More than half of toys tested unsafe

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) tested a basket of 50 toys sold in Singapore, and more than half were found to be unsafe. Naomi and I are not surprised.

But what I’d like to know is, what kind of crap toy is this?

The pictorial list of toys is here, and I kinda agree with the toy gun / cuff set being unsafe. A friend of mine handcuffed himself to the fence when he was five years old, and was only released by his laughing parents when they got home several hours later.

A few days later, he shot himself in both nostrils with the dart gun. Actually, he was the sort of kid who’d manage to injure himself even if you put him in a straitjacket in a padded room.

Inappropriate children’s songs


Now that Kai is beginning to learn and mimic, we are starting to be more mindful of the songs we sing to him. Especially children’s songs.

On our banned wagon now is the French ditty Alouette, which we thought was about a skylark.

It is about a skylark, and the cruel thing (plucking its feathers) the singer does to it.

The song gets really awful at the end, when the singer goes:

And your neck
And your back
And your wings
And your feet
And your tail
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette, je te plumerai

Skylark, I shall pluck you

The other song we’re considering either banning or changing the lyrics of is the Chinese children’s song called “Ke Ren Lai Kan Ba Ba” (There’s a visitor to see Daddy), in which the child sings:

A visitor came,
To see Daddy.
Daddy was not home.
I invited the visitor in and asked him to sit
And gave him a cup of tea

I know, right? WTF? You’d smack your kid if he did that. He could’ve let in Jehovah’s Witnesses, debt collectors, travelling salesmen, NEA inspectors even if he didn’t let in criminals or something!

So we’re changing the lyrics to something (I’ll get Naomi’s mum to translate it back to Chinese) like:

When a visitor comes
And says he’s looking for Daddy
And Daddy’s not home
I’ll tell him Daddy said get lost
See this cup of tea?
It’s hot and will scald your face
If you don’t step away right now.

Our child will not be wearing squeaky shoes

OK, these aren’t squeaky, but we dislike them too

There is one thing that should be banned for the sake of your kid and the general public – shoes that squeak.

They are by far the most irritating things parents can buy for their children. So far, none of our friends who’ve kids have made their children wear squeaky shoes, so we haven’t been able to ask why the heck anyone would want their kids to squeak with every step they take.

I can only imagine some parents possibly saying that it’d help them know roughly where their kids were running, and how fast they’re running.

A squeak… squeak… squeak… squeak might tell them that their kid was marching along at a normal pace, while a squeak… squeak… squeak… would either mean their kid was walking slowly or trying to hop on one foot (provided both left and right shoe squeaked the same squeak).

A squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak thonk might indicate their kid running into something, with no subsequent squeaks after the thonk indicating that their kid was off his or her feet and badly hurt.

I dunno. Some people have wind chimes to tell them the wind’s blowing, I suppose.