Dear [Insert Name] – Short Letters From A Frustrated Sleep-Deprived Mama

Dear SUV-driving stranger that parked beside my car yesterday morning,

I know that sometimes it is hard to find a parking spot.  Trust me, I do.  For instance, yesterday morning, I had to park on the outer edge of the parking lot and walk a good 5 minutes with my heavy 6 month old in her bucket seat and tantrum-prone toddler instead of right beside the medical clinic because, well, there were no more parking spots right next to the clinic.  So you see, I totally understand that when you find a spot, you take it.  However, it would be nice in the future, if you could just park a liiiiiiiiitle further away from my car because, quite frankly, it was hard as heck getting my toddler into his seat in the minimal space that was left once I opened my car door.  It was also hard as heck getting enough of my arms inside of the car to manage to buckle him up.  I also wanted you to know, dear driver, that I made sure to keep my fingers between my car door and yours just to make sure that you very lovely SUV didn’t get dented.  I cannot, however, guarantee that I will be able to safeguard the bump-free surface of your vehicle when my kids are old enough to open their doors all by themselves.

Sincerely,

The mama who had two kids to juggle and a tiny space to juggle them in

***

Dear Yahoo,

a couple of nights ago, after battling it out with my infant daughter to get her to fall back asleep for over an hour and a half, I decided to hang out in my living room with my iPad to pass the time as I waited for her to wake up for the umpteenth time in a minimal time frame.  To be quite frank, I was past the zombie-tired stage and was wondering how I was even still standing (truth be told, I was sitting, but hey, what difference does it make?).  As I was looking through the photos of my kids on my iPad and deciding which ones I would upload to my Google+ page, I noticed that there was an icon that allowed me to upload them directly to a Flickr account.  I thought it was the best idea ever so I prepared myself to create a Yahoo address to get the job done.  I was stoked until I saw that I had to insert a mobile phone number that would be used in case I forgot my password (emphasis on had to).  Let me tell you, dear Yahoo, that I do not own a cell phone.  I’m sure there are others that live in the Stone Age that choose not to have one like me.  You probably don’t care that I won’t be a Flickr user, but I wanted to let you know that I will be staying with Google+.

Sincerely,

The mama who doesn’t own, want or need a cell phone (and who can remember her passwords like a big girl all on her own *gasp*)

***

Dear pediatrician,

I know that you care for the well-being of the kids that come through your office.  Really, I do.  I also know that you are swamped in paperwork, an ever-rising workload and are likely feeling more and more unappreciated by parents who are frustrated with the healthcare system.  However, it would be nice (like really nice) if you could update your knowledge of introduction of solids just a liiiiiitle bit.  I was, to be honest, a bit disheartened when, upon mentioning that we were doing baby-led weaning with Amélie, that you had absolutely no idea what I was talking about (it was apparent when you concluded that it meant I was doing veggies and fruits with my baby girl).  I was equally disheartened when you ignored the fact that my daughter was exclusively breastfed for 6 months before any solid food got into her mouth (instead of getting rice cereal as early as 3 months as seems to be the custom here) while looking at her curve and telling me that I had to give her iron-fortified cereal and veggie purees twice a day because she had dropped (barely) under her growth curve.  Perhaps, even, if you don’t have time to read the new research that is starting to show that the only foods that are off limits until the age of one are fresh milk, egg whites and honey, you could at least keep an open mind when I tell you about the variety of foods that my daughter has had (including cooked egg yolks, avocado and toast strips).

Sincerely,

the mama who has successfully raised a two year old who is an awesome eater and is attempting to do the same with her 6 month old daughter

***

Dear itsy bitsy spider,

I’m so sorry that, upon reading a story to my toddler that included a dog who was afraid of a spider, I giggled like crazy and concluded with my son that the doggy was silly to be afraid of spider.  I’m sorry that, I told him how unscary spiders were because they were so much smaller than us humans.  When I saw you this morning, squashed between the nimble fingers of my triumphant toddler (“look mama, a spider!!!!!!”) I was very sad that my desire for my son to remain unafraid of your kind resulted in your death.  I promise that the next lesson will be that we must be gentle with spiders.  May you rest in peace.

Sincerely,

the mama who didn’t want her toddler to be afraid of spiders

Ten Thought Tuesday: 10/03/15

TTT

1.  Wow, I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done one of these.

2.  Bear with me, I’m still trying to find a balance between crocheting, baking and blogging.  I’m thinking I may decide to blog on fixed days just to help me get back into a rhythm.

3.  The weather is finally getting warmer around here.  We’re up on in the pluses (just barely) for a couple of days this week.  It’s a welcome change from the frigid months we’ve been having.

4.  The changing weather has gotten me primed for Spring/Summer sports.  I want to buy a balance bike for Charles so I’ve been reading quite a bit to see which one would be best for him.  Do you have any suggestions?

5.  Following my post on winter car seat safety, I reinstalled the base for the bucket seat in both cars and, following one of the tips I’d read, I tried getting the toddler in his seat without his coat.  To my surprise, it actually wasn’t all that bad and he actually prefers it that way (I no longer hear him whine that he’s too hot!) so I’m going to keep my kids out of coats during winter in the future.

6.  Amélie has been rather miserable the past two days.  Her top teeth are just about to cut, so I can’t really blame her.

7.  Speaking of teeth, and what they’re used for, the little miss is ROCKING solids!  Let me tell you, she knows exactly where it goes and she is not happy when we sit her in her chair without food.  So far, she’s had steamed broccoli, cucumber “fries”, applesauce (on a loaded spoon which she grabs), avocado, banana and toast strips.

8.  Now that baby girl can stay in a seated position unassisted for long periods of time, I have started bathing her with her brother in the big tub (no worries, I always have a hand on her).  The first time they went in together, Charles was so happy and he remained calm for as long as his sister was sitting beside him.

9.  This Sunday, we are going to a sugar shack (yum!).  Now that Charles isn’t as allergic to dairy (the only thing we have to still steer clear of is fresh milk), it’ll be even funner than the first time we went.

10.  There are only two classes left in Charles’ winter swim session :(.  When the new session starts, both he and his sister will be taking lessons (Charles is old enough to be in the water without parents now).  And after seeing how happy baby girl was in the tub, I can’t wait to see how she’ll be in the pool!

Happy Tuesday!

The Toddler & The Stomach Flu

Step 1: put a diaper on him and tell him that big boys wear diapers when their tummies are sick.

Step 2: put the iPad mini in a medium sized ziploc bag (it juuuuuuust fits) and see if it works (it does!).

Step 3: put a special sick tummy blanket on his favourite spot of the couch.

Step 4: put the toddler on the special spot on the couch with the iPad.

Step 5: cross your fingers and hope that the baby doesn’t get it.

image

Did You Know? Winter Car Seat Safety

A quick note on comments before you start reading this post.  Since this seems to be a touchy subject and that parents on either side of the discussion can be quite, um, passionate, about their point of view.  Because of this, I reserve the right to moderate or delete any comment that I consider to be inappropriate in its tone or content.  We are all adults, it is quite possible to defend one’s point of view in a respectful manner.

Thank you.

***

I’ve been debating whether I should actually write this post or not.  You see, writing it has the potential to earn me a fair bit of flak because it is a subject, just as a few others in parenting, that seems to have two well-defined and opposite camps.  Anyways, here I go.

What you need to know is this: I am not perfect.  I know, shocker, right (*fake gasp*).  I am also known to compulsively follow rules and compulsively read about a subject that grasps my attention until my brain is about to explode.

Did I mention that I was a bit compulsive?

A short (read: very short) while ago, as I was compulsively researching the best harness to booster seat for my toddler (’cause, y’know, the baby is getting just a biiiiiit heavy and big for her bucket seat), I came across a post that made the voice inside my head go: “say whaaaaaat?!?!”

Just like that ^^^

Just like that ^^^

You see, after about 2 years, 3 months, 1 week and 6 days (give or take a few hours) of being a mother, I learned that to properly secure my kids in their car seats, I should strap them in sans winter coat.

Go ahead, say it: “Bad mama!”

(For the record, adults should forgo the bulky coats too).

Now, in all seriousness though, the arguments behind the information that I should not strap my children in their car seats with their winter coats on makes perfect sense (you’ll see why later on).  The revelation, however, has left me a few things that I have trouble wrapping my head around.

1.  Why was I never told this?  I mean, I know it’s my job to be informed about the finer and not so finer points of parenting (ie: safety), but I very honestly had no idea about this.  Granted,  I did not read any of my car seat installation manuals (in which this point is covered) cover to cover.  I read what I needed to make sure that my child would fit in the seat and read what I needed to securely secure in a secure fashion (sorry, sorry, I’ll stop) the car seats in our cars.  BUT, it would seem that it would have been pertinent to know this a little earlier in this parenting gig.  I mean, at the hospital, they talk about shaken baby syndrome, they talk about putting your littles down on their backs to sleep, they make sure you are able to feed and bathe your child properly and they don’t allow you to leave the hospital until they have seen your newborn strapped into his/her car seat to make sure you know how to transport them safely.  But never do they say anything about coats and car seats at the hospital (or anywhere else for that matter).

2.  Why have I never seen anyone do this?  It gets cold where I live.  I’m talking -25 Celcius plus windchill.  And the cold lasts for several months.  Despite the fact that parents seem to be split 50/50 on the subject, never in my whole two years of parenting have I ever seen anyone strap their kiddo in their car seat without their coats on unless it was a baby that was in a bucket seat with a winter cover.

3.  How can I manage this with two young kiddos and, more importantly, do I want to manage this?

Now, I’ve read a few (read: a lot of) articles on the subject recently and they all include tips and tricks to do this.  I thought I’d share some of them with you.

  • Park you vehicle in a heated garage.
  • Buy a cozywoggle (advertised as the only winter coat that is car seat safe) for each of your kids.
  • Put the coat on the wrong side (ie: zipper in the back).  Once in the car, sit your kid, unzip, remove arms from sleeves, buckle up your kid and keep the coat on top of him/her to keep warm.
  • Remove coat once in the car and cover kiddo(s) with a blanket kept inside the vehicle.
  • Dress you littles in enough layers to keep them warm for their trek to the vehicle.
An example of layering.  Photo used with permission.

An example of layering. Photo used with permission.

  • Let your car warm up in the driveway before putting the kiddos in (for those of you who live in a place with anti-idling laws, I’ve read that there is a caveat that allows for idling for up to 15 minutes in a 1h period if the temperature is below or above a certain point).
  • Move to a place that doesn’t have winter.  (It would seem that Malta is one of the most temperate spots in the world)

Now, these are all great tips and I could use any one or combination of them, BUT, do I want to?  I’m trying to imagine the logistics of it all.

If I want to warm up my car ahead of time, that means that I have to leave the toddler and 6 month old alone in the house while I run outside to start my car.

If I want to put their coats on and them remove them once in the car, I still have to expose them to (sometimes) umbearibly cold winds as I keep the car door open to strap them in.  (And though the cozywoggle really is a wonderfully innovative product, I still have to unzip and expose my kids’ arms and torso to the chilly temps as I strap them in).

I don’t have access to a heated garage (unless we demolish the wall that’s separating it in two).

Oy!

In all fairness, I could manage pulling this off when I have a long road ahead of me.  For instance, I am considering (“considering” being the key word in the sentence) doing this when I make the 30 minute drive to and from daycare.  Maybe.

Methinks I can at least get baby girl out of the convertible infant car seat and back into her heavy muscle-making bucket seat, throwing a blanket over her until the weather gets warmer (now that I’ve removed her winter sleep sack, she should fit).

But when I have quite a few errands to run and I am alone with my two littles?  No, I won’t do it.

Food For Thought.

I thought I’d share this with you.  I put Amélie in her winter snowsuit in her bucket seat and tightened the straps until they passed the pinch test.  Then, without loosening the straps, I got her out of her snowsuit and put her back in the bucket seat where she failed the pinch test…miserably…

What do you do, coat or no?  Did you know about this?  If so, how/when did you hear about it?

Related articles:

Baby Giggles & Toddler Fun

I was finishing off some bread in the kitchen earlier this afternoon, when I heard baby girl squeal. I turned around to tell my toddler to be careful around his sister because I thought he had hurt her, only to realize that my daughter was laughing her butt off at something her brother was doing.