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...


JOE L. said...

That's what they call yeridot hadorot. I bet your grandparents, aunts, and uncles said the same about you when you were growing up and getting "everything" (I mean much more than they would dream of).

AnonyMiss said...

I think I make your site meter jump tremendously because I check a few times a day for new comments!

J.A.P. said...

Sorry AnonyMiss- My site meter is set so that it counts each IP address only once a day. That means that as many times as you check the site it will only list you once per IP address that you have. If you check from work and then from at home it will count you twice, but not more just because you log in 5 times an hour. :-) Thanks for peeking in anyway!

If you click on the site meter you can see the stats- it tells you how many visits and page views I had each day- visits are IP's and page views is every time you look at the site.

Tali said...

he looks cutie!

dryer's the best..... said...

that was my best hiding place- i was NEVER found in the dryer, and without all those safety features, i'm here to tell the tale. ha, and my mother just found out about it last year- she was always napping when we played

Freeda said...

jap- i love ur ?icon? picture thingamabob, incomparable to ur old one! Gosh, he's delicious KA"H !

Inspired said...

Yeah- JB over Britney any day! ;)

Der Shygetz said...



Please be careful with kids and washer/dryers, as according to a very well respected researcher whose work can be found at creedmoorer.blogspot.com, one of the most eminently ludicrous (and universally reviled) figures in the haimishe community today owes his stunted physical, psychological and intellectual growth to having been run through the washing machine as a baby!

mickey mouse said...

"very well respected researcher"
:) :) :)
What do the rest of you have to say?

Der Shygetz said...


Seriously, what I do have to say is that the manufacturers of washing machines deserve profiles on my Creedmoor blog for actually making their appliances into toys. Next time I visit D-ward I will see if the inmates are doing design work for Maytag and Whirlpool; if not then whoever came up with this idea of appliances as jungle gyms belongs in D-ward.

Never mind the danger; even a big post 9 Days load of clothing does not weigh anything near what a child does, and a child entering the machine will break it (which is probably no big deal to the manufacturers as you can't throw it back in their face that some Buzzed out salesman at Drimmer's told you to let your kids play in it, so there goes the warranty!)

It is one thing to make sure that a child will not chas vesholom get hurt if he makes a mistake as children do - and another to encourage hazardous misuse. Yes, the machines should be ventilated - but there should also be a CHILD PROOF lock on the doors!

They're also heading for major lawsuit territory (and in this case they deserve it) by actually DESIGNING their machines for "off-label" use that is patently dangerous and ridiculous.

Appliances need to be child-proof, not child-friendly. They are only a little less dangerous than poisonous household chemicals and medications that are sold in child-proof bottles.

The Babysitter said...

oy vey, that's all ridiculously funny.

I agree with you on this one. Kinda reminds me of a post I once read about someone making fun of all the new baby products out there on One Step Ahead

But I found some cool products that were actually a smart idea!

o, and cute baby pictures, he looks like he's getting so much older already.

Limey said...

My wife and i just read your book at were so inspired!! Laughed and cried with you
Awesome job, You rock!!