Sunday, March 05, 2006

The latest installment in the unsolicited parenting advice series

I was in the quilt store yesterday, trying to choose fabrics for a rug-making class I'll be taking today. The teacher of the class was present, teaching another class, and we chatted a bit while Bean scrambled around at my feet. I kept trying to head her off as she repeatedly made a bee-line for the ironing board with a hot iron on top and various electrical cords snaking around its base. Nothing was working--not my usually fascinating fuzzy scarf, not my little zippered make-up bag, not a bolt of colorful fabric. Finally, I handed her my cell phone and my watch, which stopped her cold. It also stopped the teacher cold.

Teacher: Letting her teeth on your cell phone, huh?
Me: Hey, whatever works! She's in the phase right now where toys have become boring and she wants MY stuff. She'll probably call China or something, but right now I'm o.k. with that.
Teacher: You know that antenna on your cell phone isn't good for her.
Me: (looking at Bean) Oh, it's retracted. I don't think she even realizes there IS an antenna.
Teacher: No, but it's still receiving radio waves.
Me: (giving her a puzzled look but trying to look interested) Oh...? I...uh...didn't know that.
Teacher: (very firmly and staring me in the eyes) Yeah, and you know radio waves are radioactive.
Me: (trying not to look incredulous) Oh! Well, better get it away from her then.

And I backed slowly away from this woman. Who, in addition to teaching the class I'm attending today, was also the RN present at Sister's birth. A real live trained health professional who you'd think would know better! But maybe I'm the moron here and she's right? I'm trying to conjure up my middle school science classes, but I thought...I mean, isn't radioactivity from unstable isotopes? And, like, not from radio waves? If cell phones were really radioactive it seems like everyone and their mother wouldn't be carrying one around these days with no ill effect other than rudeness and poor driving. Any scientists out there want to correct this woman? Or me? It was so weird.


Nancy said...

I don't remember the exact information on this, but we studied the relationship between cell phone towers, cell phones, etc. and radioactive dangers in a class I took. There are a few radicals who claim there's a relationship between cell phone use and an increase in cancer, but I think right now there is no definitive proof, and many scientists decry the significance of any "relationship" between factors. Also, some communities have tried to fight the installation of cell phone towers based on the danger of radio waves -- but again, there's not a lot of definitive proof on this front, either.

I would suspect that the danger of letting your kid chew on/play with a cell phone is about on par with letting them drink tap water, eat food with lots of preservatives, etc. Or hey, cooking with Teflon-coated pans! (I wouldn't worry about it, in other words.) But it's a shame that a health care professional would perpetuate scare tactics like that.

Dawn said...

Jesus, you let Bean WALK on her FEET? You know cause there is DIRT ON THE GROUND!
These people need to calm the fuck down. And take of their foil lined hats - the ones that keep the aliens from their brainwaves.

You need a Dawn T-shirt , with the "SUCK IT UBER MOM's" on the back, then you can simply turn and point at your back.

Queen Beth said...

Ok, I'm going to be really snarky right now.....GO

Maybe next time you should remind her that so is the microwave she uses to heat up her dinner for one since her unsolicited advice is going to make her one lonely person!

Ok, that was very rude of me, but I seriously can't stand it when people tell me things like that like I am intentionally trying to kill my child. Give me a freaking break!!

Ok, my outrage is calm once again. I will say no more!!


HolyMama! said...

maybe you should have let her get burned by the HOT IRON, since you know, that's what she was going to do before you gave her the way more dangerous cell phone. Geez.

Kristen said...

For god sakes! What a nightmare - I'd ask her if she uses a microwave, watches tv, cooks in plastic, and uses tampons. All of those are just as bad.

Except when your kid does them it's way cuter than when she does, I'm sure.


just ask her if you stick the phone up her a$$ will the radio waves stop then...

LOL. Okay, that's mean - but I hate those people.

Blame Nancy for sending me here - I'm perusing her blogroll :)

Belle said...

Wow, that was pretty uncalled for.

Mommygoth said...

You are correct, SugarMama. There is no proven connection between cell phone use and anything other than car accidents from idiots driving, putting on lipstick and talking at the same time. Someday we may find out otherwise, but even so, I agree that it's on par with tap water, etc. It's probably more risky to Bean's overall health to take her outside the house. Which you kind of have to do, you know?

My dad, as you know, is a doc, and my mom a nurse, so I obviously have a lot of respect for health care professionals at large, but there's no accounting for the individual. Remember Miss K's doctor who told me "Something about this whole back to sleep thing just doesn't make sense to me." Other gems from that office include "give her ice cream for teething pain (at 3 months old), "ferberize her (at 2 1/2 months old), "it's fine to give her honey" (at 5 months old). The list goes on and on. I should probably stop ranting on your blog now, huh?

Jess Riley said...

Oh man. People like that drive me ten kinds of crazy.

Mama D said...

My mom doesn't really give me advice. She merely implies really upsetting things. Like "I don't think she is crying and won't eat because she is teething and her mouth is sore." Translation - "Your milk has all but dried up and you are starving her." Gotta love it!

theyellowwallpaper said...

All I'm going to say is, oh, good grief. There is nothing for you to worry about and this women needs to get some prospective.

Amber said...

I think it's more dangerous for the phone then the kid. My volume button no longer works well- I'm thinking it's because of the slobber.

Bobita said...

My standard response is always...they either don't have kids or they have forgotten what its like!

When my oldest son was a baby, he was a screamer...especially in the store. So, I would rush off to the store to buy over-indulgent things such as bread, milk and eggs...and he would sit in the seat howling! Well, overindulgent as these things are...a family needs above mentioned items! Well, I discovered (not sure how...okay, yes I am...its because I was at my wits end and tried it...) that my baby boy loved red vines. You heard me, red vines. Red licorice. Red gold!!

Can you imagine the looks that I got? My son's face, hands, shirt...entire body, really...covered in red goo! But he was happy, and I could buy eggs!

Jury is out as to any ill-effects...


Diana - Teacher Mom said...

Better watch out for bananas. They contain radiation, too.