Grace and I were at the Goodwill a couple of months ago. I scored some teethers for Boy Detective (which I sterilized before giving to him, obviously) and a couple of Home Depot brand plastic kids’ tools. As we were leaving, Grace said to me (roughly) “I’m so glad you’re not one of those crazy people who won’t let your kids have any plastic.”
Grace, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but we’ve become those people.
Last weekend we tossed all of Boy Detective’s plastic toys, replaced his pacifiers, replaced the plastic bottles with glass, and chucked all of our tupperware. I just got tired of all the drama. Hey, now they’ve found this thing! Hey, now they’ve found this thing! Hey, it’s giving us all cancer! I really wanted to ignore it, because it just seemed like such a pain in the backside. Then I really wanted to learn about it, but conclude that it wasn’t a real issue.
Oh well. It’s a real issue.
I feel sick that I didn’t take this seriously before Boy Detective was born, but I can’t go back and change the past. I can just start now. We’re working on acquiring toys for him that are non-toxic, sustainably produced, by companies we admire for their environmental actions and labor conditions, bought at stores we respect. The first few acquisitions only met two of those criteria. Now that we got a couple of things so I won’t go crazy trying to entertain Boy Detective in an empty house, we’re taking our time to do it better.
So far, wood toys and rocks have joined his stuffed animals. The rocks are a big hit, because he can move them around, bang them together, and put them in or take them out of a metal colander his Grandma got him. And chew on them, since they’re too big to fit in his mouth. The one plastic toy he has now is a non-working computer keyboard, which he’s not allowed to put in his mouth. He has one “safe” plastic sippy cup, but honestly we’re leaning towards replacing it with stainless steel.
Now to convince the relatives to change their gift-giving ways.