AND OUR NEXT-GENERATION CARTS WILL

AND OUR NEXT-GENERATION CARTS WILL EMIT A POWERFUL ANESTHETIC VAPOR TO PROVIDE A NEARLY CHILD-FREE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

If you believe a good DVD is the cure for any potential parenting problem, have we got a shopping cart for you. UK supermarket chain Tesco is preparing to introduce carts with built-in screens so parents can play movies for their children as they trod the aisles. Apparently, shopping is so boring and tantrum-inducing for British tots that the only solution the chain can think of is to purchase a fleet of what one can only assume are preposterously expensive and glitch-prone electronic shopping carts. (And while the store seeks to improve the experience for non-parents by cutting down on tantrums, have they considered the effect of having "Spy Kids" blaring full blast from carts in every aisle?)

FD has taken Small Fellow and Tiny Girl to supermarkets in several states, sans DVDs, and has never had much trouble. The tantrums that have developed can generally be traced to non-shopping-related issues, like wet diapers or the sudden disappearance of Loving Mother around the corner. But that could be because we tend to patronize supermarkets that hand out a lot of free cheese and cracker samples . . .


THE PRIME OF MISS JANE BRODY . . . WAS LONG AGO

Jane Brody's Personal Health column in the Times' Science section consistently offers sensible advice for parents, on nutrition, illness, discipline, and other critical issues. One just wishes she wouldn't introduce every column with a sanctimonious lecture about how well she raised her own kids three decades ago. A few months back, she berated us all for not raising low-fat, veggie-loving, physically-fit kids like her own two golden boys (and, yet, they never call).

Now she's back with a column on television viewing that opens with four paragraphs of scolding before she gets to anything approaching a point. Her finger in full waggling mode, Jane intones, "Unfortunately, our experience with television is rarely duplicated these days." OK, Jane, we surrender: You're a better parent. You have better children. (Her boys even "knew more about wildlife than the leader of a trip to Kenya"! Now, you might ask what that has to do with your personal health, but Jane would rap you across the knuckles with a ruler for your insolence.)

Still, the main points of yesterday's piece, if not original, are still valid. One tip is to "make sure young children know that TV characters aren't real." We're not sure if Tiny Girl grasps this yet. But last weekend, she watched episodes of "Monk" and "The 4400" with us. (Sorry, Jane, but here's FD's policy: If she's still awake at 10:00, all bets are off. The TV comes on, and she gets to watch with us while she falls asleep.) In the "Monk" episode, she saw a character staggering around bleeding from a screwdriver stabbing. In the latter, she saw a home destroyed by firebombing. Her response to each was the same: "Uh-oh!"

August 4, 2004 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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