It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Wolfgang Rolls Over

“I hope you like Mozart,” says dad. Zach stomps along the hall carpet, holding a block in each hand. Not just any blocks, mind you; these are Baby Einstein blocks.

A woman I met in the park this summer told me how she had been pigeonholed by an Earnest Mommy at a playgroup. “Do you have Baby Einstein?” EM queried. Never having heard of this line of toys, videos, books, CDs, and goodness knows what else, non-Earnest mommy thought she was joking. Gesturing toward her then three-month-old daughter, she said, “Oh, yes, a genius all right – an Isaac Newton in the works. Got that gravity thing down pat!”

Dead silence. The Earnest, as we’ve noted before, have no sense of humour.

Einstein blocks: One has the words of colours on five of its six sides. The other has pictures in the same colours on five of its six sides. Match the correct picture with the word, and a soft and joyous female voice identifies the picture and colour.

On the sixth side of each block – the only sides in which young Zach has any interest at all – show three maniacally grinning cartoon animals. In tuxes. Grouped around a perspective-challenged piano. One waves a violin in a rather worrisome manner.

When these two sides are put together, the blocks produce eight bars of Mozart. Disco Mozart. Mozart ramped up 30 beats per minute. Electronic, beeping Mozart. Mozart as produced by electronically enhanced manic chipmunks on speed.

Yes, I do like Mozart. Love him, in fact.

Which is why those blocks have been put away.

November 29, 2005 Posted by | Developmental stuff, parenting | 13 Comments