By Madeline | January 11, 2008
I was doing some research to try to find more out about Tudor education so I could post a new article (since I’ve been slacking lately!) when I stumbled upon a picture of a baby walker from the Tudor period. I’ll try to attach the picture – a true test to my computer skills… At any rate, it has little wheels on the bottom and three ‘arms’ that attach a circle to the band of wheels. The entire thing looks as though it’s made of wood, though I can but hope there was at least some padding there at one time. I think the worst thing about it is that there is no crotch holder cut out like there is in all modern day baby items, so I’m left to wonder how did they child stay in the walker? That hole the baby is supposed to go in looks really small – did the poor thing just get crammed in there until the holster hit its rib cage and just dangle there? Maybe that just encouraged them to walk more quickly. Hehehe
Today’s toys all have to be plastic, padded and super duper ultra safe. Even with such overly extreme precautions, parents are inundated with warnings about SIDS and choking hazards and bath water that is too hot all the way to germs and other invisible contaminates that can maim and kill our children. Lately we’ve also all had fear struck in our hearts because of the lead poisoning that’s been rampant on the American toy market. Taking all of this into consideration, I am left to wonder how many infants did not survive to toddlerhood as a result of ignorant construction like leaving slats too far apart on beds or high chairs that didn’t lock the children into place.
As a parent of modern times, I feel so fortunate to have access to the internet and especially babycenter.com. Now more than ever before, we have all the knowledge we can read at our fingertips. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for the mothers of Tudor children, women who probably had the babies when they were still young teenagers and whose knowledge didn’t extend beyond their own first hand experience with siblings. I think the worst part of being a mother then would have been the probability of infant/child mortality. Most children born, of those that actually survived birth that is, did not live past the age of five. This was primarily due to disease, but I’m sure many accidents due to ignorant negligence was prevalent as well. My daughter is just about to turn two and is the center of my world. I cannot even imagine how devastating it would be to lose her and yet this is something that most women faced at least once in their lives – if they were lucky enough to survive the actual birth that is.
Topics: Tudor Era |
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