But Can My Baby Make Me A Cosmopolitan?

I’ve missed being awake before 9 am, if only because I’ve been missing the really good infomercials. Today I watched one called “Your Baby Can Read!” It apparently tries to teach your child how to do something called “reading” that involves “books” and possibly “flashcards”. You’re supposed to spend lots of time with your baby, providing mental stimulation for their tiny brains. These crazy parents, don’t they know that’s what TV is for? But luckily, it only takes a few minutes a day! And you can start teaching them words at 8 months! And it can cure your baby’s heart defect! Ok, maybe not that last one, but one of the women in this infomercial implies it. Which was the point when my eyes rolled so hard I think I pulled a muscle.

Don’t get me wrong, I love books. My mom brought up all my children’s books and I’ve already starting reading them out loud to my stomach. (Do you remember “Hundreds of Cat?” How about “George and Martha” the hippos? Would you like to see my signed Tomie dePaola book?) I love love love reading and I hope Baby Evan learns to love it too. I just don’t think I need to spend a ton of money on videos or guides or tiny whiteboards to instill that love. If I’m going to waste hundreds of dollars on teaching my baby a useful skill, it’s going to be more like bar tending or car repair.

4 Responses to “But Can My Baby Make Me A Cosmopolitan?”

  1. h_a_l says:

    My mom read to me tons, both in the womb and out. I was reading ahead of my class for most of elementary school as a result. no flash cards or flip charts needed! Also, I read somewhere that when toddlers love certain books as soon as they can they start to memorize plot lines and ‘read’ the stories on their own anyhow, which I would imagine leads to actual reading eventually.

    Have you heard of teaching your baby sign language? My husband wants to do this. I just found a link here http://www.babies-and-sign-language.com/ and boy does that little guy look serious about his milk!

  2. lalaland13 says:

    I love to read too but the Internet makes it harder for me to focus on a book and I sort of hate that. I can read magazines and stuff fine but when I have to focus on a book my eyes want to go faster than I’m supposed to and I have to slow down. Once I get my eyes adjusted, it’s fine, but I don’t read nearly as many books as I did as a child, when I gorged on Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley and so forth.

    I’m rather glad the Internet wasn’t around much in those days, come to think of it.

  3. funnyface says:

    We giggle so hard every time we see “your baby can read.” Our three year old niece can “read” too– because all that is on that infomercial is memorization. Kenize can recite like, all of her Dr. Seuss books, down to the page turns.

    And you don’t need flashcards, or dvds, or anything. My mom did something similar by taping labeled index cards to everything in our house: “door” “table” “window” “chair.”

    “Your Baby Can Read” sounds like a surefire way to make kids hate reading. Nothing like being forced to do something you would otherwise get curious about and start to figure out on your own to make you think something is no fun.

  4. sarrible says:

    Lala, that’s so funny. I think the Internet has made me less able to focus on TV. Right now I’m watching Castle and, well, doing this. I have to make an effort to put my laptop aside when I want to watch a show seriously.

    “Your Baby Can Read” sounds like a great way to turn him into the next Todd Marinovich.

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