The Toddler vs. The Stereo

Monday, January 24, 2011

When I first saw this site last year, of course I thought it was cute and funny. Being a fresh new mom back then, I wasn’t thinking that the blog was a “coming attractions” to the Life with a Toddler movie in which I’d be co-starring.

Walking it back …

Christmas 2009. We receive this fantastic home stereo from my in-laws:

Compact, powerful, sleek. Perfect for two new parents who had listened to white noise and lullabies for months. We enjoyed it, to say the least.

Then we moved …

Shortly after settling into our new Montclair, NJ, digs we noticed that our magic music machine was no longer working. First the iPod docking station conked out. Then the control panel fizzled. We were limited to the radio—and only by using the remote control to tune in.

After conducting some homestyle CSI, we solve the mystery of the busted music box. Culprit found. Hint: Think cute, curly-haired and curious.

We had long grown tired of NPR and the on-loop FM stations, and finally got the chance to send the black box in to the manufacturer for repair (thank goodness for warranties!).

So now it’s Christmas again—a full year later—and we arrive home from our extended holiday trip to find a FedEx box waiting for us. Polk Audio, you did good.

We hook that thing up and get back to our jams … for about three weeks.

I’ve said it before, our son likes his Apple products, so when he spotted my iPod in the docking station, he went for it.

It’s charging!

Wait! Don’t pull it that way!

No, no, no!

Right. None of these quick-thinking exclamations made a difference. The only sound that resonated was CRACK—the music box’s last note.

I was not pleased, and was trying to figure out how to let QB know that he was not to play with the stereo; it was not a toy. I put on my stern voice and furrowed my brow. “This is not a toy, Quinn. You are not to play with this,” I said.

He paused, long enough for me to think that my message landed. Then he picked up his red car and said: “Red car!”

But this was still a teachable moment; the lesson was not lost on me. This little guy is growing and learning at a speed that is fascinating and staggering at once. However, he’s not at the stage where he can comprehend complex messages. Until that changes, we’ll just have to accept that this kind of thing—broken stereos, colored on walls, etc.—comes with the territory.

We have no plans on being the swaddle-everything-in-bubble-wrap protective parents. Nor do we want to go the we-can’t-have-nice-things route. I think we’re choosing Option C: keep an eye on him when we can and get comfortable with the fact that this is Life with a Toddler. Plus, there’s always Internet radio.