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Category Archives: Children

How to Take a Shower With a Baby

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It has come to my attention that many mothers with babies and young children often don’t get a chance to shower. So, I wanted to share how I shower with a baby. In case it isn’t obvious, my son and I don’t shower with our swim suits on! I only covered up so that Facebook doesn’t ban my video for indecency.

I’ve taken my babies into the shower with me from when they were newborns. Please keep in mind your physical and emotional well being. If you’re recovering from birth, have any back problems, or feel anxious about holding a slippery baby in a shower, then this method might not work for you, but you can still take a shower and let your baby watch from the bouncer!

Babies are slippery when wet, so you do need a vice grip on them. If you feel a little hesitant the first time you try it, you can have your partner help you by passing the baby in and out of the shower.

Babies might pee in the bouncer! Try to take them in the shower just after they’ve gone, or if you’re not sure of when they went last, you can put a thick wash cloth down or leave their diaper under them, (just leave it open, so you can pick them up easily)

Same as with a bath, make sure the water temperature is neither too hot nor too cold, as baby skin is very delicate. You can also shower your other children at this time… imagine an assembly line…

Enjoy being clean! Share with your friends who have babies or are about to have babies… they might be struggling to take a shower too!

 

I Hate Having Kids

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Sorry if I hold your hand too tight when we cross the street. Sorry if hover too much. Sorry if I ask you, “are you alright?” a few too many times. Sorry if I check all night long that you’re breathing. Sorry that I over react sometimes when I think you might get hurt.

What’s that cough? What’s that bump? Am I saying and doing the right things? I know I have to let you go and I have to have faith that you’ll be safe. But deep down, there’s always that nagging thought… I’ve learned to quiet that thought, but it’s still there. I’m not an anxious person, but you do something to me that defies everything I thought I knew about myself.

The same thing that brings you joy can also make you miserable. I KNOW this. If you told me this knowledge on life about anything else, I can get it. A new car that brings you joy, makes you miserable when it gets scratched. An exciting new job can get mundane after some time. A new love will turn old. A young beautiful body will get old and wrinkled. I know all this and accept it… but when it comes to my babies, it’s so different. I love you, I worry. I can’t help it. I love you so much that I hate it!

To the Little Daydreamers…

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I call her my Little Miss Sunshine. She wakes up next to me with a smile every day. She’s four.

She’s sitting near me while I type, completely absorbed in her imaginary play. After she’s been fed, gone to the toilet, had her dose of cuddles, she just skips off, humming a little tune and finds her things to play with. If it was up to her, she could putz around the house for hours, 100% content to play with her dolls, creatures, you name it. All she needs to know is that I’m somewhere around the house, should she need me. She sits there, chit chatting to herself, in the sunshine. Daydreaming about the day we can live on a farm with 300 animals that she wants to take care of.  Read the rest of this entry

The Power of Frustration

FrustrationI heard a growl from the balcony. “Ugggghhhhhh!!!! This isn’t working!!!” my daughter yelled.

I came over to inspect. The day before, at a friend’s, she had seen a home made fairy house made from colored paddle pop sticks. She wanted to make one too and we already had the materials. I asked if she wanted to do a collaborative one. No, she wanted to make her own.

Initially, I had sat down with her. We chatted about the design of our houses while we built them. I finished mine in about 25 minutes, and then walked away to cook lunch. She remained, battling with the glue and the paddle pop sticks.

Hers wasn’t working. I suggested using another binding material. “How about sticky tape?

Ugggghhhhhh! This STILL isn’t working!

Try using some blue tack maybe?” I sang out, while chopping my veggies.

She tried, it failed again. And again. She was getting really frustrated!

It would have been easy for me to go over and ‘save‘ her. But, I could see that she was still determined to figure this thing out, so I hung back. Meanwhile, her 3 year old sister was getting frustrated that her Duplo tower kept breaking. There was a whole lot of whining. A whole lot of tears.

I was making myself available, but since the two of them weren’t necessary asking me to do it for them, I only offered my advice and stayed a good distance back. Knowing when to step in and when to stand back is a delicate dance. I’m getting better at it as the years go by.

People usually hate hearing when kids get frustrated. It doesn’t sound pleasant. The whining, the raging, the stomping, the tears. We want to stop them from expressing those emotions, so we either tell them to stop with the ruckus, or we come and ‘save‘ them. But the tears of frustration build something in us that make us incredible strong. These tears also release negative emotions, so we should not stop these tears from coming.

When I think of all the things that I really love to do now, there was a considerable amount of tears and frustration involved in learning how to do them. For example, surfing. It took me almost an entire YEAR to learn how to properly paddle, catch and stand up on a wave. Even then, I really sucked for a long time. But, once I got better, surfing became MINE. I wanted it. It was that thing that I had worked so hard to learn how to do and I felt proud. Five years later, after a frustrating start to surfing, I won the USA Women’s Longboard Championships in California. Would I have been so interested in surfing if it had come easily? Maybe, maybe not.

Anyway… Eventually, the little one figured out the Duplos, after a tiny suggestion from me to use a more stable platform. She was thrilled with her tower and stayed engaged in building and knocking down her tower, over and over, for a long time.

Meanwhile, her big sister was tackling the fairy house with little success.

I made my house, but now the fairy is too big to fit!!!” she yelled

*Stomps feet and cries*

I asked her if she had any dolls that might fit.

But, they’re not FAIRIES!” She hollered.

I smiled, “It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

YESSSS!!!” she screamed.

She went back to building. I went back to cooking. Ten minutes later, when I announced that lunch was ready, she called me to come look what she had created. A beach shack with Duplo figurines that fit. All up, she had stayed engaged with that fairy house building for an hour and a half! The rest of the day, the two of them were on fire. Somehow, their cognitive thinking skills had been ignited. I could see the confidence in their behavior, their speech and their play.

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The final product. With Duplos instead of fairies.

Not all frustrating situations end so happily, and that’s ok too.

Allowing a child to get frustrated can teach a valuable lesson of when to give up. If the fruit of your action is not in your best interest, and you have no desire to complete an activity… then maybe it’s better to reassess your commitment and stop doing it without thinking you are a failure. Maybe you are wasting your time. Maybe there really is no hope. The whole idea of ‘never never ever give up‘ can be really stupid sometimes! My kids often get too frustrated and give up and it’s fine. But, I find they give up more easily if I come and save them.

Allowing frustration builds confidence, character, resilience, thinking skills and awareness. It teaches kids when to seek help and when to try and work things through. As a parent, I have to assess the situation… Is the frustrating situation something that I should interfere with? Or, should I let the learning process take its natural course? Sometimes I’m too busy to help (like when driving), so there’s nothing I can do anyway! And, some days, I just can’t deal with the whining, so I come and ‘save‘ them. But, most of the time, if I can just let them be with their frustration, a whole lot of positive learning experiences can happen.

 

The Fascinating Reason Why Kids Have So Much Energy: Balance, Behavior and Longevity

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When I was doing Know Your Child Teacher Training, my instructor asked us if we knew the reason why kids have so much energy.

None of us really knew the answer, but we all agreed that kids have ridiculous amounts of energy. Read the rest of this entry

Questions I Need to Stop Asking My Kids

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Before my children could verbally communicate well, I got really good at reading their cues… Hungry? Tired? Hot/Cold? Upset? Have to pee? Yup, with a little practice, I seemed to be able to figure it all out. Now, they’re older and extremely verbal, but I keep doing something extremely stupid: I keep asking them questions which I (and they) already know the answers to. Asking these types of questions makes me sound like a broken record and is an obvious display of my lack of awareness.

1. Are you hungry?

I can generally calculate this answer, myself, if I think about the last time we ate. If they’re hungry, they’ll either lunge for food or they’ll have a melt down. Simple. Next.

2. Do you have to pee?

I ask the little one at least 29 times a day. If she has to pee, she holds her crotch and can’t sit still. I KNOW when she has to pee… SHE KNOWS WHEN SHE HAS TO PEE. I can just take her, but instead, I ask her. She says “No“. I ask her again 5 times until I take her… I’m an idiot. I could have saved my breath and just taken her at my first chance. Read the rest of this entry

What My Five Year Old Really Thinks About Gay Pride

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I was hanging out the laundry on the balcony, when I overheard my five year old ask my husband why we were so excited over everyone’s rainbow profile pictures (from Facebook). He gave her some explanation and used our friends, David and Andrew, as an example.

I can’t remember exactly how my husband explained it, but it totally made me giggle, because she just sat there with a blank face. My daughter said nothing. She made almost zero reaction to the thing that we were so excited about. Then she bounced out to the balcony to ask me when we could see David and Andrew next. Read the rest of this entry

The Untimely Poos

Untimely Poo

You never knew your life revolved so much around poo until you have a child. If it happens when we’re hanging around the house, it’s all good. Even if it happens right before we leave the house, I’m like, “Phew, good timing.” But, just like when it rains it pours, sometimes the poo is equally untimely. Everyone’s buckled in the car, we’ve just spent 20 minutes packing hats, food, spare undies, water bottles, and chasing my 2 year old to get into the car and one of them whispers, “I have to POOOOOOO!Read the rest of this entry

Why I Let My Kids Interrupt My Conversations

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A while back, I read this meme that said, “Stop your child from interrupting in 1 simple (and respectful) step.

I thought, oh wow, great! I mean, it’s so annoying when you’re trying to talk and your kid comes up to you and just HAS to tell you about the most unimportant and irrelevant thing! Ugh!

The method is to simply take the hand of your child when they want to say something and you’re having a conversation. You teach them not to speak until you’re ready, but you still hold their hand, letting them know that you will be available for them shortly. It seemed gentle enough, and I didn’t think it wouldn’t hurt to try it… Read the rest of this entry