Baby Plays Around. With Glasses, That Is. Better to Prohibit or Manage?

by doodaddy on October 11, 2007

Years before I’d’ve expected, I’m faced with a decision about abstinence education. (Not that kind of abstinence, you perverts.)

Boobaby has two bespectacled parents. (I love that word!) Add to that seven grandparents and an assortment of friends who also wear glasses and you understand how Boo became addicted to stealing them off our faces. She started the “yank” pretty much as soon as she had enough control over the little muscle fibers in her rascally fingers.


Stealing the glasses starts.

So the question arose: How do we handle this obsession with our specs? We came up with two strategies:

  1. Prohibition: Make glasses a forbidden item, akin to carving knives, model rocket motors, and most of the ninja weapons in the house.
  2. Regulation, a.k.a. “giving in”: Give Boo a pair of old glasses she can call her own.

Over and over, we’ve gone for #2. We let Boo play with our superfluous and de-weaponized glasses, keys, cell phones, remote controls, and MP3 players. Since she has her own blinking and clinking versions of these things, she should no longer be interested in ours, right?

You’d think so.


Still stealing glasses. Awfully cutely, though.

You’d be wrong. She still grabs our glasses, cell phones, keys, remote controls, and MP3 players.

So maybe we would have been better off forbidding the items to begin with. But part of me is really proud that Boo wants to manipulate and explore these grown-up things. She even figures out (and rejects) the “fake” ones — remotes missing batteries or cell phones that we’ve deactivated so she can no longer call to Azerbaijan. (What can I say — she likes the culture!)

Besides — and this is crucial — even though she’s allowed to play with some of these essentials some of the time, it seems to us that Boo is learning when and what is appropriate. She’s usually gentle with glasses now. She knows that the iPod is not to be messed with when I’m putting her to bed and that she must relinquish our keys when we arrive home.

So I conclude that Boo’s experiments with adult items like our glasses not only teach her how to handle delicate stuff but, in the long run, will save more pairs from premature mangling than if we’d tried to rule all eyewear off-limits to her curious pincers.

Which, at least, is some small comfort to me as I struggle to reattach an eyepiece or replace a popped-out lens.

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in mischief,parenting ·

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian Dauernheim October 11, 2007 at 4:37 am

My daughter used to steal my glasses too, and I would just let her (my vision wasn’t quite so bad that I couldn’t see at all). But the last straw came when she managed to bite off one of the nose pads. My solution? Lasik!
She also liked stealing our cell phones, and wouldn’t accept the toy ones as a substitute. Our solution was to have my buddy who works for a cell phone company to rig her up one that couldn’t make calls, but still did everything else (sounds, screen, etc). Worked well until she lost it. 🙁


Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah October 11, 2007 at 7:38 am

Yeah, I finally had to resort to threats and putting the ipods, cell phones and remoites up really high where The Goon Squad couldn’t reach.

Might I suggest contacts?

I bet she’d try to play with them, too. Ouch! –Dd.


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