Monday, July 26, 2010

A Sing Along CD That Won't Make You Want to Stab Your Ears With a Kiddie Spork

As I've mentioned before, we have had a lot of trouble with Nate's sleeping, including daytime naps. A few months ago I was at the point where I would drive around for HOURS just to get the kid to nap. It was awful and mercifully we have moved on from that point. But during those HOURS and at a million different times in between we have listened almost exclusively to the same CD in the car - Fisher Price Little People: Sing Along Favorites. I picked it up when Nate was a newborn because I only knew a few lullabies/kids songs and I needed new material. This was nice and long with twenty-one tracks. Many are familiar classics (Ants Go Marching, B-I-N-G-O) but others I had never heard before (Teddy Bears Picnic, Apples & Bananas).

Fisher Price Little People: Sing Along Favorites
Nate absolutely loves this CD. If he is fussy in the car, I turn it on and he immediately cheers up. The effect is always immediate and amazing. I love the power of music. What's really funny to me is that even when he was much younger it had an effect. 

I didn't even realize he paid any attention to music at six, seven months. But then we started listening to music while we ate at home. While we only listen to this album (do we say "album" anymore??? well, I do!) in the car, it is also in my itunes library on the home computer. So we started listening to the library on shuffle during mealtimes and he would absolutely notice when a "car" song randomly started playing. He had the same reaction then as he does now. He will stop whatever he's doing (usually smearing avocado in his hair or throwing his bananas on the floor) and look at me with this mixture of confusion and pleasant surprise. "But mom - this is a car song, what is it doing playing NOW? IN THE DINING ROOM?!"

The crazy thing about this CD, given the amount Dave and I have listened to it, is that we aren't sick of it. I think we all know how annoying kids music can be - particularly when little kids are actually singing. I don't know if children are singing on this album, or if the artists are some strange adults masquerading as kids but the result is very pleasant.  We actually enjoy it.

Super politically correct and/or conscientious parents should be warned...there are some questionable moments. Alice the Camel is the biggest offender: the "kids" refer to the middle eastern (I couldn't tell you which country) inspired music as "MYSTEEEERIOUS music." And the lesson from Alice the Camel is that a horse is simply a camel with no humps. Hmph. Nice biology lesson. There's also something going on with Sally (or is it Maggie?) "behind the barn, down on her knees" in Polly Wolly Doodle. Hmmm.

A word (or several) about Fisher-Price
I have to say that part of me really doesn't want to recommend any products from Fisher-Price. I don't think they're the anti-christ or anything, but from everything I've read (for example, see here at safemama.com and
here at zrecs.com) it appears that they refuse to give anyone information about what's in their toys (materials/chemical-wise). So when concerned parents, like myself, want information regarding BPA, pvc, phthalates, etc, we are simply told something to the effect of "EVERYTHING'S SAFE! We comply with strict safety standards."

Well, that's not enough because (A) the current federal law doesn't protect our little ones, which is why The Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010  was introduced in the House last week; and (B) through some agreement, Mattel (parent company of F-P) is not even required to have their products tested by a third party for compliance. They do all of their testing in-house. Yeah, I'm not going to trust the word of a company that has been at the center of lead recalls and still has no appreciation for transparency.

That said, Fisher-Price toys continue to tempt me. I see them on the shelves and they look so fun. Nate has a few that he has received as gifts and he just loves them. I've decided to let him keep them because he loves them so much, I can't find any information regarding their possible toxicity and he doesn't suck on any of them. Life's a series of compromises, right?

2 comments:

kmjba8 said...

It's true... compromise. I'm feeling it again as Isa begin to find joy in the same non-approved items that Ivy loved - printed newspaper, the remote control, and a hairbrush (not the one with toluline). I wish, wish that she would choose something that has passed safety standards for chewing, but I cannot keep these items out of her hands, and she sneaks off with them - smiling like she's just had dessert when I find her. It's definitely a compromise that I'm still trying to negotiate!

Amber@Nater Tot said...

What IS IT with the remote and paper??! Nate loves these things too. There are so many things that I shouldn't be letting him hold, never mind chew on, that I do...particularly when it's time to change the monster's diaper. I will give him anything short of machete to occupy him during diaper time.

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