The dictionary defines common sense as having “good sense and sound judgment in practical matters.”
My grandfather used to say that common sense was wrongly named in that it is anything but common and I think if he was still here to see a note that was recently forwarded to me he would shake his head with sadness and point out once again how uncommon it really is.
Some of you may know my marketing associate, Bridget. Bridget is a marketing whiz who has done wonders for my company. She and her husband lead busy lives balancing their livelihoods and young family, and like many other ambitious parents, place their kids in daycare.
Bridget recently enrolled her younger son Malcolm in a daycare which caters to energetic, rambunctious 18-month-old perpetual-motion machines. And like all businesses this one has its rules, policies and guidelines which serve to outline expectations of everyday dos and don’ts for both staff and clients.
They send home a note warning parents of these dos and don’ts, which Bridget forwarded to me. It included a detailed list of items that these 18-months-olds cannot bring to daycare.
The first two items on the list were cigarettes and cigarette lighters. Bridget was quite relieved to see this, as Malcolm has only recently quit smoking and is still at that early quitting stage where the temptation to join his daycare playmates each time they go outside for a smoke -break may have proven difficult for him to resist.
Next on the list of banned items was headache tablets and medications (including Tylenol and Anbesol gel). I’m not sure how they expect these kids to make it through the day.
Poisons, thankfully, were also on the list as a reminder to any parent who may be thinking of adding a touch of sugary poison to their child’s midmorning snack.
I was surprised to read that knives were banned, as what else can 18-month-olds use to whittle away time during a long day at daycare?
On the other hand, I was delighted to see that cell phones are not welcome. Bridget had been planning on buying her one-year-old a cell phone, and I have spent weeks trying to convince her that no child should own such a device before their second birthday.
Seriously, are we that “uncommon sensed” that we need written rules around these things? Are we close to the day that the bottom of all bottles will now require a label reading “open other end” and our soup bowls will need the words “this side up” engraved into the design?
Do we really need rules and policies to tell us to look before crossing the street, warning labels to remind us that touching a hot stove will causes our skin to burn and signs to caution us against feeding grizzlies?
My grandfather was right.
Till we read again.