While nursing, I often end up studying the fabric that Stella’s blanket or outfits are made out of, as we spend a whole lot of time together in that position with very little to do. I have noticed something that mystifies and irritates me. If you ever look at baby fabric and study the animal prints, you will find that absolutely no care whatsoever was given to ecosystems. By this I mean that each and every one of these fabrics have cute-ified versions of animals printed on them: monkeys, giraffes, lions, tigers, hippos, ducks, etc…. What is vexing is that they are always mixed. For instance, in the darling little footie outfit Stella is sporting now, there are 2 different subspecies of giraffe (one orange with brown spots, one brown with yellow spots) accompanied by cute little green frogs (ok: I’m willing to concede there MAY be some frogs on the plains of Africa) and……ducks.
These little animals are absolutely darling. Even the aforementioned lions and tigers are precious. You would want to walk up and hug one if you were to see it on a street, with their over-large heads, “Precious Moments”-style eyes, and benevolent smiles. But despite this obvious misrepresentation of apex predators, I would agree that babies and toddlers aren’t good candidates for “Wild Discovery” and the food chain. Tooth and fang are simply inappropriate.
Which is why I feel we should at least group them properly by environment. Darwin would be rolling in his bunk in the heavenly Beagle if he could see the mixing of habitats. He made his name on recognizing slight differences caused by geographic isolation of finches. I don’t think he’d be down with Galapagos turtles frolicking with moo-cows on a baby jumper. It’s just bizarre.