Look at This Sign!

Click here. It’ll take you to the photo at KaBOOM, with the headline: Would You Want to Play Here?

Answer: I don’t even think it’s allowed! — L

Where Have All The “Baby on Board” Signs Gone? (And Why?)

Hey Readers — Just got this sociologically stimulating note and wanted to post it for us to chew on. So chew!

Dear Free-Range Kids: The rise and fall of the “Baby on Board” signs is a fascinating case study for our topic of Free-Ranging.  The signs became popular as a plea for caution from other drivers.  They fell when paranoid rumors regarding kidnapping spread.

I am not sad the silly signs are gone but think about the cultural ramifications.  Thinking shifted from, “If the other drivers just knew there was a child in this car, they would exercise caution to help keep us safe,” to “If those other people know there is a child in this car they will do bad things to my family.”

(I cant believe I just defended Baby on Board signs which were one of the most obnoxious and silly inventions of all time.  But, they should have been banished for tackiness not paranoia.) — A Reader

A sign of the times. Just not THESE times.

How Very Welcoming!

Hi Readers! Here’s the sign a nature center director is about to take down from the local preserve where, for the record, there are no cliffs, no plunging ravines, no standing water, no wild animals beyond the usual squirrel-type thing, no snakes, and no evil trees. There IS some poison ivy. Anyway, as he put it, “It is really a welcoming sign, isn’t it?”

And a tank battalion, when possible.

Danger Everywhere! (The Signs are There!)

Hi Readers! Here’s a nice little life snippet from David Broadbent, a father of three girls in Perth, Western Australia. He’s too busy recording his kids conversations to blog, but he has put 389 of those conversations into a book www.extrafingers.net.au. Enjoy! – L.


Isabella, after we’d made it to the West End on Rottnest Island in Western Australia about two weeks ago and had had a bit of a look around: “Dad, why are there so many signs?”

Dad: “They’re warnings, Issy.”

Isabella: “Warnings? About what?”

Dad: “About all the things that can hurt you?”

Isabella: “Like what, Dad?”

Dad: “Oh, cliffs falling on your head, unsteady footpaths giving way, that sort of thing.”

Isabella: “Was everything this dangerous when you were a little boy?”

Dad: “Do you mean, did we have signs everywhere when I was little?”

Isabella: “Yeah.”

Dad: “I can hardly remember any signs when I was a boy.”

Isabella: “Oh! Well what has it become so dangerous now for?”

Dad: “It’s not dangerous now. Things are the same now as they’ve always been. All that’s changed is that people now think that everything has to have a warning sign on it in case someone accidently hurts themselves.”

Isabella: “But why can’t people just watch out for things all by themselves? And besides, Dad. You can’t warn people about everything. There are too many things in the world that can be dangerous. I know. Just tell everyone that they have to do it themselves.”

Dad: “Do what?”

Isabella: “You know, look about for things. Otherwise there is going to be sand everywhere with lots of signs sticking out of it. Or rocks with signs sticking out of them.”

Worse Than “Baby on Board!”

Hi Readers! Excuse me while I gag. Amazing how one sign can make everyone who passes this stroller feel big, dirty, disgusting, diseased and depressed.

Remember those “Baby on Board!” signs, that made it seem as if people who were seriously considering crashing into a car would reconsider upon realizing it was carrying someone small? I’m having flashbacks.  — Lenore

While we're at it, don't breathe near me, either.