"First secure an independent income, then practice virtue." - Greek Proverb

March 12, 2008

Oh yes, two other things, that I had planned all day to write about and then very nearly forgot.

I've been wanting E to start some sort of tumbling class, partly because I think tumbling and rolling is as valuable a life skill to have as swimming is, and partly because I want him to have more chances to interact with children his own age. After hunting around, I only found one option - a place in a nearby town called My Gym, which seems to be some sort of Gymboree-type chain, but their Saturday morning "Waddlers" (ugh) program seemed to be just what I needed. So I called them to find out about rates and such-like, and, of course, the class is full. Then the nice woman on the phone suggested one of their weekday sessions.

"I can't," I said, "I work during the week."

"Oh," she said. Then - silence. I swear it was like I had told her that I spanked my child, or kept him in a box. I cannot imagine a way that she could have conveyed a more disgusted tone in a single syllable. After a moment she sort of half-heartedly offered to put him on the waiting list, which I agreed to let her do, but I don't think I'll be taking him there. Not because of the expense (I have since found a much less expensive and better program- including pool time! - with our local rec department), but because of her tone. I've never really run across this sort of attitude before, so its not like I was looking for it or expecting it, but is was unmistakably there. A very unusual experience. I wonder what she would have said if I told her that it needed to be on Saturday so that E's dad could come with him. Would that have changed her viewpoint any?

The second thing on my mind right now is E's baby bottles. We've finally convinced him that milk tastes just as good coming out of a cup as it does out of a bottle, and are ready to rid ourselves of the 40+ Dr Brown and other miscellaneous Avent bottles that we have stashed in cupboards taking up space. Of course, I bought all these before the big Bisphenol-A studies came out, so I've unintentionally poisoned my child so a greater or lesser extent, but I've come to terms with that, more or less (partly because he always loved drinking milk cold and I believe that not much leaching could have occurred in 15-20 minutes of unheated exposure in a cold bottle, but I'm still sure it adds up.)

My puzzle is what to do with the old bottles. My impulse is to donate them to the local shelter, where they will be used, I'm sure (we even have nipples that are still sealed in packaging), but then it becomes an ethical issue. These bottles probably leach BPA. Most low-income mothers are not yet educated about BPA because the story has not yet been picked up by the mainstream media. These same bottles are still for sale in stores, so if I didn't donate them some low-income mom would end up spending cash on the exact same product. But am I encouraging these mothers to also expose their babies to BPA? Its an ethical puzzle I'm still working my way through.