I like kids, honestly I do. But, after listening to my neighbour’s children howl, cry, and whine through their open windows while I was working in my backyard, I’ve had enough and need to take action. I figure one of two things is going to happen: either I’m going to knock on my neighbour’s door and dole out a lesson on good parenting with my Two-by-Four of Learning, or I’ll focus my energy into coming up with a creative solution to an age-old problem. And so, after consulting the Criminal Code of Canada, I am pleased to introduce the child soother or “Choother.”
Not long ago it was thought that children should be seen and not heard. Then the child advocates got involved and we can no longer send them to work in coal mines or keep them in the basement under a laundry basket with a large rock on top. Fine, I’m ready to work for this. It is socially accepted and legally permissible, however, to quiet an infant’s cries and sobs with a soother. This has proven a great tool since infants, lacking defined motor skills, are virtually helpless against the soother’s ability to induce calm and lull them into a sense of safety and security. A great stride in this technology was when a strap and clip were introduced to attach the soother to the infant’s shirt so it was always close at hand in the event it was inadvertently knocked away or spit out. With all humility, I am about to make staggering progress by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Let’s look at the situation as an infant grows into a toddler and eventually a fully-functioning child. Their motor skills become more refined; they express anger, frustration, sadness, and pain by way of (often) loud noises and crying instead of voice; and the waters of obedience to authority are muddied by parents who are unsure of where the line is between discipline and a phonecall to Child Services. To solve these problems, the answer begins with the soother. Introduction of the soother as an infant provides the groundwork for behavioural conditioning wherein the now-older child will associate being in a calm state when the soother is in his or her mouth. We can then take the strap and clip technology a step further where multiple straps are fit securely around the head with a locking mechanism so prying fingers cannot interfere. Put these two together and I present to you the older sibling of the soother, the Choother: a calming influence, socially acceptable, and law-abiding. By placing the soother in the mouth and gently securing the straps around your child’s head, you too can regain the quiet sanctuary that was once your home, your neighbours (me) are treated to a blissful peace, broken only by the occasional bark of a dog or honk of a Canadian goose, and, better still, this same device can be used when taking your children on outings. The possibilities are endless.