When I first encountered Link-A-Doos, I was reading a Fisher-Price catalog thinly disguised as a Pregnant Mother's Magazine. The first page I opened to had a half-page glossy photograph: Small, brightly colored, plastic, flower-shaped mutant creatures swarmed through an open window and proceded to hang from every concevable vertical surface. There wasn't a baby in sight; obviously the mass-produced, churbic faced ones were waiting for an unsuspecting parent to leave a child in the room for a nap so they could whisk it away to the mothership. Other brightly colored items with Very Round Faces And Eyes littered the room with highly-athropormorphized baby expressions.
I stabbed an index finger into Mark's shoulder. "This," I said, stabbing the photo next, "is *not* (stab) what our house (stab) is going to look like (stab-stab-stab)."
I can deal with bright colors and high-contrast. I can deal with animal shapes. I can even deal with flowers. And I thought Ellenor's pull-string toy that wiggled was cool. But I draw the line at smiling, insipid, Anne-Geddes-on-Steroids faces. What lesson do these toys teach beyond "look cute so you won't be left for the wolves?" Don't children know how to do this already? Doesn't modeling "cute behavor" undermine a child's intrinsic motivation to be cute spontaneously?
out. *Way* out. Escape-velocity speeds aren't too slow.
in. I'm working on constructing a baby mobile this week.
In a related topic; we now own an iMac G5 -- so we can watch DVD's. We will not be watching any Teletubbies at our house. Instead we will be instilling a sense of cultural hertigage into our son by playing a Books-on-CD version of The Oddessy and watching DVD's of the Original Star Trek series ("See, son; Mr. Spock always has to save Captian Kirk; what do you think that says about doing well in science?...:).
PS: Thanks to everyone for all the advice on straight -- er swaddling. Now I really want a leopard-print swadling sack.