Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I have an interesting way of evaluating risk.

Newsflash—You shouldn't give this to your kid:

The glass. (Seriously? C'mon now.)

YOU go ahead and drink your wine out of a Ball jar (wine enthusiast friends: you might feel a little better to know what's in there is Three Buck Chuck). And you go ahead and use that photo-ready, budget-friendly juice jar to pack your yogurt parfait or that perfect portion of oats to make at work (both brilliant ideas of friends). Or screw on a Cuppow! and call it a trendy vessel for your green smoothie or iced latte. Bake preciously presented sweets in your Ball jars. But don't hand them to your 3 or 5-year-old who suffers restless leg-and-arm-and-hell-it's-the-whole-body syndrome. 

The first time I become aware of the dangers of Ball jars was via email—a note from Julian's teacher informing me that the 4 oz. glass jar in which I'd sent grapes, possibly even halved so he wouldn't choke (the ridiculous irony - he's FIVE), had broken. Jules was devastated because he thought I'd be mad. She'd sent the note so I'd make sure he knew I wasn't upset with him (man, I'd better lighten up if this is what he thinks). Really, what I think she'd really meant to say was this: "What the f*ck is wrong with you, sending glass jars in backpacks with a kindergartener?" But she's a super-nice person so she sent what she sent. With a smiley face—to make me feel better. Thing is, the dangers of glass shards hadn't even occurred to me. I've produced two magazine features on how BPA kills (or something like that) and, thus, have a complicated relationship with plastic. I shared this story with a (kidless but apparently far more sensible) colleague who nodded knowingly and, a few days, later handed me some stainless-steel canisters. (Thanks again, B!)

You'd think I would have learned from this lesson. But no. I've continued to give my children beverages in Ball jars, "tightly supervised," of course. So when Kai carried his water cup (glass Ball jar) with him from the table to the bathroom to brush his teeth last night, I thought nothing of it. When he set it on the back of the toilet so he could stand on the seat to look in the mirror while he brushed, I thought "gross." And when got into a tiff with Jules over who got to squeeze the toothpaste first and swept the glass to the floor with a flailing limb, I was all "oh SHIT" (silently and for that I give myself much credit) and whisked them both out of the room so I could clean up the scattered, shattered glass. I did a thorough job, I thought, with wet paper towels and all. I meant to go back to double vacuum after bedtime. I forgot.

Tonight, Kai, refusing to be corralled for bed, ran into the bathroom and wedged himself between the toilet and the wall (again... gross!)—then pulled out a bloody foot. Slashed, with a shard. We bandaged him up and he seems to be just fine. I'm a tad traumatized. Guilt-ridden.

So if you see my kids in the next few weeks, or months, or years, out, sitting at a fancy table sipping from stainless-steel water bottles, eating their halved grapes, you'll know what's going on: I'm overcompensating. 

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