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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | The Caged Baby

The Caged Baby

One of the reasons I love reading and writing historical fiction is that, as a society, we are so self-absorbed in our present and our future, we forget our past. Sure, we occasionally laugh at a Facebook meme that asks who remembers the connection between a cassette tape and a pencil. But that’s not very far back, really.  Does our memory only stretch backwards to the 80’s?

I am pretty certain that no one reading this post will remember a time when THIS was okay.

Fresh air for your city baby.


(Thanks, Larry O’Donnell, for sending this photograph my way!)

23 Responses to The Caged Baby

  1. Wow…

    (OK, so the tired and cranky parent in me is going “where do I get me three of those?”)

    However, the responsible parent in me is going “shouldn’t the steel netting have some sort of rubber. The child may scratch himself.”

    What? 🙂

  2. OMG did this seriously happen???

  3. Help me pick my mouth up off the floor. I’m truly speechless.

  4. mshatch says:

    *shudders* BUT…how different is that than an enclosed balcony, really?

    I do wonder if that baby ended up with a fear of heights. I would’ve.

  5. Oh my gosh, I’m laughing so hard. I dunno, it seems like a great invention to me! Pretty safe! 😉 When my Aunt was little, growing up in the city, it was too hot to sleep inside so she slept on the roof! Her little brother was a sleepwalker, so they tied him to a pole with a rope! That story always makes me laugh.

  6. Tiana Smith says:

    Oh my! Given that one of the leading causes of death for a two year old is by falling out a window … I’d venture to say the parents still aren’t exactly savvy about window safety!

  7. Still helplessly giggling about Mark’s comment. Cages aren’t so bad, right? I mean, especially if you give the baby an iPad with Baby Einstein playing. J!

  8. Julie Dao says:

    OMG. That picture is giving me heart palpitations. Why would anyone think that was okay or safe to do?!

  9. Steven says:

    Digging through the basement of my very old house I ran across some old articles about child care. There was nothing about caging your baby, but there were plenty of other strange things like the benefits of sleeping children in dresser drawers.

  10. Kate Scott says:

    I always get a kick out of old pictures of people doing seriously dangerous things and thinking it’s normal. But the baby cage is extra crazy. I’m shocked they were able to take that picture with a plesent expression on the babies face. Most tots I know would be screaming their heads off if they were locked up like that, even if they weren’t strapped to the side of a building.

  11. Cherie Reich says:

    You mean this isn’t okay? I kinda want one. I think my cats would enjoy one too. A good way going outside without going far. Seeing the world around you.

    And no, I didn’t know they used to do that. It looks rather scary too, especially if the cage fell.

  12. Marva Dasef says:

    Looks pretty secure. The floor isn’t see-through (which would scare me). The braces appear sturdy.

    Yup, I’d definitely have used this for my kids. I’d also give them a screwdriver in they wanted to exit and a small handgun to protect themselves from pigeons and hawks.

  13. Lexa Cain says:

    My only problem with the pic is that the huge smokestack in the background belies the “fresh air” part of the caption. Other than that, kid looks safe and healthy.

    There used to be so many worse than that. Cigarettes were good for you. Laudanum or absinthe as health remedies. And I can’t remember the brand, but if women didn’t use it, their husbands might lock them out of the bedroom, complete with a pic of a woman crying in front of a closed door. Kinda scary.

  14. J E Oneil says:

    …How did people survive the eighties?

  15. That still freaks me out that someone thought that was a good idea.

  16. Oh my goodness, I would have a heart attack! There’s no way I’d trust any type of wood to hold my baby over that kind of drop. I wonder how that affected the kid–if he ended up with a fear of heights, or the opposite. Yikes!

  17. Tonja says:

    I remember we stayed at my aunt’s house close to downtown Cincinnati when I was six. One of the neighbors set her naked little boys outside to play every day on the second floor porch.

    My mom almost lost my sister out the window when she was one year old. The neighbors noticed her hanging out the window. My mom couldn’t have used one of those cages. I think she still blames my sister for climbing into the window sill. Yep. I think parenting has evolved.

  18. Actually it’s better than hanging out on the fire escape. That’s what many kids did years ago. This way he’s secure.

    Yes, it looks aweful, but it is safe. Never get away with that today.

    Since I am not a parent, I am not freaking about this. I used to walk to kindergarten by myself … about five blocks away. Yes, at five years old. Today my parents would be arrested.

    But, what’s so bad about giving a child some independence. I think parents REALLY are a bit TOO MUCH these days. Yes, the world is certainly a different place, but when I see high school boys, BIGGER THAN ME, being picked up by their parents from school, is ridiculous. Overprotection is not good for young people.

    Now back to this cage thing. Like Mark said with a bit of padding … why not? LOL.

  19. I can kind of see the point. In the 50s in the UK women used to leave their babies in prams outside the front door, and outside shops! I almost think the cage is safer!

  20. Hey, it beats paying for daycare, right? No, no, perish the thought.

  21. Cynthia says:

    Yikes! I wonder if this is one of those images that have been photo-shopped to make it appear a certain way…