Monday, August 3, 2009

Things I Didn't Know About Parenting: Batteries

Before Bob was born, I had a lot of ideas about parenting and how this was all going to go down. I had read a few books and I knew a couple of babies and I really thought I had a handle on it. I figured anything else I might need to know I could pick up along the way. (By “along the way” of course I mean “on the internet.”) Now think of the strongest word you know for the word “wrong.”

As it turns out, the stuff I actually did know about parenting would fit on a medium size Post-It, and the stuff I had yet to learn about parenting would fit on, by comparison, the rest of the universe. I have also found that there is a sub-category of things-I-didn’t-know called I-don’t-live-in-a-closet-yet-I-never-even-knew-that-this-was-a-thing things. One of my new lessons: Teeniest Batteries.

Lots of fun books and toys are powered by oh-so-tiny Teeniest Batteries. Also called “button cell” batteries, these are the type that are apparently used for hearing aids and watches. Having never changed my own watch battery and having yet to employ a hearing aid, these batteries were foreign territory for me. I had no idea that the constant pursuit and procurement of these little overpriced specks of necessity would become an Amazing Race episode wherein I would be challenging traffic laws while speed-touring the Target/Walgreen’s/Thrifty/K-Marts of the greater Los Angeles area.

Things to know about The Teeniest Batteries:

Each Teeniest Battery is the size of a men’s dress shirt button and are in the price range of a mani/pedi.

There are many different types of Teeniest Batteries and each battery has at least five other alternate names, for example the AG-13 is also known as the L1154, A76, LR44, PX76A, or the GPA76.

The Teeniest Batteries have an extremely short shelf life. One battery is good for only two weeks of intermittent use of Play-a-Sound Potty Time With Elmo.

There are many varieties of Teeniest Batteries and the exact one that you need for the toy/book you have is frequently out of stock and did you try the Big K on San Fernando? And yes you did and they were out of stock there too.

The many models of Teeniest Batteries all look deceptively similar and their reference numbers are engraved in a microscopic head-of-a-pin sized font on the side of the battery that will alert you to the fact that your eyesight is going and that perhaps that hearing aid isn’t so far off after all and why didn’t you have kids when you were still in your early 20’s?

Teeniest Batteries are easily, irretrievably lost between the seats if you try to perform an emergency battery change for the Play-a-Song Tunes for Thomas while sitting in your car in the parking lot of Rite-Aid against an audio back-drop of a small-ish boy screaming, “I want it, want it, want Thomas right now! Hurry Mama!”

Note: Changing out and installing Teeniest Batteries requires the use of Teeniest Screwdrivers. You do not have these in your toolbox. You will have to buy them. Somewhere. Godspeed.


  1. That post is a home run.

    (From another 40ish mom who is holding her books further away from her eyes to see)

  2. Please please please don't buy toys or equipment with those teensy batteries- yes, they get lost in the couch, but then kids swallow them. My granddaughter got a button battery lodged in her esophagus, was in an induced coma for almost 2 weeks and has been receiving additional checkups and esophagus stretches for almost a year- and she was lucky to live. They are dangerous and can be easily avoided! Make sure that anything that does have them has a safety screw so they canNOT be accessed.

  3. Sandy! That is terrible! I wish a complete recovery for your granddaughter and will keep her in my thoughts.

    We will definitely keep these things out of the reach of the littles.