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I had the newest Grand-brat for a few hours last week. There is nothing as important as the privilege of warping small minds. I have to admit things have changed quite a bit since I had Bratlets of my own to warp. The most important change is when we had ours we were often told, “Do your best, babies don’t come with instructions.” Well, that has changed.
This current crop of small people requires technical expertise. The amount of baby powder to be used is prescribed by the milligram; the amount of oil is exact as well as the proper application techniques. They also come with more accessories than our children did. In addition to the diaper bag there are additional extraneous necessities. I once moved to another state with fewer possessions than a Grand-brat needs for a three-hour visit.
There are now special cloth diapers, special lotions and special sauces. Diapers now come as his or hers with extra padding in the proper locations. I’d never thought about it but it makes sense. Unless you are crazy or a liberal you already have noticed boys and girls are different.
Fortunately for our first Brat there were Neglect-A-Visions. You just plop the Brat in a bouncy chair with some hangey things to amuse it. “Now with new and improved educational programming.” Today you can buy Neglect-A-Matics, which have 27 battery-operated functions to stimulate the child while you ignore it and do whatever it is you want to do. Then there are Neglect-A-Statics, which don’t have batteries. You can buy a Neglect-A-Graphic that will show your child pictures or a Neglect-A-Reader to expose it to classic literature and a Neglect-A-Melody to sing. On the other hand, you can do all of those things yourself. It is old and archaic and out of date but it worked pretty well for thousands of years.
Today, once a child has reached crumb snatcher and counter cruising stage we can neglect them with a computer or television while claiming “educational programing.”
For over thirty years I have been concerned about baby oil and baby powder. Once upon a time, parents could sprinkle cornstarch on diaper rash and it cured it. Now they buy expensive and specialized products. My concern is if fish oil comes from fish, whale oil from whales, coal oil from coal, corn oil from corn, sunflower oil from sunflowers and olive oil from olives, exactly how do they make baby oil?
Speaking of baby oil, this is Girl Scouts Cookie month. I am particularly fond of the Thin Mints. Prior to this silly pathetic or diabetic thingy or whatever it is I have, I bought and ate them by the case. Now my consumption is limited but I am still concerned about the recipes. However they do it you have to admit the little darlings are tasty. Most of the girl scouts I’ve known were fairly sweet and good-natured which I suppose is why they make good cookies. Occasionally you meet a sour disagreeable one but they must get culled out of the cookie recipes or at least don’t affect the flavor.
Nameless, the fourth G-brat finally has a name. He was not named Faux Pa after me but he was named after my Grandfather for whom I was named. So far he seems satisfactory.