Recently I ran into a friend without kids and he asked me about the toy recalls.
He wanted to know whether it was really as big an issue to moms as the media makes it out to be, or whether it’s a whole lot of front-page yapping about nothing.
My answer was, you know what? It’s toys.
When hamburger meat gets recalled, it’s scary. When salad contains e coli, we panic, and rightfully so. But when it’s some saxophone-playing Cookie Monster that turns out to be overrun with lead I think it breaks your heart a little too.
We brave the malls or the crowded toy stores, we plop down our hard-earned money, and we bring that shitty plastic figurine home because we know our children’s eyes will light up and it will make them happy–maybe for five minutes. Maybe for five years. Either way, when that toy changes hands and that sweet little voice says WOWWWWW! we feel like the greatest parents in the world. It doesn’t matter that we were too tired to give them anything but cereal for breakfast, or that the night before we put our children down for bed a half hour early because we just couldn’t deal any more.
(That, or we’re trying to buy our kids’ love with plastic. Which – well, not me. I’d never do that. We practice achievement for its own sake around these parts, and after my two year old has finished her morning chores, I occasionally reward her with a second bowl of gruel.)
So as soon after all this stupid toy recall business started happening, team Cool Mom Picks started featuring even more handmade playthings, safer toys made in Europe, and locally made or fair trade items for kids. But soon we found we had so many of these ideas, so many great online stores for parents to shop at, so many cool artisans doing awesome things with wood and felt and yarn and NO FREAKING LEAD, that we put them all in one place.
Enter the Cool Mom Picks Safer Toy Guide.
(And no, Martha was not there, and no the headphones were not hand-crocheted. But still – Martha! If only they knew that I have never in my life even seen a glue gun in person.)
I don’t promote Cool Mom Picks stuff here too often because, well..that’s that and this is this. But I’d be really honored if you went and checked it out and supported the really cool artists and shops that we’ve found.
I’m just hoping that soon I can resume my regularly scheduled worrying about swallowing pennies and missing preschool application deadlines, thereby dooming my two year-old to career opportunities that involve the phrase, “Would you like fries with that?”
Oh wait, I haven’t told you about the preschool application ordeal yet? Stand by. That’s a fun one.