Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Visions of Sugar Plums with PBDEs Dancing in My Head

If you’re like me, every year at Christmas you receive a pair of pajamas. This year The Architect gave me a lovely pair of ‘Simply Vera’ flannel pajamas that are super soft and cozy.

My children typically receive new pairs from their Memere at Christmastime.

Receiving nightgowns should be one of those easy things in life. You open them up, feel them, hug them, hold them, then carefully you put them back into the box until they are worn.

For me this ritual is a painful one.

Each year I tell my extended family very kindly that they don’t have to bother getting the girls’ pajamas. That its one of those things that I like to pick out myself. In this day and age you generally can get away with sounding like a neurotic parent on just about anything; especially when it comes to your beloved kids. Say for example candy treats. With peanut allergies at an all-time high, actually with allergies to anything at an all time high, it’s easy to say, “Oh little William can’t wear wool..., eat chocolate..., is on a gluten-free diet..., can’t be over stimulated with toys that relentlessly flicker..., etc, etc”.

But pajamas? What kind of freak says, “oh, don’t worry about getting my kids PJs…they require special sleepwear, and it’s too much of a bother to explain what they can wear.”

As I said this to my in-laws last year I could see their eyes glaze over.

I even have my older daughter, who will be five in February, convinced of the evils of a nightgown. In Wal-Mart not too long ago, we braced ourselves to do some quick shopping for cleaning supplies (Mrs. Meyer’s). As I whisked my kids past the children’s clothing department, my pre-Ker loudly announced, while standing at a rack of limply hung Tinker Bell nightgowns, “MAMA, THESE ARE THE PAJAMAS THAT ARE BAD FOR YOU, RIIIIIGGHHHHT?”

I laughed nervously and pulled the precocious child along with me, trying to ignore the glares and stares of my fellow shoppers around me. In this country you can get decked for telling someone not to eat a Big Mac. I sure wasn’t going to get into telling anyone around me why they shouldn’t wear a very innocent and happy-looking Dora nighty.

So, you can imagine now how on Christmas Day when my kids’ opened two matching Dora nightgowns why I spiraled into a panic attack. The girls cooed, and grabbed their new sleepwear immediately, while I checked the label, knowing exactly what I would see: THIS GARMENT IS FLAME RESISTANT.

I won’t bore you on the evils of fire resistant chemicals that are now found in everything from carpets, to sofas, to mattresses, to car seats and infant’s feety pajamas. But if you’re interested you can check here, here, here or here.

(I once heard on the radio the reason why we have so much pesticide and chemical additives in our modern life is because these concoctions were developed for WWII weaponry and after the war ended, manufacturers needed a new market.)

But don’t read all that. Then you will become tortured like me, and find yourself pillaging through clothes, bedding and furniture…desperately looking for these words: FLAME RESISTANT.

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