23 April 2010

Is this tub setting up your kids for a life of disappointment?

This is Safety Tubs' safety tub for kids and it won The Peoples' Choice Award at KBIS in Chicago last week.

The Peoples' Choice Award is given at the show and it's voted upon by all of the attendees at the show. Well, I voted for my favorite but it sure wasn't that tub.

I look at that thing and it reminds me of the nightmarish kids' carts at Publix. One barely fits down an aisle and two is a recipe for grocery store rage.

Miami Every Day Photo

Anyhow, this tub bothers me. While I don't doubt that the inventor's intentions were above reproach, and I know the goal here is to make bathing fun and safe. But does it really do kids a service for everything to be fun? Some things aren't fun when you're a kid and it builds character to learn how to deal with that at an early age.

via Flickr

I see that fire engine tub and I see a generation of kids who are being set up to a lifetime of unrealistic expectations and the disappointment that always follows.

Richmond Supply Company

Isn't some how better to have some aspects of childhood that have to be endured? Maybe it's just me, but isn't it better to give kids something to look forward to when they're older?

Southern Bell Soap


  1. Maybe it does kids a greater service to help them learn to enjoy every day things- like a bath in a regular tub, playing in the water while washing the car, playing in the dirt while planting a garden, going to the park instead of going to a movie. If they learn to enjoy everyday life there will be a lot less need to "just endure" the intervals between bouts of entertainment.

  2. Grumpy old man.

    P.S. I concur.

  3. Amy: Thanks for your comment and please never take me too seriously. Despite my sometimes knee-jerk reactions to things I welcome all voices and welcome dissenting voices particularly.

    With that said, there is a world of difference between playing in the dirt and taking a bath in a $2000 kid-friendly bathtub. I never said that childhood needs to be a page torn from David Copperfield. But every time I see something like this tub that's marketed to parents who feel guilty for not spending enough time with their kids part of me dies inside. The idea seems to be that if they spend $2K on a kids tub it will then make up for the fact that these same parents are "too busy" to take their kids to the park, or teach them how to plant a garden or let those same kids help wash the car.

    Raina: Christian May always says "Get offa my lawn!" when I go off on a tear like this. I laugh every time.

  4. Ever read "The Millionaire Next Door"? This could be setting up your kid to expect bathtub "Economic Outpatient Care". (Economic Outpatient Care: hindering an adult child or grandchild's financial maturity by fostering a dependency on handouts.)

    I will tell you what kids love - taking baths in the big plastic tubs with rope handles (like the galvanized tub the 2 boys in the picture are in) especially if you set it up in the kitchen. Just use the kitchen sprayer to fill it up.

    I swore as a mother I'd never push my kid in those dorky car shaped carts ... until I had a kid. Then I figured out I didn't care what kind of cart I was pushing as long as I could get in and out of the store with the least amount of resistance. I've learned to never say never.

  5. Not to mention it costs $2200!

  6. Memories... I've been in that galvanized bucket/tub (or a slightly larger variant). I had forgotten all about it, but mentally I'm back there in an instant (thanks Paul?), trying to get the cold rolled rim out of small of my back, and feeling the grit between my nether regions and the less-than-silky smooth metal. TMI? Wait, I can explain....

    We were back-to-the-landers in the early 80's: living off the grid, no running water, chickens (no, not the urban variety), goats, the whole back to the raw basics aproach. Pulled our water out of a shallow dug well, heated it in a pot on the stove. Vermont is good for that sort of digression. Oh - and to complete the picture - I was in my twenties. So, picture that!

  7. That tub makes me *eye roll*. I'm not a mom but this is along the same lines as giving EVERY kid in class a certificate on awards day or having no winners or losers in some kids' sports games. Real life isn't (sadly) fantasy bath time and participation certificates every day!

  8. Um, that tub looks like kids would outgrow it by the time they're like 5... so 5 years of use out of a $2000 tub? I've never known a kid who didn't enjoy bathing in a regular old boring tub, especially if you give them $5 worth of plastic cups and such to play with in there.

  9. Sharon: I'll remember you every time I have to navigate around one of those SUV-inspired shopping carts. I too learned a long time ago to never say never.

    Kim: I was off by $200. This is even worse that I thought.

    Rich: just think of all the character you developed in that tub.

    Modern: Amen sister. I love how every body gets to be above average automatically.

    Nim: I want you to start a mommy blog and dispense parenting tips.

    Melody: I want to see a study that shows a direct cause and effect relationship between this tub and later heroin addiction, unwed pregnancy, gang activity and turning to a life of crime. There has to be a link and I'll find it even if I have to fund the study and bugger the findings myself.

  10. I think that tub and your spin on it is dead on! If you hadn't included the skin peeling brush or flesh burning Lye, I would have pegged you as a proud Norwegian (actually, that probably supports you as a Norwegian). As a Norwegian (so I know of what I speak), I support the use of a garden hose and SOS pads.

  11. OK I wrote that first thing in the morning and didn't mean to come off so humorlessly. There are no $2000 items that I imagine I would buy anymore than I consent to push those huge shopping carts ever! Poor kids don't have cable or a DVD player in the car either. There is some serious distress around these parts regarding what other people have/do versus what we have/do. On the other hand as someone else already said- never say never because it will come back to bite you.

  12. omg I used to get so jealous when I would see "those kids" driving around the sidewalks in a barbie car ... now I think I can see the types of parents "those kids" grew up to be :)

    I think if it was some type of shield/overlay that fit over/on to the top of a tub, maybe manufactured out of a sturdy plastic, that could then be removed fairly easily once the child outgrew it, that would be a real winner.

  13. Paul: Oops, I didn't see you'd already mentioned the price. Nim is absolutely right--$5 worth of plastic cups & you're golden.

    Adrienee: It does fit over the tub of the tube and can be removed (although it didn't look so easy).

  14. Bob: You and Nim need to get together. She's not Norwegian, she's ethno-dysphoric and wishes she were. It's similar to the way I wish I were Italian. Anyhow, I love your recipe for character; garden hoses and SOS pads. Do they still make SOS pads by the way?

    Amy: You're fine and you're welcome back any time. I don't think you're humorless in the least. The comments here tend to run to wonderfully absurd lengths and into hilarious tangents and a lot of time I write posts to encourage these sorts of things specifically. We have some kind of fun, don't we gang?

    Adrienee: I think that is a retrofit and it's supposed to slide right over an existing tub. That's what makes the price point even more galling.

    Kim: I just made up that number and thanks for homing in on the real one! Did you see that thing in action? I just saw it sitting there and there were masses of people fawning over it. Most of the stuff that qualified for "The Best of KBIS" left me kind of cold but I couldn't understand the near universal appeal of that fire engine. I still can't.

  15. it simply fits over the existing tub and is removed when outgrown.

  16. If you are a parent and have to get on your hands and knees to bathe your baby every night, then you would understand why this is useful. This tub is waist height like a kitchen sink.

    "Setting up your kids for a life of disappointment" ...........because of a bathtub?
    That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard!

    I suppose you hate racecar beds too.
    Shouldn't bathing be fun and safe? Maybe we should all bathe our kids with a garden hose. After all if your kid has a happy childhood, he will probably suffer from depression when he becomes an adult.

    Paul you are a moron.

  17. How brave to call someone a name anonymously. Wow.


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