May 2, 2005

Classic: NY Baby Afraid Of Grass

Jen from Gothamist gives a heads up on one Manhattan dad's attempt to acquaint his son with the wonders of nature, as reported in The NY Times Metropolitan Diary:

On a recent weekend, I took Lukas, my 11-month-old son, to the Great Lawn in Central Park to give him a chance to crawl on something other than our apartment floor. We arrived to find dozens of parents and small children running around, tossing Frisbees, kicking soccer balls, and generally enjoying the picture-perfect day.

I took Lukas out of the stroller, excited to see how he would react to the deep green of the grass and the chance to crawl without bumping into a wall.

I set him down on the grass and he looked at me with a slightly puzzled but shocked face. Within seconds the screaming began. Parents eyed me suspiciously.

I picked him up and the crying stopped. Nothing seemed wrong. I put him back down. This time it was louder. Had I put him down on something sharp? Were bugs biting him? I picked him up, and again the crying stopped.

I moved a few feet and tried again. "Waaaaaaa!" A nearby parent asked, "Do you need help?"

I then realized that Lukas was the archetypal New York baby: afraid of the grass. Soon we were home, safe and cheerful on the wood floors, the terror that was nature long forgotten. ----Jonathan M. Schoenwald

For what it's worth, the kid just had her first extended grass crawl at the beach this weekend. She also ate sand. Lots of sand.

Metropolitan Diary [nyt]

8 Comments

sounds like he shouldn't have waited 11 months to take a grassy adventure. This coming, of course, from someone who has a lawn...

It's not a city-life issue. I'm very rural on the coast of California and we encountered the anti-grass issue at 10 months. We can hold a picnic as long as we bring a blanket. The kid just won't crawl on grass.

I grew up in the suburbs with 4000 sq. feet of lawn around the home, and until the age of ten or so I hated the feel of grass on my bare skin, so yeah, it's not just an urban baby thing.

Of course, living in Vancouver now, my worry is that my daughter will grow up too fond of the other kind of "grass", as it's pretty much all but legal to smoke the stuff here... :)

If your kid's been eating sand, use diaper rash cream. Lots of diaper rash cream. She's not going to like it coming out as much as she did going in. :-O

Fabulous prophylactic use of relatively clean beach sand to get the sand-eating out of her system. The thrill is probably gone, so now she won't be tempted to try it once she's in the nasty NYC playground sandboxes.

We took our 9 month old daughter to the park a couple weeks ago, and she'd crawl to the edge of the blanket, touch the grass, then pull her hand back like it was fire or something.

Finally, we just plopped her in the middle of the grass, and after a few minutes she was used to it. Then, in the next few minutes, she tried to eat: fresh grass, dried grass, dried leaves, a stick, and a pine cone.

I've got lots of great footage of mom pulling stuff out of her hand a second before she puts it in her mouth.

Around here of late I have to walk the park down before I let him start running around. I live in abject terror that the thing he wants to play with will be left over syringe.

We've taught our daughter to always use a clean syringe...

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