November 11, 2010

Reading Babies: the 8th Sign of the Apocalypse

Here’s a fantastic new product I’ve seen advertised on the television, and can’t help but wonder how things are going for the beneficiaries of this amazing educational tool as they move through their lives. Why did it take so very long to realize that, indeed – Your Baby Can Read!?

Imagine the benefits of having a reading baby. No more pesky bedtime stories, no more hiding the poisonous cleaning supplies, no more boycotting foods containing dangerous allergens – that baby can take on a lot more responsibility now! But that’s not all!

Reading babies: 
  •  enjoy foreign films with subtitles
  •  can sort the mail for the family
  •  can blog and update their own social networking status, freeing up mom and dad’s time for their own personal time
  • can sign for registered mail 
  • will join the Oprah book club for babies

Like all giant leaps in human evolution, there are some drawbacks, but they are not insurmountable.

  •  babies will order off of the adult menu (expensive!)
  •  spelling out delicate situations is no longer effective (“The d.o.g. was h.i.t. by a c.a.r.”)
  •  your baby may pass you in both intelligence and panache by first grade

A suggestion for parents still on the fence deciding if they want a reading baby or not – try it with the first one, and if he turns into a condescending prick then definitely DO NOT let the second baby read.

I do question the marketing department for Your Baby Can Read, because all of the ad money seems to be going into television spots, and to tell you the truth, any parents that I can think of who might seriously invest in a reading baby (and their own future, as well as the future of humankind) are probably not watching television. They are probably listening to NPR, or building power-generating windmills, or maybe composting. I see the television ad all the time, but while I recognize that this is clearly the only answer for the future of our species, I would never teach a baby to read. I personally have too many t-shirts with swear words on them, and have no plans to buy a new wardrobe that’s ”reading-baby-safe.”

An interesting side note – in the Steiner-Waldorf education model, favored by ergonomically designed parents across the country, but mostly in self-righteous enclaves on both coasts, children do not learn to read until they are seven, which begs the question: Which is more annoying, a baby who can read or a seven year old who can’t?

p.s. Here is a plain old non-reading baby who clearly could have benefited from the skill of literacy, had he been able to read the warning on his Billy Bob Buck Teeth Pacifier – “Warning, this product demeans us all.”

p.p.s In case you're wondering how to activate and engage the curious young mind, might I recommend a doll stroller, goggles and a big screen tv? It has worked wonders on my offspring. 

(Kim Luke is raising non-reading-as-babies-but-now-pretty-much-kicking-ass-all-over-books kids, and also enjoys a good read herself. Send me something to read!

1 comment:

Patience_Crabstick said...

Hilarious! I've always been turned off by products that claim to turn a baby into a prodigy.