Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Catching up...

Thanksgiving has come and gone and there is no turkey left in the fridge, which is a good thing. Actually, we spent Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law's newly built house. House might be a little bit of a stretch; mansion might be a more appropriate word. It was absolutely beautiful and everything still gleamed with shining newness. There were no glass panes smudged with grimy handprints, no faint traces of crayon or marker on the walls, and no furniture sprinkled with telltale nicks and gashes. It was the home of an upwardly mobile, socially entertaining, trendy couple with no children.

Of course, my sister-in-law is pregnant and I will be curious to see the state of this same house in about two years! I predict a few casualties will be lost to the toddler years that are sure to come.

There are no more efficient testers of the endurance and strength of household products than the average toddler. We lost a DVD player in about 1 week to a set of two toddlers after one Christmas. They were entranced by the power of the open/close button on the player and decided it must be some sort of teleportation device that would work better if stuffed with Duplo blocks. We managed to get it working again, but not without hearing grinding/moaning noises every time we use it. We also discovered that the desk portion of our expensive computer cabinet could not support the full weight of a two-year-old who had decided that laying on it might be a good way to actually learn how to use this strange device with which Mom and Dad were always tinkering.

Consumer Reports would be well-advised to hire about 30 two-year-olds to test every product. They would be sure to find problems and defaults that no sane adult could ever imagine. For instance, what happens to a toaster if you pour glue into it? Are the pieces of a product small enough to fit in your nose, and if they are, can you remove them at home or would it be better to make an ER visit at 4 am? Is the slide on the swing set high enough to cause instantaneous flight when you jump from the top of it? Does the dog's toy hold up to an 18-month-old's teething needs? Just a thought that Consumer Reports should consider.

Anyway, we had a great time at Thanksgiving and my boys especially enjoyed watching cartoons on satellite channels that we don't have and on a flat-screen HDTV that we will never own. The food was good and so was the company. Plus, I didn't have to cook anything. What could be better than that?

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