (however a helmet for tricycle and bike riding is a completely different story), but I will continue using my cart cover ... and wiping her hands and feet down with HandiWipes after she comes in contact with gross, public surfaces (or people ... another post for another time). Heck - maybe one day I'll get crazy and sit beside her as she fries an egg on the sidewalk. But only after I sweep it and wash it down first. ;)
What are your thoughts? What extremes (or lack of) have you gone to to protect your child?