bumbo, personal responsibility, and the right to stupidity

Look, I’m grateful for safety warnings and recalls and stuff. Kind of. If there ever WAS an occasion when I was giving serious thought to using my hairdryer in the bath, and I noticed the warning label and narrowly prevented my own death, I’d be thankful. I guess.

But really, is the majority really that dumb? I mean, do we have to be told to buckle in car seats, not to pour gasoline in our washing machines, not to eat gel silica? The only people around here that try to eat gel silica also can’t read. So we are warned, constantly warned, and eventually you (or I, at least) just don’t really hear much of it. Life is full of risks. I mean, this week I intercepted a plot by my children to ride a box down the stairs. They were going to sit in the “boat” and ride down the waterfall to the emergency room, but I came in all “the man” and shut it down. Should I alert the press? Should every box have a warning label that says, “DO NOT SIT IN AND RIDE DOWN THE STAIRS. ALSO DO NOT TAPE CLOSED WITH THE BABY INSIDE.” Should I sue Big Cardboard?

And then somebody sues and life just gets more complicated, many times unneccesarily. I mean, I get it when it’s some kind of actual life hazard. Although, I rage at the powers that took away cough syrup for babies. Couldn’t they just run an ad campaign of some kind that basically says, “Hey, Idiot Parents of the world! There is a label attached to your medicine bottle with appropriate dosages! Don’t use any more than that!” But no, they just yank it and now all the parenting websites say, “Just give your baby some honey for their hacking cough! They love the taste of it, it’s not sticky at all, and super easy to dispense, and they will settle right down and go to sleep!”

I don’t know. I mean, I’m all for seat belts and stuff.

This whole rant came on because of today’s Bumbo recall, if you were wondering. The Bumbo is a squishy foam chair-thingy, in which you wedge your floppy blob of infant, and they can kind of bobble there in the middle like a normal human and it’s fun for you to see them in that position without getting peed on, so, great. But seriously. If you put a foam chair with a blobby infant on top of the table and said blob falls off the table and cries a lot, then you should just be embarrassed for doing such a dumb thing, like the time that I let Toby push Tristan around in the Fisher Price car and Trouble happened. It’s common sense. Or that time that Toby fell out of the cart at Walmart and Walmart was very concerned about me for an hour. I never considered suing Walmart or ridding the world of dangerous shopping carts, because I was the nincompoop who let a hyperactive 2 year old stand in the back of said cart. My fault. And Bumbo is issuing some kind of seat belt, so your floppy human can remain attached to the chair whilst falling, if you are determined to continue to place them on high surfaces. (Don’t.)

I guess I just think we need to take more personal responsibility for our parenting choices, and not be “managed” so much. I understand it’s a litigious society and there are genuinely ignorant parents out there, but sometimes I just wish somebody came on the news and said, “Hey! Quit doing dumb stuff, your kids are going to get hurt!” and then left it in our court.

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5 thoughts on “bumbo, personal responsibility, and the right to stupidity

  1. Katey Rallis says:

    BRAVO! I used to put N in the Bumbo on the kitchen counter while I did dishes and cooked. He loved being able to see the action and I loved having him there with me. And I was smart enough to never, ever walk away. Not even a couple feet. So I think hey, use the bumbo as a hood ornament for all I care…just make sure you're strapped to the hood with the kid. Bad analogy? Probably. It's our responsibility, as parents, to ensure safety. Bumbos, care seats, random choking hazards under the sofa…that all falls on us, the ones who choose to give life to little accident-prone people. To sue someone because your kid got hurt while you were being stuuuupid is just, well, stupid. I'm with you on this.

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  2. Susan says:

    I've seriously been annoyed by this all day. I completely agree with you, 100%. It's time people to be accountable for their own children and stop blaming others. If you feel comfortable leaving your baby in a Bumbo and walking away, then you are accountable for that action. If you feel unsafe doing so, then pick them up and put them on the floor. The Bumbo is not meant to be a seat to sit your child in and turn your back from, especially on elevated surfaces. Some people just don't use common sense anymore.

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  3. Alli says:

    I agree! I commented on a forum I'm on that it's more like the parents need a recall notice on their intelligence. Bumbos, car seats, swings, and whatever else are NOT a replacement for parental supervision! And it says not to put the bumbo on an elevated surface. Not that hard of a direction to follow. if you have to put your child in one on a non-floor surface, make sure it's not near the edge where they could fall to the floor. Common sense, people.

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  4. Erica says:

    I laughed so hard I peed. (not really but almost) You always make me laugh. Just not always hard enough to pee and or snort. Feel honored. Your funny truth is perfect and while I don't have a floppy human and I birthed babies before such things as "bumbo's" existed…..I agree. People should stop being dumb.

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  5. Not that I would have sued, but my little darling definitely graced our kitchen table as "the centerpiece", as he was affectionately named, until he could basically scoot himself out of it about 6 months old. I was aware that placing him on high surfaces was not smart, but since he was all blobby and stuff, we never had a problem. So yes, recalls on products just because people are dumb? That is silly. Might as well recall all clothing and vehicles, I guess, because I have done terribly dumb stuff in both.

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