Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Whirpools and Maytags and Kids! Oh My!
I recently found my son and great nephew hanging out together in my sister-in-law's dryer. The laundry had just been taken out and since her hands were full, my sister in law left to put the laundry basket down before coming back to close the dryer door. Of course, by that time, her grandson and my tzaddik were already making themselves at home inside.
After the initial freak out stage, we grabbed our cameras and saved the moment for posterity. It was all very cute.
And then I went to buy a dryer for myself. I wanted a similar one to what my sister in law has and went into the appliance store to check out the features and decide between similar models.
The sales rep there showed us around and when he overheard me fielding a call from my sister (babysitting my munchkin) he said that this specific dryer that we were looking at was great for kids.
Now I don't know about you, but all that comes to mind when I hear "dryer" in the same sentence as "kids" is "IF YOU DON'T GET OUT OF MY DRYER RIGHT THIS SECOND I WILL DO A LOAD WITH YOU IN IT!!!!"
Remember the days of hide and seek?
Well I couldn't imagine that this is what the rep meant, and so I asked.
"Oh," he said happily, "this is the best model for playing hide and go seek in!"
I think I did a double take.
"You see, this was specially built to withstand up to 50lbs of a child's weight so that if yours chose to hide in there it would not break. It even has an easy close from the inside and an air vent so that he can breathe..."
My husband did the double take then.
"Oh yes, and here is a sensor that can feel if there is a child or a pet in the machine and it won't let you do a load if it isn't all right. It will make you check first and open the door before letting you dry the clothes."
Yippee do dah. So because parents were lazy and tired of screaming their kids out of the laundry room all the time, the companies just caved and adapted for hide and go seek.
Not only do they sell this as a safety feature- the fact that it's kid friendly is a selling point for these machines! Wow. Times have changed.
I can't help but get annoyed at the companies- yeah, I know its a safety issue and all and I'm going to buy the machine anyway and take pictures of my son in it whenever he climbs in, but why does our society bend so much to give in to laziness and childish antics?
I see it everywhere these days. I can't complain because I am a part of it all, but I can't help thinking that it's ruining us in a way. When I was growing up there was no such thing as every single kid haveing all the same toys as everyone else in the class and the same $100 backpack and the mandatory iPod for the bas mitzvah present.
What are we subconsciously teaching our next generation? That they deserve it all? That we have to cater to their inability to think for themselves and play by their own rules? We have to make our dryers child proof and give them all permission to play in them?
I know this is kind of taking it out of context, but after spending a few years in the classroom and watching my siblings grow up and thinking about how I'm going to raise my kids and buying new dryers that are rasing my kids for me... It just gets me thinking...