Culture & Entertainment

Lisa Ling reminds me: Why my eco-friendly baby plans failed

By: Jennifer Gruden
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Lisa Ling reminds me: Why my eco-friendly baby plans failed

By: Jennifer Gruden
Ever since reading Lisa Ling's interview in More magazine (the US version) where she discussed a miscarriage and her desire to have a baby, I've been rooting for her. And hurray, she is pregnant and all looks well. I did laugh just a bit at this US Weekly interview where she talks about her eco-friendly baby nursery and desire to cloth diaper. I think that is awesome and I had many of the same goals: Organic cotton mattress, either washcloths or a spritz from a water bottle and a gentle dry wipe rather than the regular old wipes, and most especially...wooden toys. But... The mattress proved scary for our budget which I'm sure is not an issue for Lisa Ling (in our case a relative handed one down for the best price: free!) and my husband bought wipes after first encountering meconium - from the drug store in the hospital lobby. I held onto my eco-friendly baby ideals the longest with my eldest's wooden toys. I don't think I want to discuss how much I invested in Plan Toys' sets. Now, they were beautiful and fun and looked really pretty in my living room and fit my image of myself as an environment. And select items have lasted for my second child and I am not bashing them...I think they're a great part of a balanced toy diet. But - funny I mentioned bashing, the thing is -- when thrown, the wooden toys left dents in my wood floors. And coffee table. Not to mention the potential damage to visiting children. And toes. ( Left: So pretty, until one of the "rings" is hurled at a cousin.) Then my son received a few of the new Little People and loved their tiny little plastic details. In fact he seemed, with the exception of anything that lives on the Island of Sodor, to gravitate to anything other than the wooden toys. Little People do not look beautiful in my living room. But they were always there, because my son was walking past the fully-equipped Plan dollhouse to get to the three-toy plastic set. ( Right: My son's first true love. So many questions. Who dressed her? Why is she holding an apple? Is it local?) The final blow to my wooden toy sensibility came at the playground. "We" (I) had hauled our heavy wooden firetruck over and my son was gamely sending it careening down the slide in its chunky way when another little boy brought his probably toxic dollar-store firetruck over - and it flew past, because it had way better wheels. I still love our wooden toys but I have to tell you our toy bins now contain a lot of plastic. It turned out my eco-friendly baby sensibility met child reality and lost. I would count this as a parenting failure...except the same child, now 7, carries a water bottle and helps pack and clean his own litterless lunch as well as patrols my car for coffee cups, reminding me I have a thermos to use instead. Maybe I'll keep the Plan sets in the basement for his kids. I'm pretty sure Lisa Ling doesn't need them as hand-me-downs... P.S. If you haven't given up your ideals, check out our slideshow of eco-friendly toys!
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Lisa Ling reminds me: Why my eco-friendly baby plans failed

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