Guest blogger Jessica Katz: So I just got back from Mexico, where I was shocked to learn that they don't use car seats. In fact, they would just throw their babies on a wooden board attached to the front of a scooter. No helmets or seat belts -- just mommy or daddy's arms.
As I watched this and winced day after day, I was looking at a new mommy site which listed everything you need as "organic." Organic toys, organic foods, organic bottles, etc. It occurred to me that we Americans might take it a little too far.
My daughter Ila has a lot of toys -- some organic, but some just normal Fisher Price plastic. I am pretty sure none of her playthings have lead in them, but they are from everyday stores -- not Target; not specialty boutiques. Yes, her bottles and cups are BPA-free, as were her pacifiers. But she eats out and gets exposed to foods that are not organic every day (such as In-N-Out). Her mattress isn't organic, either; it is a normal mattress that is flame retardant.
She may truly only be about 10 percent "green" -- which is OK. I have enough to worry about. As a mom, you have to "pick your battles." We have to lead real lives, and real lives are hard enough sans organic and green guidelines. We do our best.
But as I watched those kids tool around Mexico, I thought, "They are so independent and street smart and self-sufficient -- in a place where I'm scared to drink the water!" So perhaps we Americans need to relax. Kids are pretty durable. They say that if you take an American kid and drop him or her in the middle of N.Y.C., they would have no idea what to do, but if you took an Israeli kid and dropped him or her in the middle of N.Y.C., they would survive just fine.
Moms, what say you?