Catherine Connors is a mother, writer and recovering academic who traded the lecture hall for the playroom and discovered that university students and preschoolers have much the same attention span. She still dips her toes into academic waters by writing the occasional scholarly article about the place of motherhood in Western philosophy, but mostly now she changes diapers and wipes noses and indulges in long reflections on whether Yo Gabba Gabba is a harbinger of the decline of western civilization. Oh, and she blogs: in addition to Bad Mother blogging at BeliefNet, she is, among other things, the author of HerBadMother.com, Managing Editor of MamaPop, moderator of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, co-founder and co-editor of WeCovet, Contributing Editor at BlogHer, and (deep breath) founder of and contributor to Canada Moms Blog. And in her spare time… oh, wait. She doesn’t have spare time. But she’s okay with that.
We have, my friends, crossed the Rubicon.
My determination to have a baby-friendly home that was nonetheless free of all that is garish and plastic has received its final blow.
Behold, the Exersaucer:
Yeah, okay, she’s a LITTLE bit challenged in the hair area…
BUT. STILL. CUTEST.
It doesn’t get any more garish or plastic than this.
You would think.
It actually does get more garish and plastic than this, even in the very small world that is the domain of Stationary Monster Trucks for Babies. I take small consolation in the fact that, among SMTBs, the Exersaucer is something of a classic. It is, believe it or not, a more or less restrained machine, efficient in its size and modest in its accoutrements. Unlike, for example, the Fisher Price Intellitainer…
There’s actually a kid in that picture.
… which is a humungous, hideous beast of a thing, a construction that could no doubt flatten the humble Exersaucer in a second.
We might have gone the Intellitainer route. Were it not so off-the-chart in its hideousness, and too big for our house. So I congratulate myself on my restraint; even though I swore that I was going to acquire the most pimped-out exercise device that I could find, I have chosen to keep it simple.
Okay, so I’m not keeping it totally real in the baby-rearing department. Got me the accessories and the props. So I’m deficient as a mother, I get it, I KNOW. But the child, she will not be put down for more than 15 minutes at a stretch unless I am right down there with her playing, holding or supporting in a standing position. Which, yes, I am THRILLED to do 90% of the time. But that other 10% is a bitch.
So when I am not reading to her, exercising her, singing to her, dancing with her, tummy-timing with her, cuddling her, speaking to her in foreign languages, introducing her to the histories of the ancient Greeks, Persians and Romans and cultivating an appreciation for Bach (you think I’m kidding) ETC ETC, I would like to rest my arms.
Which is why there is an Exersaucer now, sitting alongside the bouncer-rocker and the baby jail. I like to think that I am practicing the art of constructive confinement – encouraging her to entertain herself and all that. (Ah, how then to defend the swaddle? Confinement directed toward encouraging rest. Constructive? Maybe?)
I’m just resting my arms.
Originally published at Her Bad Mother, 2006. Copyright Catherine Connors.