You know those little circular Roomba vacuums that scoot back and forth across your floors to clean them up so you don't have to do it manually? Yeah, they're pretty cool, and they're major time savers.
But (call me crazy) -- something tells me they aren't supposed to be used as a mode of transportation for infants.
The parents of a baby girl named Aria thought it would be cute and funny to sit her down on top of their Roomba and let her take a spin around the living room and help tidy up the pine needles left over by their Christmas tree. Yes -- they let their baby ride their Roomba.
And of course, they caught the whole thing on video. Sure, it's kind of cute. But I couldn't help but gasp and want to hide my eyes throughout the whole thing. Watch the clip below, and then we'll discuss my paranoia.
OMG! Um, can you say dangerous -- not to mention pretty darn stupid?!?
Yes, I realize the thing is going very, very slow, and it's obvious that little Aria has mastered the art of balancing on top of spinning vacuums.
But the one thing that kept popping out at me was that perfect little head of hers -- and the hardwood floor beneath it. One sudden jerk or shaky move and that little girl could've toppled over and banged her head on that hard floor -- a thought that made me cringe over and over again.
When my son was a baby, I constantly worried about him smashing his head into something. I remember not even wanting to sit him on a floor that wasn't carpeted without some sort of padding beneath him out of fear that he'd hurt his poor little noggin.
And yes, I realize I was probably a bit overprotective and extreme (what new parent isn't?), but isn't that better than sitting him on top of a moving household appliance because you're too naive to think anything will go wrong?
What do you think? Were these parents being irresponsible in letting their baby ride the Roomba?
*UPDATE FROM PARENTS*
I’m both the person filming the
video and also Aria’s dad. I don’t normally make a habit of jumping into
internet debates, but since there are over 500 comments about our
parenting (the most I’ve seen regarding our video on any website), I
thought I would add a few cents to the conversation.
First, my wife and I have really enjoyed reading most of the comments in this thread. It is always great to get feedback, even if it only covers a small sliver of life.
Second, our parenting style is about exposure both physically and mentally. The video shows one small slice of life where Aria is riding a Roomba. That slice of life by itself doesn't add up to much more than a silly minute, but summing her exposure to lots of different activities over months and years gives Aria confidence in different situations and makes her a more well rounded person. The video was taken ~3 years ago and Aria will be 4 in April. I’m confident in our parenting style because I can see the amazing little girl she has become and a glimpse of the adult she is becoming. Aria was walking at 11 months, riding a bike without training wheels, ballet classes, and zip-lining when she was 2, rock climbing outdoors, caving (she calls it looking for bears) and skiing when she was 3. Not only are we proud of her for these accomplishments, but she is proud of herself. She simply loves trying new things and has confidence in herself (and us) that she will always be reasonably safe. We do science project Saturdays, take her to the museum, build volcanos, shoot model rockets, and do color experiments to expose her mind to new things as well. The more we can expose her to the better, even crazy Roomba rides at 7 months as long as the danger level is acceptably low.
Could she have fallen off the Roomba? Sure, it is possible, but we had confidence that she would be able to stay on and we were nearby to help prevent a fall. Does the Roomba ride look pointless? Yes, if viewed as a single slice, but it is just 1 small experience amongst a myriad of others that collectively expose her to new things and build her confidence and abilities. Were we having fun making the video? Absolutely, just like all the other crazy things we do with Aria, although I’m a little embarrassed by my “woooooing.” :-) This whole viral video thing is a new experience for her as well. Just last night we were talking with her about how she has become “internet famous.” She seemed to get a kick out of it. She got a big smile when her aunt called to tell her that she saw her on the internet.
But ultimately, the people to best asses what a specific child can or cannot do is the child’s parents. Other parents should absolutely raise their children in the best way they see fit. For us, we feel successful in the way we have raised Aria and are proud of her. Most importantly, she is proud of herself.
I intended to throw in 2 cents but I ended up throwing in 10, I guess that is because I’m her dad.
by DieMyDarlingJanuary 6, 2013 at 3:56 PMWhy do people get so worked up over other people's parenting choices? It's not abuse.
It's amazing how judgemental people can be. The parents were RIGHT there. This is WAY less dangerous than say, letting your 7 year old climb a tree. And frankly, when my son is old enough, I would MUCH rather him be outside climbing trees than sitting in front of the television or playing video games.
Even more, how many of you mothers critizising get all up in arms when someone tries to tell you how to raise YOUR child. I've been reamed for babywearing, for giving him formula when my milk was causing him stomach issues (GASP!), for mixing BLW in with my homemade purees...I could go on and on. But guess what? He's a happy, healthy, smart child and I'm confident that we've made the best decisions for him, just as I'm sure you all have made the best decisions for YOUR babies.
So why not save the critizism for something worth while rather than bashing a couple of parents who were just having fun with their child? There are SO many things going on that are far, far worse than this. Sheesh.
by powers2704January 8, 2013 at 8:53 PMThey were right there and babies fall backwards sitting on the floor on their bobby or whatever when they can't can't quite sit up on their own yet........ Really not a big deal! I thought it was cute. We probably would have done the same thing knowing our son could sit up well. Babies are very resilient and the fall IF it happened would not have been life threatening, again they were right there. It was fun for her I'm sure. Just because you wouldn't do something a certain way doesn't mean other people are doing something wrong.
by Anonymous 138January 8, 2013 at 8:56 PMSo does that mean mom is on cafemom somewhere?
by kathylueJanuary 10, 2013 at 3:41 PM
ah! leave em alone! it looks like fun and they did not leave the baby alone on that thing.
January 11, 2013 at 3:36 AM
who cares? just another stranegr's baby...could care less---sorry
I didn't say chaining them down would make them obese.... I said it wuld make them ultra safe. And yes it would make them fat,too. People have to walk their fat asses to mickey d's to scarf down them big macs you know....
tbh, a kirby and a roomba are different things.
and chaining kids down is not going to prevent child obesity. getting rid of places like McDonalds, BK, Wendy's... THAT will prevent obesity. Not just in kids.
Is anybody still wondering why childhood obesity is at an all time high? We could keep kids even 'safer' by chaining them down indoors, you know. I see a pretty good market for the kid-sized hamster ball, too.
On a lighter note, my two oldest have been riding my kirby vacuum for years and my arms and shoulders are gorgeous!
by Momma-SueJanuary 15, 2013 at 2:38 PM
I love this Dad's response, not for the fact that he defends the video so well, but because he stresses first and foremost that his daughter is proud of herself, and secondly that he and Aria's mom are proud of her. Nicely written response!
by kelliher2866January 22, 2013 at 9:00 PM
i use to wash my dog and blow dry him, well she thought it would be faster........