Ahhhh, I can’t hold it in anymore.
Ever since an e-mail came in from a PR person offering me a “prenatal music belt [that] offers a more modern, comfortable way to help your baby’s development with your favorite music,” I have been trying very hard to be nice. After all, the PR person was just doing her job, and, having been in her job before, I know that she doesn’t need to be raked across the coals by a cranky mom blogger.
But c’mon folks: “Any mom-to-be will tell you that stretching a headset across your belly is clumsy and hard to position.” Really?
Nope. Never tried it. But I did accidentally flip on the seat heaters in my mother’s new car the summer I was pregnant with my second son, and immediately assumed I had gone into labor.
Now, if you’ve seen my book trailer for You’re a Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren’t So Bad Either) you know my stance on playing music for your baby in utero:
Not that I expect a PR person with a million things on her plate to know everything I’ve ever written or produced. I can’t even remember everything I’ve written or produced. But I do think these sorts of baby-improving gadgets are not only silly, but they add unnecessary pressure to mothers-to-be who are busy enough trying to figure out how to switch off the seat heaters in their cars.
Moms-to-be have enough to worry about without having to strap on an iPod to their pregnant bellies so their babies can get a headstart on their Beethoven (or Devo or Lady GaGa) musical education. And though I know that quite a few prestigious parenting awards have been bestowed upon this particular device, I still wonder why it’s so darn important nowadays to make sure our not-even-born-yet babies listen to music in the womb, which the press release says, (unnamed) experts assert “encourages learning, language development and memory skills.”
But I assert that our babies spend the first 18-22 years of their lives learning, developing language and improving their memory skills. Can’t they just have a few months of peace and quiet? And who says that listening to their mothers sing along with “Jungleland” on the car radio doesn’t produce the same results (albeit out-of-tune)? Because that’s what I’m banking on getting my kids into the ivy league institution of their choice.
Rather, I think it’s our children’s life lessons, from school work to piano lessons to lazy afternoons catching fish at the community lake, that I believe will make my kids well-rounded enough to succeed in life. And I know I’m not in the minority here. Not anymore. Too many of us are parenting a little less intensely these days, letting kids be kids (and fetuses be fetuses), so that they develop in their own way, and not through my iPod’s playlist. Whether you’re raising Free Range Kids or you’re simply slow parenting, you know what I mean. And you probably don’t have any plans to strap anything to your pregnant belly anytime soon.
But if you are, well, at least now you’re not alone. The press release promises: “And it’s a great way for daddy to get involved, let him pick the tunes for the iPod!” Might I suggest “Video Killed the Radio Star”? Aha! That’s next: MTV for the baby-to-be, because, I as learned today, “Your baby’s education should begin in the womb.”
Darn. I’m 13 years too late.
Share, share, that’s fair: So, what’s it going to be? “You go, girl” or “You’ve ruined your kids”? Tell us what you think.