This is from Shel Silverstein, an amazing poet, author and illustrator.
If I had to do it all over again, I would ban battery operated toys from the house. First of all, I believe that the battery-operated stuff stifles and limits imagination. Also, all of these batteries are bad for the environment. They leach mercury in the landfills and they are supposed to be disposed of “properly” whatever that means. It seems like I am replacing batteries in some toy every week! I am disgusted by the amount of toys that require batteries. For example, my children have the Little People Airplane. It is very cute and the kids love it. However, it makes a “whoosh” sound of the airplane, and the pilot “talks.” Whatever happened to the children who hold up the plane and make their own “whooshing” sound? I want my children to talk for the pilot. I should have given it to them w/out the batteries and they would have never known the difference. Now, if the batteries run out, they think it is “broken” and won’t play with it. Also, I got, what I thought , was an old-fashioned pony head on a stick, only to find that if you squeezed his ear, he would say, “nay.” I took the batteries right out of that one! Even puzzles have batteries now. We have a wooden puzzle with the numbers 1-20. When you pick up the number, a voice tells you what the number is called. We also have another one with animals. If you pick up the animal, it makes its own sound. Of course, I did not buy these for my children. They were gifts from well-meaning friends. My daughter’s bracelet even has batteries! It is a Sleeping Beauty bracelet and it flashes pink lights at the touch of a button. As you probably already know, batteries should not be thrown away with your regular trash. I heard that Walgreens Pharmacies will take old batteries, but I haven’t brought any of them in yet. I also read that if you seal them up in a plastic bag (another landfill menace) there won’t be any leaching. I’m not so sure if that one is true. Regardless, if you have the opportunity, and you are just now having children, ban the batteries! It is too late for our family. Save yourselves!
One week ago, my husband and I were determined to let our son cry it out. We planned to do what all of our friends have been begging us to do — just put him to bed and shut the door. Perhaps they are fed up with having to hear us complain about his poor sleeping habits for the last two years. Anyway, after we heard him cry hysterically for twenty minutes, I got online for more help. I read an article about a Harvard study that suggested children who are left to cry it out are more susceptible to post traumatic stress disorder and other nervous system problems. One part of me is so sorry I read that article. Since I believe that our biggest problem right now is that he wants to nurse all night, I searched for a plan to eliminate that problem first (plus, I am so ready to wean!) Dr. Sears recommends (as a last resort, which is where we are right now) that Mom “move out” of the bedroom temporarily to stop a child from nursing all night, and that dad comfort the child in his bed. After reading these articles, my husband ran upstairs, brought our son into our bed, and comforted him. I slept on an air mattress in the living room. I have been sleeping on that mattress in the living room for an entire week now. He still gets up a few times a night to cry for me and for breastmilk. Every night, we tell him that there will be no milk until morning. Every night, we put him down in his own crib. Every night, he wakes up before 10 pm crying hysterically and asking for me. Every night my husband takes him into our bed. Every night, he wakes up every few hours to ask for me and to ask for milk. I thought it would be better by now, but we haven’t seen an improvement. We believe he is especially stubborn and it may take a while. My husband is very, very tired, but he is being a trooper. Wish us luck.