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NOVEMBER '05 Mamas' and Babies' December 08 thread - Page 6

post #101 of 199
Well done, Amy.

Theresa, I'm a pacifist. I've never felt comfortable with myself trying to make light of gun play, so I don't do it. I just point out that real guns kill people, even toy guns can scare people and they aren't something I want to think about. Now Alex and Isaac are older, we've talked a bit about white privilege as well: one of the things that struck me most about the discussions about race surrounding the presidential election was the mother who said that black little boys are raised not to pick up sticks, so when they get to their teenage years they aren't mistaken for guns in their hands by passing police, and we have been following some of the reports of teenage gun crime in the UK. It doesn't mean they don't do it, but I feel better knowing that I'm trying to instil my values and on this one, sharing my values is more important to me than changing the behaviour. Does that make sense?

Kavita, that's very cool, and very weird.
post #102 of 199
We've had a busy couple of days here, and I'm finally getting the change to post a little!

Congrats on the job, Amy!

Nudity is a big "issue" around here lately. Neela comes home and takes off her clothes pretty routinely, so we have made some rules about nudity- she needs to wear underwear to sit on our laps, or anytime if there are visitors over. We have to wear clothes when leaving the house or playing outside (major battles for this). Underwear are also required for cooking, and for mealtimes. Vagina touching and exploration are to be done in her bedroom, and she should wash her hands afterwards.

That sounds like a ton of rules, but I'm basically okay with nudity for hanging out and playing. We also had an amusing Thanksgiving dinner moment when Neela told us she was finished eating and "could I please go to my room and play with my vagina now?".

As for the guns/discipline, I have no idea. I appreciate your perspective, Helen.
post #103 of 199
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by MelW View Post
We also had an amusing Thanksgiving dinner moment when Neela told us she was finished eating and "could I please go to my room and play with my vagina now?".

Helen, thanks for the response about the gun play. I consider myself a pacifist, too, and would have LOVED for my initial response of "no gun play" to have worked. (And I especially appreciated your position in light of race relations and teen crime.) I know it's unsavory, and I'm REALLY hoping he moves past it or takes my cues to switch from gun games to more loving games, but in the mean time, I think I am dealing with a just-3-year-old boy who is in many ways doing exactly what's developmentally appropriate, and that is mimicking the older kids' playground play. But of course changing the play of ten 8-to-10 year olds over whose life circumstances I have no influence whatosover is impossible, so I'm doing what I can to shift the focus of the play to connectivity rather than destruction. That said, I guess I am expecting a level of tolerance among the other adults for such an activity from a not-yet-preschooler among 55 older children that I might not have a right to expect (and I add that because if he were older, I'd hold him to tougher standards, too). :

I went ahead and put it on our agenda for next week, so hopefully I will have a respectful and reasonable presentation by then. If all else fails, I have only one more week of teaching and then nine weeks off, and in that long of an absence, with only playdates in between, hopefully he will have dropped the weapon play.
post #104 of 199
Originally Posted by HoneyTree View Post
I know it's unsavory, and I'm REALLY hoping he moves past it or takes my cues to switch from gun games to more loving games, but in the mean time, I think I am dealing with a just-3-year-old boy who is in many ways doing exactly what's developmentally appropriate, and that is mimicking the older kids' playground play.
Yeah, that's a tough one. Of all of my "enlightened" mama friends of boys, not *one* has been able to avoid the whole gun thing. I loved that article in Mothering a while back about how boys just tend to turn anything into a gun (the state of Florida puzzle piece, a sandwich) despite the non-violence espoused by the family.

The thing about it too is that you aren't seeing them discouraging little girls from acting out their princess role-playing fantasies, which are equally as *annoying* and age/gender specific. Ya know? (Yes of course there are girls who aren't into princesses and boys who aren't into guns, but on the whole, these are very prevalent themes).

I think all you can do is tell the other teachers that you are doing everthing you can to discourage and redirect, but perhaps they need to understand that you cannot control every thought and word expressed by another living human. If they have a serious issue with it, well, what? Are you going to keep him locked up until he's out of this phase (say, age 12)?

All that being said, if another child does something to me or Brynn that I find inappropriate or threatening, I don't hesitate to redirect that child, whether the parents are present or not. But that's me, and not everyone would feel OK about that.

In short (ha!), good luck to you mama!

Mel, same here with the nudity, and we have the same rules at our house! I could have written your paragraph (well, except the Thanksgiving part, which I can't believe didn't make it onto your blog!).
post #105 of 199
Yay job, Amy! That's fantastic.

Kavita - crazy weird. Psychic echoes? But you're not even in the same house you were before Ella was born, are you?

On the gun thing... I just don't know on that score. It's a tough call. I think the best you can do is explain what guns really do, and why people are uncomfortable with them. That usually involves a discussion about death though, which I believe should be in response to child questioning or when situationally required, it seems a little heavy in response to what the child thinks of as play though.

Our situation is a little different in that we actually have guns (DH has some hunting rifles) and they are treated as dangerous tools, and never ever used on humans, and they are stored safely, far out of reach of little fingers. Rowan knows they're there, and what they're for... for a while she went around with rolled up newspapers claiming she was "going gunning" and she always made me be a deer before she "shot" me, and then typically lost interest when the "dead deer" asked about her plans to field dress her and get her home. So, that kind of gun play I have no problem with (although I know many of you do) but shooting people even in play is different, and to be honest I don't know how to deal with that. Fortunately it hasn't come up, none of the kids in our playgroup have started it (yet?) I guess it's the *casualness* of gun play that bothers me but I have no idea how to explain that to a 3-year-old without getting deep into stuff they're not ready for.

Oh, and on the nudity - since our house is pretty chilly a lot, Rowan's proclivity for nudity has declined somwhat. But, I do ask her to wear panties if she's being naked just because there is so much bloody pet fur all over (and yes, we DO vacuum, all the time) and having a toddler complain of a scratchy bum or vulva or whatever because there's fur in it is not my idea of a good time.
post #106 of 199
Just in time for our conversation about guns, there is a gun thread here in the childhood years forum.

I've had a crappy day. Work was really low key, but I was feeling kind of achy/crampy all morning that I chalked up to ligament stretching and a pair of pants that was a little too tight. Until I started bleeding this afternoon. I spotted a bit with Neela after bike riding or sex, but this was more blood that I was comfortable with. It stopped as quickly as it started, so I chatted with my midwife and decided to head home, arrange for someone to relieve Matt for childcare and then we headed to the hospital. The midwife was great. I wavered for a while about doing an ultrasound, and finally decided that it would really help me feel confident in ignoring the cramping and chalking the bleeding up to an irritated cervix. Of course the ultrasound took forever, but all is well with me and baby. I'm going to take it realllly easy over the weekend, and my midwife has asked me to not have sex (or orgasms!) for a week. I'm still feeling a bit crampy, but that may now just be the fault of the swabs and the prodding from the lovely ultrasound wand.

We have a family friend (my mum's best friend from childhood) who loves Neela and has asked to babysit one evening to do some crafts with her, so tonight was going to be a night out for Matt and I. Our friend still came over, so she's putting Neela to bed right now for me.

Oh, and Kavita- I have a strange convergence of Rhea/Reah's right now. We have a friend Rhea, and in the past couple of months I have had two clients named Reah (one mother, one baby).
post #107 of 199
Mel, I hope you have a better evening and the bleeding and cramping stop quickly and you enjoy an uneventful weekend!

Nakedy kid--yeah that here too sometimes. Usually the pants get jettisoned for the potty or in the process of getting dressed and then it just doesn't happen.

Theresa--I was going to respond to your initial post but didn't get a chance. You've already gotten a lot of feedback, but I was going to say this--it seems to me like you have two issues here. One is the response to the specific play theme/behavior (aka gun play/shooting) but another and to me more important is the issue of the relationships of these other people to Woody. Maybe I'm wrong about the structure of the school and setting you're working in/have Woody in, but it seems to me that it's not an analagous situation to, say, a grandparent reacting to something a kid does during a family gathering, or a friend of yours stepping in during a playdate at one of your homes or at a park. He's in a situation in which he's part of a school community and he has some other adult caregivers interacting with/responsible for him during the day while you are working, even if only on the playground, therefore it seems to me that based on what I've heard of your situation (and correct me if I'm wrong about it) these other people actually are in somewhat of a position to rightfully be disciplining or correcting him if his behavior is disturbing, disruptive, dangerous, or in violation of established rules. So I'd separate the two questions into: are these people overstepping their bounds in disciplining him? Or are they just reacting to/handling a specific situation in a way that you don't like or don't agree with? Because he's with you in a work/school setting, I don't think it's analagous to the situations most of us have with friends or relatives and probably not with coworkers--none of the people from our work lives (me and DH) have any connection or interaction with our child, except the occasional party at someone's house which we bring her to. It may be more analagous to a situation one of us would have with a babysitter, daycare provider, or teacher, than with relatives/friends/coworkers. I'd consider thinking about it from that angle--for instance, if these people were his preschool teachers or babysitters, what conversation would you want to have with them? Seems to me that part of your difficulty with this is that *you* have an issue with Woody's behavior too--you're not really comfortable with the gun play/shooting either, but are trying to find different ways to accomodate the behavior since discouraging it didn't work. Especially if they are bringing him to you with what essentially seems like a request for you to "make him stop" I do think too that essentially some of it may be addressed as a feelings/boundaries issue--for instance, if he were hitting another teacher or speaking disrespectfully to them or calling them names, you might realize that this was age appropriate behavior and also something he's imitating from older children on the playground, but still have a discussion with him about the fact that when you hit people it hurts them or when you call people names it hurts their feelings and makes them feel sad (or whatever.) You could choose to address this in a similar way: "Suzy doesn't like it when you pretend to shoot her, because real guns can hurt people." It could also be potentially addressed as a public/private issue, of situationally appropriate behavior. (Similar to the nudity/self touching issue we were discussing.) Ie, pretending to play with guns and shooting is okay at home, but not at school or around other people. Anyway, just some things to think about . . . . Not that I am the child behavioral expert or anything myself! I am challenged by behavioral stuff on an hourly basis! Today during/after lunch at the mall I was about ready to just duct tape Ella's hands down at her sides and duct tape her to me (obviously not really though) because she would not stop grabbing everything and just running off . . . I was getting soo frustrated! My fault because we were both overtired and it makes her faster, more likely to wander around and not listen to me, and makes my patience thin as well. I've also noticed she's unusually attuned to other people, to emotions and energies. So, my bad for taking her into that situation post-preschool when I knew that she didn't sleep much last night and would be even more tired from preschool, and not have a lot of energy to manage her behavior. But I just can't resist a Panera invite from my favorite local DDC mama! We had a meltdown in the car in the parking lot followed by a FOUR HOUR nap!!!

Spughy--it's a different house. I interpreted the hallway in a potentially more ethereal and metaphysical way. Probably moreso because at Brynn's birthday party last week DH and I were talking with Amy's DH about a book he's reading about near-death experiences, and how most people who've had these experiences report very similar phenomena, such as floating above/outside of their bodies watching, a bright light, and a tunnel. So that was fresh in my mind and I guess that it seems to me that if there's a tunnel going from life to death, there may be a similar experience on the way in that most of us can't remember! So I wondered if that was what she meant by "the hallway"--becoming embodied as a fetus/baby. Either that or it just occured to her right then while she was running down the hallway to her room!

Tonight after dinner we went to a candlelight tour at Locust Grove--it's a 1789 plantation that is open to the public as historic site. It was really neat--I have not been inside there before although I've seen it from the outside. Tonight they had volunteers dressed up/acting in period costume and parts as the Clark/Croghan family in 1820, one of the preeminent founding families in this area and relatives of the Clark of "Lewis and Clark" fame. The plantation house was lit by candlelight, and there were various "family members" in all the rooms of the house explaining about the rooms, the times, the effects, etc. There were musicians and dancers in the second-story ballroom, and in the outbuilding toolshed/workshop (warmed by a real fire in the fireplace) there were "carpenters" "repairing" tools. In the children's room they had a boy who is probably about 10, in period dress, who showed and explained the popular toys of the period (whirlygig, ball and cup, Jacob's ladder, pig bladders blown up as balloons) and let the visitors play with them (well except the pig bladders!) My favorite part, of course, was the outbuilding kitchen--two slave cooks, in period costume but not completely character (they explained that for the slaves they do interpretive history rather than reenactment because there is so much less record left of some aspects of their lives, for instance the dialect and manners of speech, that they don't have enough to really be accurate.) They had a fire in the HUGE fireplace and all manner of plants and herbs hanging to dry, they explained that they have a kitchen herb and vegetable garden that they still keep planted according to how it was per historical records, various pots, pans, oak water buckets, yokes for carrying water buckets, a big bronze pan, loofah and lye soap for washing dishes, a few vegetables and spices on the big work table, etc. It was really interesting. I think they still have slave quarters there too, although I don't know if they are original or reproduction, and they seem to make an effort these days to represent the darker (no pun intended) side of the history in their general educational programs and also in special programs that deal specifically with slavery there at that plantation, and in this area of the country.
post #108 of 199
Kavita, I just find that mindboggling that there's nothing to indicate how people (slaves) spoke as recently as 1820. I hadn't thought about that before, and we spend a lot of time at reenactments at Kentwell; which is, admittedly, Tudor, so very well documented.

Mel, I'm thinking of you. Take it easy, huh? :

Amy, our little girl gets discouraged from princessing. With the Tudor history obsession, we've been talking a bit about what Elizabeth 1/Mary 1's lives were like, and how they didn't have a lot of freedom.
post #109 of 199
Thread Starter 
Kavita, that was a great post. Thank you so much. I think, indeed, that the "rub" of it for me is that I know it's a problem, and I'm doing my best with it, but that if anyone else tries to handle it in a less-than-super-gentle-and-loving way (in my very, very biased mama bear eyes!), I want them to have nothing more to do with Woody because I feel like I can't trust them. I know that makes me sound like a paranoid, overprotective and unrealistic parent, but that's the naked truth. So, I think I'll try and address the shooting games on the playground at staff meeting and then add a side note about how I'd like others to respond to Woody, if I'm not RIGHT there (which is pretty rare).

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

And I LOVE living history!! I think one day I'd like to get into that. There are a handful of opportunities around here: a couple of plantations, a Spanish mission, and then a pretty robust storytelling guild where a lot of folks tour the schools in historic character. Something else I thought about the slaves--I think it's probably a safer position to be interpretive rather than in-character. I imagine that a slave character using dialect might elicit a response from the general public that they're trying to discourage, i.e. laughter or derision, and the persona then would overshadow the historical significance. It's a very interesting cultural position--are we as a nation or region ready to hear and see slaves as intelligent and life-educated people whose stories are worth hearing in the way that they might have told them?
post #110 of 199
yay amy!!! how exciting for you all.

i got as far as "can i go to my room and play with my vagina now?" and am still laughing out loud!

not okay with guns/hunting/shooting around here either. heard about "shoot me with your love" from my friend who read playful parenting. tough one...more to read later. my BFF struggles with it as her 9, 7, and 5 y.o. boys really want to play with them; like the nerf kind and BB guns. i want to finish reading your comments on it all.

we went to a super cool parade this morning that gave out wayyy too much candy. even after weeding out the non-vegan ones, she still had so much to eat. she's had a few pieces this evening and is bouncing off the walls from it still! DH brushed her teeth twice today already and now she's getting ready for bed which i don't think will come soon!

ok, off to read more and tidy up.
post #111 of 199
So, tonight my sister and I went to the Madrigal Dinner at the high school here (that we both attended, my sister was a Madrigal singer her senior year!) and it was very... surreal. Saw some of the same teachers/administrators and saw the much younger siblings of some people we went to school with. And, just happened to bump into a woman who I was friends with in high school. It was fun reconnecting, but she gave me the most backhanded compliment and its really bothering me! She said something along the lines of, "You look just like you did in high school! Well, your face is the same, but you carry yourself so much different. You've finally lost all of that high-school-awkwardness!" OMG! I actually called my boyfriend from high school to ask him if I was terribly awkward without realizing it (he and I are still really good friends), and then when I got home I had to grill DH about it since we met in high school. Both of them said they never thought of me as awkward... I know I'm being silly to let it bother me, but... it does! I enjoy looking back to high school and remembering how good I felt about myself then, before my eating disordered days in college, and I think it bothers me to think that even at my most confident I still seemed awkward/unsure of myself.

On the gun play... It happens on the playground sometimes, but I try to make sure Killian knows it is NOT okay. I'm not successful at stopping the behaviors all the time, but our school is pretty strict about it, too, and teachers discourage it whenever they see it - and I'm glad they do. Our big problem right now is Ellie sticking her tongue out... I think I already shared this some, but apparently it was just awful on Thursday! I don't know what to do. Killian is wild and crazy, but when someone corrects his behavior he always pays attention and "straightens up" (he's a total people-pleaser in some ways). Ellie, on the other hand, gets these michevious moods and is happy to create problems all around her and finds it hilarious! How do you reason with a three year old in that mindset?
post #112 of 199
Thread Starter 
Our playground has a rule about no gun play, too, but my gosh are kids innovative! They will full on tell you that they're shooting nets at each other or spraying water when they are OBVIOUSLY using sticks or even their hands and arms like guns. And this theme we're studying Greeks and Romans, so right after our activities on the Trojan War, which was done in a toned-down way for the youngest kids, there was a ton of Trojan vs. Greek games on the playground that ended much in the same way that the story does--lots of (playing) dead soldiers.

This is, in some ways, a good challenge for me; I'm finding myself aligned much more with the "playful parenting" model, which makes me want to read more and figure out how to use what I'm comfortable with in the tough situations.

And Jen, that did seem like a backhanded compliment, but hopefully she was commenting on the general awkwardness of most people in high school, not you specifically, like the way someone might refer to "gawky teens." And being told you have the same energetic look as a 17 year old is a compliment worth dropping the other part for, anyway!!
post #113 of 199
WE HAVE SNOW!!!! Rowan was the happiest kid on the planet this morning when she woke up and looked outside. She spent a good 20 minutes bouncing up and down on the couch yelling "SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW". It was really cute. We had a quick breakfast and bundled up and went out tobogganing - tons of fun! Our dog was really happy and excited too. And we took the neighbour's kids (and their toboggans) so they had a nice quiet morning of peace and quiet. It's quite lovely outside, the sky is an incredibly dark shade of grey in places, and everything is white, and it's soooo quiet because nobody here has decent tires on their cars, and it's Sunday, and there's no reason to do anything except bundle up and enjoy!
post #114 of 199
We're enjoying snow here, too! We walked around the park and Neela checked out the playground in the snow. There were disappointingly not many other kids out playing, though.

Neela's analysis of people shoveling sidewalks was pretty funny- she wanted to know what they were doing, and when I explained that they were shoveling the snow off to make it easier and safer for people to walk she said "I think it's because they don't like the snow, so they're shoveling it away".
post #115 of 199
Hey mamas!

I am back on-line with internet...so I have some major reading and catching up to do!

Congrats to Amy!

to Mel! Hope the bleeding is all done and you can get back to not worrying and to having orgasms!

Love all the naked stories!

And I am thinking a lot about the gun issue. Ben is a "boy" in so many of the typical ways, but he doesn't ever play gun anything. Or even sword anything. He is really a gentle soul (which I will admit that I love!) He is so into trains right now, too, that he doesn't have time for guns or things like that. But a big part of it is also that he doesn't really have older boy influences that have gotten him on to guns...I'll have to go forward carefully whenever that time comes.

I am sitting on the floor outside his room typing (sadly the battery is about to die on the laptop and there is no close outlet so I can't plug in) because it is stormy outside and the sound of the rain on his window makes it hard for him to fall asleep. He was pretty upset earlier (really unusual for him) so I offered to sit out in the hall while he fell asleep. He said (with a hint of joy in his voice) "That will really help me be calm, mama!! What a great, great idea! That will do the trick!" So....here I am...but I gotta run cuz the battery is dying!!! It's about to get really boring here
post #116 of 199
hi all.. still not able to keep up.. maybe i never will. *sigh*
i did see "snow" and guns" and i have both.. well, not true. i don't own a gun..but i plan to next year. i wont keep it here. ill probably get my neighbor to store it for me.. but i have every intention to learn how to properly use one..and to maybe even hunt with it next season. its a way of life out here..and i want to be as self sustainable as possible..so. yeah. no problem with guns here..well except for all of the ways that people misuse power and stuff. im really not a gun advocate, but for the right uses they are good. i think.

snow. we have about 3 feet..and its almost -30 here. : i woke up at 3am to check and it was -25..its -27 now. very cold. but elwynn got off on the bus okay..all bundled save his eyes peeking out of many layers. he thought it was sooo funny. humor on a cold morning is key.

ngaio is watching cartoons on the Knowledge network..one of 3 channels we sort of get with our rabbit ears! ive decided that when you cant go outside for more than 10 minutes at a time..and it takes 30 minutes to get ready to go outside..and momma is cranky because there is much to do..and she is a bit stir crazy too..that tv is a very good thing. *ducks and covers*and rue is finally not screaming in pain from her terrible awful teeth that are driving her crazy. thank you for homeopathic teething remedies! she is now playing happily in the living room with her sister :

i am back to knitting. the past few weeks ive knit 2 adult ear flap hats, half of a headband (panta) and i have socks and long wrist warmer/felted mittens to do. as well as a bunch of tiny Christmas things.. our christmas box somehow got left in Vancouver last winter. so we have nothing christmasy for our home.. its sort of sad..but im having fun making new stuff~ i did dig out my Christmas stocking from when i was growing up..and found ngaios, which we couldn't find last year and i have one i got at the local craft fair beautifully made by a local woman.. i also bought a knit one from ikea.. it was just too lovely, i couldn't resist.

this is literally the most ive typed on a computer for a looong time. i wish that i could do it more often. maybe that will be one of my new years resolutions.. to keep in better touch with you all. i really miss it!
post #117 of 199
Mel, how scary about your bleeding last weekend! That would have freaked me out. Good for you, Mama, for just taking it really easy for a few days!

Oh, Jen - about the back-handed compliment, I wouldn't really take it to heart. You never really know what people remember about you and could have been based on her own feelings about high school or whatever. I got a wierd compliment the other day too, though; we went to this Christmas carrol/craft thing with our neighbors and some friends of ours the other night and for some reason I decided to wear a little bit of make-up; nothing big, just powder, creme blush, and lipstick. Well, you'd have thought I had a make-over or something because both my neighbor and my girlfriend were like, "WOW! You look so PRETTY!" and just gushing about how much I was glowing and stuff. I mean, it felt nice to get the compliment, but I was also thinking, I must look pretty rough without make-up!

We have snow here too, possibly a few inches of accumulation expected tonight, and then freezing rain here tomorrow. Yikes. So everyone is kind of freaking out and a lot of schools and business will probably be closed, but we're stocked up on good food and hot-chocolate making supplies, so we should be fine!
post #118 of 199
No snow here, but it is 12 degrees outside, so I think a : is in order!

Quick kid story: (embarrassing to me, but cute about Ben)
I had a couple of rather stinky farts the other day. I'll admit it...it happens sometimes. Ben didn't really seem to notice. But after one unexpectedly loud one, Ben looked up at me and said, "Mama, did you toot?!" I said that I had and said "Excuse me!" He replied, "Well, you're excused, but now it's going to smell like mom-bottom in here!"

I love the words from a 3-yr-old.
post #119 of 199

Amy, I swear that creme blush is what "pregnancy glow" is made of! When I was pregnant with Ellie, every single day I wore cream blush, everyone told me I was glowing. Every single day I didn't wear, everyone acted all concerned and told me how tired I looked.
post #120 of 199
Mom-bottom! Hee!

Rowan somehow got the idea that colds come from being trapped in a car with a pooty dog. I don't know where that came from (well, DH is a good bet) but I set her straight - told her alllll about viruses - and she said "OHHHhhhh, so THAT'S where colds come from" like it was a question that had been plaguing her for weeks. But then when the dog (uncharacteristically, I must say) ate the half a cookie we left on the dashboard while we were in the video store, she said "I told you, mummy" and I was like "what? what did you tell me?" and she said "I TOLD you it was a bad idea to bring the dog." She was really anti-dog today for some reason. And she went without a nap and so had a meltdown before falling asleep in 5 minutes when she actually hit the bed - at 7:30! Bliss! I got to watch a whole movie all by myself straight through! (I watched Prince Caspian, and I thought it was really good. Some parts even almost improved on the book, although I thought they skipped some necessary background in the beginning. The effects - especially the river god - were great. Or maybe I haven't actually watched a movie in a long time, and the last time I spent money in a theatre was the last Indiana Jones one and it was SO bad it put me off movies for a year.)
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