Originally Posted by my~hearts~light
About the CC stuff. I think that your statments about self preservation are totally beside the point. Totally. We're not talking about what you *can* hear happening or what you can trust your children to do. That's why they call it an accident. And yes, they even happend with you right in front of them, WHERE YOU CAN HELP THEM AND REACT APPROPRIATLY. I do not think it follows what MDC is about (my opinion of course) to in any way encourage or support unhealthy habits or parenting. Leaving your DC alone to support an unhealthy habit is not NATURAL doesn't support FAMILY or LIVING for that matter.
That's very judgemental, IMO. Being on the other side of a door that a mother is looking in on her child through, I'm sure she'd be able to "help them and react appropriately" if an accident were to happen. Sometimes it's worse if you are right there and try to "help." For example, I made mention of two times my dd fell down the steps and said both times I was right there. I guess that was a little bit of an untruth, because one of those times I was right there, the other time dh was right there. The point I was making at the time, though, was about a parent not being able to prevent an accident, so I didn't feel it necessary to make the distinction. But now I would like to further illustrate the difference in the "help" dd received from me vs. dh during these two incidents. When I was there, I had the baby in my arms and didn't feel I could help by intervening when she was in mid-fall. I thought that would endanger all of us more, so I just prepared to comfort her afterwards by running down the couple of steps to the bottom. That was my instinctive reaction. Dd did hurt herself, but not too badly. When dh was with her the other time this happened, he awkwardly tried to prevent her from continuing to fall as she was tumbling. He grabbed whatever he could which was the back of her shorts. Of course he meant well, but with the back of her shorts being pulled up in the air, inertia and gravity caused her upper body to plummet down towards the steps and bang her head off of them. She got quite a bruise from him trying to "help." I'm just mentioning these incidents to illustrate that being right there or being on the other side of a door likely will not make a single bit of difference in the outcome of an accident as long as you can see and/or hear the accident and react/comfort/help immediately.
Furthermore, children only learn coordination by having some accidents now and then. When our babies were learning to walk, did we blame ourselves every time they fell? No, we realized that falling was how they learned balance--it was part of the process. My dh never learned how to catch a baseball very well because he was unwilling to drop it or get hit by it. I broke my nose playing baseball, but I am a very good catcher and thrower--I learned better how to judge an incoming grounder. Our therapist told us a story about a boy who had some sort of neurological disorder that "prevented" him from walking without "assistance." But he quickly learned that all the "assistance" the boy needed was somebody placing as little as one finger on the boy's back. Remove that one finger and the boy would panic, as he was so afraid of falling like everyone said he would. Our therapist worked with the boy and said that the boy needed to learn not to fear falling, so he allowed him to fall a few times to learn that he could get back up and it wasn't the end of the world. Eventually after working with the therapist for several months, the boy was walking off the school bus and wasn't panicked anymore.
Look, as I said, I'm not saying let your baby play with knives, but if your house is reasonably kid-friendly and your toddler is of the personality that he won't freak out without you for a moment, I really think it's no big deal to leave the room for a few minutes to do whatever it is--"important" or not--I don't think that's for us to judge. Some days when I've had a hard day, I sometimes set the baby in the exersaucer in the bathroom, and shut the door, leaving my toddler in the living room while I take a few minutes to actually do my hair and make-up. Is this "necessary?" Of course not, it's probably just as "unnecessary" as having a cigarette, but it allows me a moment to myself to destress and face the world again a little freshened and with a better attitude. Is that so horrible? Or would it be better to get stir-crazy and crabby and maybe yell at my toddler out of anger because I'm stressed out and, in the name of "safety" I couldn't possibly allow myself any "me" time? I think smoking can serve the same purpose for smokers. Again, I don't condone smoking and think it's an unhealthy habit, for sure, but people do plenty of other things I consider to be unhealthy and I don't judge them for it. You can probably tell from my sig. line that I don't agree with eating meat, and believe it can be unhealthy (but please let's not start a veggie war--that's only *my* belief). If some mother said to me, gee, I really need to eat a cheesesteak sandwich and then I'd feel better, I'd probably say, "go ahead if that will cause you to face the world with a smile and be the kind of parent you want to be." I wouldn't sit there and give her a lecture about how she's clogging up her arteries with an uhealthy habit and maybe she might be getting mad cow disease and doesn't she care about being a burden on her kids when she's dying of colon cancer... That's just mean and judgemental and unproductive. Regardless of what *you* consider healthy, let's please take a look at the bigger picture here. There is such a thing as emotional and mental health as well. And until if and when a mom really wants to quit a *physically* unhealthy habit, give her the chance to do the best she can to mantain her sanity and still practice MDC philosophy. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.