It’s Not All Mary Poppins



Here we have the components to turn a Klean Kanteen into a sippy cup. (Yes, they’re plastic, but I figure the water passing through a mouthpiece of plastic for an instant is better than the water stewing in plastic for hours. (And yes, you’re right, there is absolutely no good reason to spell those words with ‘K’.))

Apart from the spelling errors, they look innocuous enough though, don’t they? Ha! Like me, you were fooled. Possibly like me, you thought those little sticky things on either side were only to hold the container together. Shows what we know! Those little sticky things are WARNINGS.

warning label

actual life-sized warning label

If, like me, you were to (finally) notice, get curious, and peel back the tiny cover of that small label, you would find the following hysterical scare-mongering information:

For your child’s safety and health WARNING!

For my child’s safety? And health? I’d better keep reading! Only Bad Mommies ignore advice to ensure their child’s safety and health.

To enable you to better share the joy I experienced whilst reading this thing, I will reproduce it in the same format as best I can: very, very tiny and no paragraph breaks.

Before first use, clean the product. After every use, take all items apart, wash and rinse thoroughly. Sterilize using a Philips AVENT Sterilizer or boil for 5 minutes. This is to ensure hygiene. Always use this product with adult supervision. Continuous and prolonged sucking of fluids will cause tooth decay. Always check food temperature before feeding. Keep all components not in use out of the reach of children. Before each use inspect all items. Throw away at the first signs of damage or weakness. DO NOT warm contents in a microwave oven as this may cause uneven heating and may scald your baby. Wash your ands thoroughly and ensure surfaces are clean before contact with sterilized components. DO NOT use abrasive cleaning agents or anti-bacterial cleaners. Excessive concentrations of detergents may eventually cause plastic components to crack. Should this occur, replace immediately. Dishwasher safe. Food colorings may discolor components. For hygiene reasons, we recommend replacing spouts after 3 months. DO NOT allow child to play with small parts or walk/run while using bottles or cups. Drinks other than milk or water are not recommended. Magic Spouts are not suitable for hot, carbonated, or pulpy drinks. DO NOT use cups with spouts to mix infant formula as this may clog the non-spill valve and cause components to leak. Always ensure the valve is properly assembled. Magic Cups should only be used as an aid to help children progress to using ordinary cups.

There. Cross-eyed yet? Count your blessings. My WARNING!! label was a quarter that size. And my eyes, they are not so good with the fine print any more, even worse at the flipping back and forth between tiny print and large. (“Your next glasses,” the optometrist intoned at my last visit, “will be bifocals.”)

Where does one begin with such a wealth of information?

Should one be insulted that they suspect you don’t know that you should be washing your child’s drinking gear? Or perhaps I one will feel more like a living-on-the-edge rebel, because, though one cleans them daily, one only dismantles those damned things once a week? Should one diligently seek ways to carve out an extra twenty minutes a day for “Sippy Cup Inspection and Maintenance”?

Wash them? Don’t put lumpy goo in them? Throw them out when they’re broken? No carbonated drinks? (Carbonated drinks? As in pop? Helloooo… these are sippy cups. For toddlers.) How stupid do they think we are?

Silly question. They think we’re idiots.

Either that, or these are very, very dangerous sippy cups. And if so…

You’re planning on giving this thing to your toddler? Seriously? Put the sippy cup down, ma’am, and back away from the shelf. Please leave the store quietly, sir.

Oh, and before you leave, hand over the child. You’re obviously too stupid to be in charge of one.

September 14, 2009 Posted by | food, health and safety, Mischief, random and odd | , , , , | 7 Comments

A perfectly sh*tty gift. Or is that p*ssy?


Are those what you think they are?

Yes. Yes, they are. Just when you thought potty-training had quite enough potential for farce, some marketer (in Sweden, I think), decides that what’s required are MODELS of the excrement in question. PLUSH, CUDDLY models. Because lord only knows I want MY toddler snuggling shit. Yes, indeedy.

“Their friendly personalities and plush exterior will help your child be more comfortable with the potty training experience” says the cheery blurb under this product.

Note to writers of script: “Comfortable”? Not to worry! Toddlers have NO PROBLEM with their bodily functions. None! Not the teeniest smidgen. Excrement is FUN STUFF.

Just watch toddlers when one among them produces their noisome output. They GATHER ROUND. Gather round, discuss, note the odor (with varying degrees of exaltation), the colour, the size. “Dat’s a BIG, stinky poo, Timmy!” “YEAH!”)

They do not need their output turned into soft and scent-free versions of reality (which they probably won’t recognize anyway — because, hey, it’s SUPPOSED to be stinky). These are the people, you recall, who can poke their wee button noses into a potty filled with urine, in which floats an arc-shaped sausage of shit and declare that they’ve produced a “rainbow”. Comfortable? No worries there! They’ve got that whole “comfort” thing nailed. Really!

Other sellers talk about “overcoming taboos”, and again, I’m saying “Taboos? TABOOS? Have these people never spent actual in-real-life time with a real-life toddler?” There are NO SHIT TABOOS among toddlers. Nor pee ones. One might hope, but they DO NOT EXIST. These people (toddlers are people, too) have been known to fingerpaint with the stuff. (Kind of gross people, bytimes, but people.)

Even those who don’t get that up close and personal with it will peer right down into the bowl to marvel over their production — and expect mom and dad to do likewise. Maybe even do a little song and dance number with them. So, no taboos, either. Nuh-uh!

So, really? Plush poo-plops and pretty pee-drops serve no viable potty-training purpose. And come on. Do you really, really want to encourage your tots to become attached to their excrement? Aren’t there enough children out there hollering, “Don’t FLUSH it, mommy! It’s MINE!!!” without us encourage further emotional bonding with the stuff?

And what, pray tell, if little Joey decides that THIS toy will become his lovie? What if he has to take Mr. Plop with him no matter where he goes? What if wee Felicity develops an urgent fondness for Ms. Piss? Do you really want one of those sitting on the table at the restaurant, lest someone throw a shit (or would that be “pissy”) fit? What if you have to have two or three of these around the house at all times, in case one is lost? Can’t you just picture your grandmother sitting down on one, left behind and partially hidden in the couch cushion? Gives a whole new meaning to “anal retentive”, doesn’t it? Or “feeling pissy”, come to that…

So, no. Not for the children. Please.

But for the beleaguered parent, they might have their uses. A little comic relief, perhaps. Or, when the stress of the whole potty experience becomes too great, maybe you could whip Ms. Piss across the room, or pummel Mr. Plop.

And you can be SURE your child-free friends and relations will think these things are the funniest damned things ever to give to the harrassed, potty-stressed parent.

So, you parents of potty-training tots: Have you seen the last of these things? Not likely. Consider yourselves warned.

November 21, 2008 Posted by | eeewww, Mischief, potty tales, random and odd | , , , , , , | 9 Comments