Mom's Photo of Toddlers Playing With Vibrator Sparks Outrage

taking photoIt's the sort of photo most moms have somewhere -- a picture of her little kids doing something strange and silly. But when Jenna Andersen took a photo of her 4-year-old son and 21-month-old daughter sitting in her bed, playing with a vibrator, recently, she decided to post it to Instagram. And that's when the controversy exploded. Children? Playing with sex toys? On the Internet? Outrageous!

Take a look:


In the five days since the photo went up on Andersen's Instagram account, there have been a slew of negative comments, postings to message boards about calling child protective services, and blog posts taking her to task for ruining her toddler's future.

As Mommyish writer Aimee Ogden warned Andersen, "Can you imagine going to middle school as 'that kid whose mom took a picture of you with a Hitachi jammed into your eyeball'? I can, and it’s horrifying. Sure, kids are going to find something to pick on a kid about no matter what -- but does it have to be such ripe fodder?"

OK, I'm as wary of making my kid a bully's target as anyone, but can we just back up a second?

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For starters, it's a sex toy (and one Andersen says she does not use). Admission of their existence will not cause your child's head to explode. Most parents are a little embarrassed when their kids find them, and if a kid actually knows what it is -- Andersen's kids think this is a magic robot -- they may be grossed out. But as far as I know, there's no cited case of spontaneous combustion because a child has learned their parents do dirty things to one another. 

Second, the photo is not of Andersen's kids pleasuring themselves with said vibrator. They're playing with it in a purely innocent way.

And that's funny!

Funny in the way that most ridiculous moments on YouTube involving kids are funny. Because right now, the kids have no clue what it is they're doing, and OMG, if they knew. Teehee.

Will they one day find out? Sure. Probably. Maybe. The Internet, as we always hear, is forever, but as of right now, there are nearly 2,000 photos on Andersen's ThatWife account. Who knows how many more will be there for the kids to sift through by the time they're old enough to do so.

How many photos from your childhood have you never seen because you just don't have time to go through the old negatives Mom has in the attic? The same -- believe it or not -- goes for our kids.

One day they may look at our Facebook or Instagram accounts, but surely they won't have time to look at it ALL.

And what if they do?


Why must everything a mother puts on the Internet become a debate about a forthcoming existential crisis?

Are we raising a generation so fragile that we can't expect them to recover from a few silly photos from childhood? That they won't be able to recognize the difference between being a silly little kid and being a teenager or a grownup?

If that's true, we should probably all throw in the towel because we're failing our kids.

How do you feel about the photo?


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