Posted in Parenting

Growth Spurt Adventures

When I was growing up I used to often hear the expression “caught with your pants down” to refer to something happening that you were not prepared for. This is how I felt a few days ago.

When having an infant I knew when to expect growth spurts and could plan in advance thanks to a handy chart that gave me the average times for them; when having a toddler the timeline is not so clear and it’s easy to forget that they still don’t grow at a steady rate.

I could tell that Zen’s sandals would need to be replaced in the near future but I thought I had a few weeks to find a good sale. Nope! I wake up one morning and his feet simply won’t fit into them anymore.

You would think that it would be easy to buy toddler sandals in Florida where there is sandal friendly weather year round and no shortage of stores to shop at. Guess again!

After this sudden growth spurt we went on what we thought was an easy quest at the mall for a new pair.

2 days, several plazas and 14 stores later we were still empty handed. I was shocked to see that many stores only had 1 or 2 styles of sandals to choose from if any at all! And those that sold any didn’t have his size in stock.

By the end of the second day I was wondering if every 2 year old in the county had a growth spurt at the same time disrupting the balance between supply and demand.

Meanwhile the “crocs” that he was wearing gave him a blister and he could barely walk leaving him stuck with just 1 pair of sneakers that still fits (I wonder for how long).

After lots of wasted gas and time I have given up and ordered his sandals online. I wish that I could have used Amazon Prime but we have found such a wide variation on sizes that I decided to stick to the brand that I know his exact size for so he is stuck with sneakers until they arrive until they arrive next week.

I remember hearing about an app where you scan your child’s feet with your tablet to get their size and then order online.  I may be looking into that.

Posted in Team Fox

Changes

It has been a while so I’ll give a recap… In the last couple of months we moved to a new house. One that is in a (supposedly) safer and quiet community (so quiet that we didn’t hear fireworks on New Years) and is right next to a park. It is a 2 story house villa which I love despite the inconveniences that living in a 2 story unit with kids brings.

One of these inconveniences is that our computers are upstairs while I spend most of my time downstairs with the boys. This meant that every time I felt inspired to write something it didn’t happen because the computer was no longer in the living room like I was used to. To try to remedy that I have a bluetooth keyboard now so I can write on my Kindle Fire without cursing the touchscreen keyboard’s existence.

Babyproofing a set of stairs when renting can be challenging. We have a pressure mounted gate at the bottom of the stairs which although it won’t stop Zen if he is determined to go up, it does work well as a deterrent and keeps them from trying to play on the stairs. The top of the stairs is still open and after 3 months it hadn’t been an issue until last week when Zen figured out how to climb down, at least he did it safely!

At our new house we converted the master bedroom into a computer/play room and chose a secondary bedroom as our sleeping room. This room has wall to wall mattresses on the floor and no other furniture making it the perfect cosleeping space.

Cosleeping heaven- wall to wall sleeping space (pardon the mess)
Cosleeping heaven- wall to wall sleeping space (pardon the mess)

During this time Shammy has made excellent homeschooling process. Since he is only 3 years old I wasn’t pushing any curriculum or lessons, just trying the whole homeschooling thing on for size and it’s been working very well. Shammy is now able to read at a primary school level and is starting to write. I admit to using a lot of technology tools such as ABCMouse for math and social science and Kindle Fire apps for writing. We do reading the old fashioned way though in addition to e-books.

While the holiday season was very enjoyable, it also meant the end of the daycare that the boys were attending 1 day a week while I worked at the WIC office. I didn’t expect it to be so hard to find alternate care but it has turned into a 3 month nightmare. Despite the things we didn’t like about the old daycare we now miss it because it has been so hard to find anything after searching for so long with no luck. Granted, we may have higher standards and a lower budget than some parents but it had never been this hard to find the right match. In the meantime my mother in law has helped out but I can’t count on that as a long term solution and I fear that we may reach the point when I may be faced with having to quit my job (which only has me out of the house 1 day week) because of this.

I did the math and working full time after factoring the cost of daycare and other expenses wouldn’t allow me to provide any extra contribution to the household budget than I do now unless I got a REALLY good paying job, something that doesn’t exists in this area.

Posted in Baby Foxes

A confession that makes AP parents gasp

It is a topic that gets heated on parenting message boards: Child Leashes, Tethers, and Restraints. But it isn’t just non-parents that don’t like these devices. In Attachment Parenting circles I’ve heard a child tether compared to a circumstraint and described as distinctly NON-AP. I disagree. First and foremost, AP is about being in tune with the needs of your individual child and trusting your instincts.

I remember the first time I saw one when I was about 12 years old. I was horrified! Leashes are for dogs how dare a parent treat a child like a pet! Yet thinking back, I remember my mom using one of me on occassion. I also remember times when she didn’t use one and I got lost at the supermarket or a crowded mall. I was traumatized by being lost and not by the leash, go figure.

When Shammy started walking he wasn’t very good at holding onto an adult’s hand for more than a few steps. Now that he’s running I was terrified of all of the things that could happen in the span of a few seconds in a public place. Because of this we didn’t let him walk outside the house with few exception. He was in the Ergo, the stroller or a shopping cart.
So, here’s my shocking confession: I’m a child tetherer.

 

Yep, I walk my toddler on a leash!

I never imagined myself to be a mother that would use a leach. But I much rather have the peace of mind that he won’t suddenly let go off my hand and run off in a crowd.

It was awesome and I wish I’d had the guts to buy one earlier! Shame on me for caring so much what other people think! If I made all my parenting decisions based on public opinion I wouldn’t be a very good mother. I certainly wouldn’t be breastfeeding my toddler in public if I cared more about what Jon Doe thought than about the needs of my child. The whole breastfeeding in public bashing, in my opinion, is a complete projection of an adult hang up. To a child there is no connotation there is only nutrition and nurturance and mama.

I think the same thing is at play with the leash. We see a kid on a leash and connotations about subjugation and degradation spring to our adult minds. A child doesn’t think this though. He’s never heard about “being on a short leash.” He just sees sunshine and grass and flowers and mama.

 

Pregnant and with a toddler I figure I have a few options:

1. Babywear all the time. He’s young enough that he can still ride in the ergo

Pros: The ultimate in AP – babywearing. Complete control of where the kid goes.
Cons: He won’t be this small forever and now that I’m pregnant my bump is starting to get in the way of a front carry, a back carry hurts me after a few minutes and I don’t like a hip carry. And, most importantly, Shammy doesn’t want to be in the carrier – he wants to explore and get his hands dirty! I want this too so this option is out.

2. Use a stroller. What we’ve been doing so far.

Pros: complete control of the kid.
Cons: Strollers don’t ride very well in unpaved areas. Shammy still can’t explore. Option out.

3. Let the toddler be free range. Let him run free!

Pros: Complete freedom to explore.
Cons: More open to danger, especially with me being slowed down by pregnancy it can be hard to get to him in time before a slip or fall or before he touches poison ivy for example. Plus, in busy places the fear of predators snatching my kid or him simply getting lost in a crowd. I’m not comfortable with this in some settings (while others, like my own back yard, a walk through our neighborhood, and some play grounds I would feel safe to let him run free).

4. Leash. Put on his monkey backpack with a “tail” that mommy or daddy holds onto.

Pros: Moderate control – He is in charge of where he goes and what he touches within reason. He can’t run into traffic or be snatched up by someone else if he gets too far from us. I don’t have to worry about him falling into a place that could harm him..
Cons: I can’t think of any in the confines of my relation with Shammy. Disapproving looks from others would only be an issue if I were to put them before my son’s safety, not happening.

So, for me, leash is the best option. I agree that it has the possibility for abuse. As with anything you can parent well with it or you can parent poorly. If you are going to jerk your kid around and scream every time they veer towards something you don’t want then the tether becomes a tool for dominance and control over your child. However, if you use the tether in order to provide a safe boundary for your child to explore independence then I feel it falls perfectly in line with my parenting philosophy and goals.

I was surprised at how much he loves it, the only time that he complained was when we would pick him up to cross the street or put him in the car.