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The Ghetto Rattle!

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Kimberly Seals Allers: They say necessity is the mother of all invention. Every mother knows this well. When my son was still an infant, I had a major mommy emergency. I was stuck in my car with a ridiculously crying baby. Alone and on a mission to get to my destination, I couldn't stop to console this little boy on this day. I used my whole bag of mommy tricks -- singing happy songs, singing soothing songs, making odd noises, reaching awkwardly into the back seat until the neck pain become unbearable ... everything! Nothing worked.

In my desperation, I grabbed my empty water bottle, tossed in a few coins from the cup holder and started shaking like crazy -- the ghetto rattle was instantly born. It was a real hit! From that point on, the ghetto rattle was a car staple. Everyone knew about it and called it by its proper name -- giving it all the due respect it deserved given the amazing power it possessed to quiet my son. Sometimes I had to buy water or pour water out just to create a new ghetto rattle and, trust me, it was always worth it. I nearly forgot about that good 'ole ghetto rattle.

baby crying

But a few months ago, one of my dear girlfriends became a mom for the first time. As a true friend, she had been there years ago during those cranky moments when ghetto rattle saved the day. She had been there in the car shaking it like a salt shaker when it was her turn. And so she called to tell me of a nerve wracking car ride with her son which was saved by her husband's quick and efficient creation of her own ghetto rattle. At first, he was skeptical as she explained the concept (men!) but when he saw it in action, he too, was humbled by its powers. And I was a proud mama once again! My creation, the ghetto rattle, lives on.

More importantly, I relished the moment of knowing that this is what motherhood is all about--sharing the little tips that helped get us through the tough parts and hoping they can help another mom too. And then, feeling pretty darn good when you do.


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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Natalie April 13, 2009, 1:36 PM

I swear to God, if one person complains about this author using the term “ghetto”, I am going to scream! It is funny, people use this term all the time, and it is not intended to be derogitory (sp) or offensive. I am sick of every thought having to be censored so that we can all be PC.

Red Roses April 13, 2009, 5:53 PM

Yes, I agree. When the truth is we aren’t PC when we pass these thoughts to our friends, and the laughter overflows. Nothing derogitory about that name. Her creation, so she named it. Best part that GHETTO RATTLE works!!

ashley April 14, 2009, 8:22 AM

Great Idea!! I’ll have to do that next time my toddler gets bored in the car. It’ better than giving her my cell phone!! When my son was little, my grandma put some raw pinto beans into a pill bottle and he absolutely loved it!!


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