Friday, May 6, 2011

Modern Tools of the [Parenting] Trade...

Read an article this morning about parenting during the 1970's vs today. For a plethora of reasons, most of the women featured believed the '70's to be the halcyon days of mother(parent)hood.

I'm not gonna argue, as I was born and raised in the '70's and have lived to tell about it. But it got me thinking about how grateful I am to be raising the Reds now. Not necessarily in terms of society, but rather, in terms of stuff. Stuff to make life easier, specifically.

In no particular order, and my own neurosis(es?) aside, here are the things I'd rather not live without:

1. Baby wipes.

I've got baby wipes on every floor of this house, stashed in Zip-loc bags in the glove compartments of both cars and shoved into every purse I own. I've used them for poopy bums, snotty noses, make-up removal and cleaning the inside of the car, hands, feet and silverware. I use 'em as dust rags, washcloths glasses cleaner and toilet paper, in a pinch.

I  reckon I'll be stashing baby wipes well into the Reds' teens and I'm OK with that.

2. Baby Monitors

The Reds are 3 and 5 and our house is tiny. There is no longer a pressing need for a baby monitor, but I still get a great deal of use out of ours:

a) "I'll look out for Mummy. If she catches us, she's gonna be so mad, so be quiet."
b) "Wanna play "House?" I'll be the Mummy, you be the Daddy. Now, let's get into bed...
c) "Luke! Where did you get that necklace? That's Mummy's special one from her dresser. She'll be so mad if you put it down the vent. DON'T PUT IT DOWN THE VENT!"
d) "Mummy? Muuuummmmmmmyyyy! My tummy hur....blllaaargghhhcoughgagbarf!"
e) Wanna play swords with our pee-pees?

I imagine I'll be using the monitor well into the Reds' teens and I'm OK with that, too.

3. Microwave Ovens

I don't  actually cook in mine, but I am the Queen of Reheat/Defrost. On a typical day (like today, when I actually kept track) I use the microwave to do the following:

*Reheat last night's coffee
*Heat water in bowl for Weetabix.
*Defrost frozen juice because Daddy downed the last of  the real juice and left empty container in fridge. Jerk.
*Heat small bowl of lemon juice to rid microwave of Weetabix/coffee smell.
*Reheat cup of newly-brewed coffee, gone cold because I was busy dusting with baby wipes.
*Make popcorn for snack.
*Make second bag of popcorn for snack.
*Defrost chicken for supper.
*Cook peas for side dish.
*Reheat this morning's coffee.

You can have my toaster, kettle and the dishwasher but I'd weep without the microwave.

And the gratitude list goes on:

Drive-through fast food joints
McDonald's Play Place on a rainy day.
Mummy Groups
Kids CBC
Drive-through bank machines
Borrowing strollers from the mall.
CD players in the car
I don't have one but hear that DVD players for the car are bliss, too.
Fruit bars
No-spill sippy cups
Sun shields for the kids' car windows
Dollar stores
Glitter glue
Value Village for cheap costumes
Online banking/gift-buying
Digital cameras
Flip-top toothpaste
Bulbous snot-remover thingy
Pint-sized nail-clippers
Disposable diapers/pull-ups/wipes
5-in-1 car seats
Bike helmets
Cordless phones
Parenting message boards

could raise the children without all these luxuries, but thank God I don't have to!

And you? What modern product/device/contraption/idea makes parenting easier for you?


  1. My microwave is probably the most precious appliance - just after the refrigerator and dishwasher (I HATE hand-washing). You can see what happened when my fridge went out in Jan on a "what the frak post"...

    As a recent purchaser of "the mini-van with DVD player" I must say - MUST HAVE. Especially if your family lives over 900 miles away... My parents used to hook up a tiny 3" portable TV (that was about a foot deep) in our car with mini video tape player - it was when car trips became bearable.

    I like your use of baby monitors...

  2. We have a few trips planned this summer, so are thinking seriously about a DVD player for the car. There are only so many times I can play "I Spy!" before I want to hurl myself out the window!

    90O miles? Yikes!

  3. We purchased a two screen dvd player from walmart-a couple of years ago- i believe it was about $125. It is awesome and the only way we've survived road trips.

    I don't own a microwave- i'm suspicious of them- but otherwise i'll have to concur on your list!


  4. "Wanna play swords with our pee-pees" That had me rolling on the floor laughing! I don't have boys, but it sure would have been nice to have had a visual and not just sound when I heard my daughter say to her "boy" friend, "Wow! All your junk just sticks right out there. Mine's all tucked up inside." (They were in kindergarten, but still.) Loved your list.

    - Emily

  5. Thankful for:
    -immersion blender
    -"drive through" anything
    -Walmart and Shopping centers; can get multiple things done in one trip.
    -double shopping carts. Singles suck ass! You hear that Trenton Walmart?!?
    -Internet services save my sanity.
    -formula, because I couldn't breast feed

    Can't think of anything else that you haven't already covered.

  6. Ooh, double shopping carts! I'll go one step further and say that EVERY place with shopping carts should have ones with steering wheels.