A Child-Carrier for Kids Up to 7 Years Old???

Readers, I saw this the other day — a back brace that allows you to carry your child on your back literally up to age 7 and 60 pounds — and had been too stunned to sum up my feelings…till now. But here they are:

This is embarrassing. I’m sure the carrier may be helpful to the parents of some special needs children. Perhaps it is helpful in some strange situations, like climbing out of a crevice with your sleepy second grader after you’ve cut off your arm. But the idea that it is HELPFUL to carry a child capable of going forth on his or her own two legs is staggering, in every sense of the word.

In the video below, the entrepreneur says the Piggyback Rider allows kids to be “co-pilots” and makes every “adventure” more enjoyable — including apple-picking.

Really? Apple-picking is unenjoyable for kids unless someone is carrying them around? And how much of an “adventure” is it if your parent is the backpacker and you are the backpack? And please let’s not talk about how this item helps in “bonding.” Unless we’re talking about bondage, comma, parental. — L.  

Needed! NYC Parent Who’d Like A Free-Range Tutorial This Friday!

Hi Readers — I’m working on a project that may (or, alas, may not) involve me interacting with real world moms and dads and kids, giving some Free-Range tips and having fun (and drinking their coffee and eating their cookies). And guess what? The try-out phase is FRIDAY! Yes indeed, this Friday afternoon.

So if you’d like me to come over for an hour or so to chat with you about what you’d like your kid to maybe start doing on his/her own, whether that’s cutting a sandwich, making a playdate, sitting in the playpen while you take a shower, playing on his own or (well, I need help with this one, too) doing their own homework, invite me over and we’ll see if we can’t make that happen. Yes, your kid should be there, too!

You can respond to this request at Lskenazy@gmail.com . Thanks! Do it soon! — Lenore

An Idle Parent is A Good Parent

Hi Readers — You may enjoy this essay from The Telegraph by Tom Hodgkinson, author of The Idle Parent. His  points basically boil down to: Stay home on the weekends. Let your kids bring you breakfast in bed (they’ll want to do this because they are bored and it’s something fun to do). Don’t spend money on fancy kiddie entertainment (including everything from children’s carnivals to electronics), make your kids entertain themselves. But when you want to be involved, remember: There are lots of tickle games you can play while sitting on the couch.

The piece even includes an Idle Parent Manifesto at the end. A nice essay for a boiling July day. — Lenore (who intends to take more of this essay to heart)