HOT: High Expectations Redux

A while back, we posted a great video showing that with a little parental pressure, four year olds can be taught how to play pop songs on the Ukulele to amuse their parents.

It turns out, I was just scratching the surface. There’s a veritable treasure trove of youtube videos of young kids plying ukulele pop songs.

This kid in particular has a real performing instinct:

If you can’t remember the words, just rock it…

Before I became a father to be, I had no idea how interesting videos could be!

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NOT: Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pump Bustier

First, apologies to any mothers out there who own this contraption.

I can definitely see the appeal. If you’re spending a lot of your waking hours breastfeeding or expressing milk, you might as well make the most of that time by multi-tasking. I was planning on maybe tweeting, checking my emails or making phone calls with one hand, but the Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pump Bustier makes the whole experience completely hands-free.

Problem is, I imagine I’m may have trouble coming to terms with the fact that to my newborn child I’ll be nothing but a food source. I don’t really want to heighten my possible self-esteem issues by strapping something to my chest that makes me feel and look like a dairy cow.

And golly, I can’t imagine how my husband will ever look at me the same way again.

These cartoons suggest that it’s supposed to make me feel empowered. I think NOT (they did give me a giggle). But if you disagree with me, the Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pump Bustier is available from Amazon.

HOT: When Breakfast is Bigger Than You Are

Ok, so we hate Anne Geddes and we hate Twee.

But somehow I like this:

I don’t know why, it’s just different. Maybe it’s because while this is very cute, there’s also something kind of gross about eating something that you’re actually sitting in…

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NOT: Trolley Mate

Following on from the HOT of Danish Design I though it was time for a decisive NOT.

I don’t like to knock an Aussie small business, but I’ve got a major issue with what Lenore Skenazy calls the Kiddie-Safety-Industrial Complex. Basically, companies using parental fears to market products.

There was a fair bit of this amongst the products being sold at the expo, but the award for the most shameless scare campaign of the day went to “Trolley Mate”. Trolley Mate is basically a large protective cover that you are supposed to bring with you when you go shopping to prevent your toddler coming into contact with the bacteria and viruses carried by your garden variety shopping trolley.

Now given that thousands of babies and toddlers must be put into shopping trolleys every day of the week in Australia without obvious harm, this seemed to be a product addressing itself to a pretty minor risk.

However, what really irritated me was the fact that this company marketed its product using a large picture of a baby with herpes/scabies covering its body and vaguely attributed to resulting from contact with shopping trolley.

Obviously if you’re marketing to address a risk with a very low probability of realisation, you need to significantly increase the consequences of the risk occurring in order to effectively scare people.  Parents have enough to worry about without having to deal with scare campaigns cooked up by businesses. I think it’s fair enough to say that people shouldn’t have to put up with people touting the risk of full body herpes as a realistic risk of every day activities.

The product looked like a fairly bulky response to a very minor risk too. I can’t imagine that many parents would want to add yet another thing to lug around with them when they’re out and about with the kids. Especially not to address a risk avoided by thousands of children around Australia every day of the week.

NOT: Belly Casting and Memorabilia

Ok, so we’re explicitly anti-twee here. Also anti-‘earth mother’.

That being said, we don’t want to judge other people. We don’t think any less of people who love twee or earth mother things. Live and let live I say. You can buy an Anne Geddes, we’ll pick up a Shen Jingdong, but we can still have a beer together afterwards, right?

All of this is a rather long prelude to saying that Joyce and I won’t be wall mounting a cast of her (increasingly) pregnant belly once NKOTB arrives. If this is your kind of thing, great! You won’t get any competition from us for either the professional or the do it yourself option. Or for the artist embellished ones.

Having thought about this since the Baby Expo, I think our aversion to belly casts extends towards most of the commoditised baby memorabilia out there. It’s not that we’re unsentimental, it’s that we’re seeking sentiment in things that are unique to our experience of parenthood. While I expect that we’ll experience joy in  many of the same things as other parents, we don’t feel the need to buy something in order to remember these universal experiences.

For instance, baby feet are cute, but I don’t think I need to see them on my stubby cooler.

My Alfie Langer, Brisbane Broncos stubbie cooler has far greater personal significance…

NOTE: We haven’t included a link to the company in question as we’re not trying to have a go at them. If you’re interested, belly-casting companies are pretty easy to find online…

HOT: Coco Baby Lounger

More HOT stuff from the Melbourne Pregnancy Babies and Childrens Expo and more love to sleek kids Scandinavian furniture.

This time, it’s a self rocker from Bloom Baby called the Coco Baby Lounger. You already know that I have an aversion to fluffy ducks and bright padded quilting so I really didn’t fancy getting a baby rocker that clashed with our potential purchase of a replica leather Eames armchair and ottoman for our new sitting room (yes! vain I know).

When I first saw the Coco Baby Lounger I simply couldn’t resist running my hands along its elegant curves and smooth wood grains. It was, dare I say it, a sexy piece of baby furniture. It was going for 20% off at the expo at $215 (normally retails for $269) but it still didn’t quite seal the deal for us. It wasn’t really a purchase we’d been planning to make on the day and we hadn’t done any research at all about how much a fluffy duck-padded quilted version would cost in comparison.

Tim and I dithered, discussed, walked around a bit more, checked eBay for second-hand listings on the iPhone and tried to negotiate a cheaper price by paying cash. In the end, desire outwon budget and so NKOTB will be rocking away in the one pictured on the left – cappuccino with a coconut-white pleather (easy wipe apparently) seat. Hopefully (as the salesguy and father of three said) she’ll be able to rock in it from newborn well into 3-4 years old.

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