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#1 of 22 Old 01-10-2004, 04:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll try to keep this short...I was on the phone with MIL who is very concerned that DH and I don't have a babysitter so we can't have "date night." We've never really lived close to family (they're scattered everywhere) so ds has never bonded enough w/ anyone to be comfortable being left alone for more than 45 min. He's almost 2, so to me he's still a baby. But I get snyde remarks from a lot of people sort of insinuating that we're too child-centered or overprotective. We're just us. We're pretty laid back people. Logan wanders off and plays alone in his room sometimes, we all go out places together, we all have a good time. Dh and I have a very close, open relationship, and have plenty of alone time together at the house, when Logan sleeps. We have a lot of laughs and are still able to connect w/ each other and really I don't notice the lack of a babysitter until someone points out that we're not normal because we can't go out to a movie alone. Logan's not going to be little forever.

I just don't think I should have to justify our parenting or for that matter lifestyle decisions to anyone. People assume my husband and I must be estranged and on the edge of divorce because we don't have a way of dropping off the kid. More and more I get the impression that children's emotions are just not considered as important as ours by some people. My mom's of the mindset like "he'll get over it, who cares if he cries all night at the door and feels abandoned, you have to toughen him up.." We've tried 3 times in his 2 years of life to leave him with a trusted friend or family member, and none of them really worked out. The last time when my parents were in town, he lasted about 40 minutes until he freaked and we came home. To me it's not enjoyable to be out if you know your son is at home crying for you, but hey maybe it's just me. Apparently my MIL feels like our marriage is falling apart because we do things differently. Anyways, I just had to get that out. Oh, and my SIL leaves her 2 y.o. w/ my parents 2 days/nights a week on the other end of the spectrum.

I just hate the insinuation that we're too obsessed w/ our son or something, I mean it's just logistics. Finding a babysitter is just not something I want to stress about. It seems like it would just happen over time, like weaning, or moving to his own bed. When he's ready it'll happen. Back me up.
Ok, so I didn't keep it short

Mom to two boys, 7 and 10.  Expecting 3rd boy any day now with DH (his first).

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#2 of 22 Old 01-10-2004, 06:53 AM
 
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Just wanted to say I completely understand.

My DD is still very small, 4 months, but ever since she was born my mum, MIL and step MIL have been asking when we are going to let them babysit.
My MIL wanted to buy a crib, car seat, high chair etc to have at her home for when she sat for DD. I had to ask DH to tell her not to. For one thing DD doesnt sleep in a crib and she was going to buy a second hand car seat!!! I just didnt want her to buy things that she wasnt going to use.

My mum cannot understand why we don't want to go out without DD. Every time I see her she asks when am I going to let her babysit. She seems to think that I need to get away from my DD.

I keep using the 'she wont take a bottle of expressed milk' line but I'm not sure how long I can keep using it.

I feel that right now DD needs us all the time. During the day she nurses every 1 1/2 hours. She is going to be small such a short time and there will be plenty of time to spend with her grandparents when she's older and will enjoy it.

No advice I'm afraid. Looking forward to seeing what other people say. Good to know I'm not the only one though.
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#3 of 22 Old 01-10-2004, 11:11 AM
 
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We take ds everywhere with us. We've only left him two or three times, and that was to go to football games where we'd have to buy a $50 ticket to take him. The last time we left him, he was crying, and I know it was because Grandma had smoke on her breath and it bothered him. Then when I backed out of the garage, I ran into Grandma's car. Ugh! We're moving to another state, and it doesn't bother me at all that I won't have someone to watch him. I'd just rather not go places if I can't take ds with me.

I'm glad to hear that other people have discovered that you don't have to have "date night" every week without the kids in order to have a healthy message. CourtneyandLogan, your post was refreshing!

Tana, wife to Steve (5/02), mom to Ben (7/03), Joey (10/06) and Caroline (9/09)
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#4 of 22 Old 01-10-2004, 03:40 PM
 
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Don't know if I would have the guts to say this but, my mom always said it to me when I was whineing for something.

"you keep asking / whineing about it and I'm never going to let you have/do it"
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#5 of 22 Old 01-10-2004, 03:52 PM
 
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We also have no family nearby. But from a far they feel the need to tell us we need to leave the boys with a babysitter and make time for just us. Ds1 is almost 4. He's potty trained and can talk well. I feel comfortable leaving him with people I trust, even if he doesn't know them that well. I can explain it ti him, he understands, he knows I'll come back... But ds2 is just too little. I haven't even left him with friends he knows, yet. He doesn't understand how long it would be, what if he needed me? He's just too little. Dh and I both know it's not forever, but it is a part of how our life is now. It's easier for our families now that they see ds1 having sleepovers and staying with friends. It helps our family see we aren't going to be overprotective his whole life.
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#6 of 22 Old 01-10-2004, 04:10 PM
 
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We're lucky enough to have both sets of grandparents in the area for those occasions when we want to go out - which is rare. We are both homebodies and like to be with our daughter (20 mos) the majority of the time. We almost feel incomplete without her. She is surprisingly independent (not spoiled or clingy like some would assume) considering she spends almost all her time with us, because she has a sense of security knowing that mom always comes back.
It's OK C&L- be obsessed with your son! That's what parents are supposed to do
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#7 of 22 Old 01-10-2004, 07:06 PM
 
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you said:

"I just don't think I should have to justify our parenting or for that matter lifestyle decisions to anyone. People assume my husband and I must be estranged and on the edge of divorce because we don't have a way of dropping off the kid."

you're right....you shouldn't have to justify this, so don't.

If it works for your family, it works and thats all you need to say.
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#8 of 22 Old 01-10-2004, 07:44 PM
 
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SOunds familar. My mom thinks that our marriage MUST be suffering if we dont go out on at LEAST a monthly basis alone without ds. ugh. Actually, we did go out a few times when ds was younger. He didnt *know* we were gone and he slept almost the whole time we'd be gone anyway. Now that he is older - 22 months- he knows that we are gone and misses us. I do aknowlege that dh and I do need time together but we do that when I put ds down early for the night and we watch movies, play board games or do whatever at home.

We know that this time with him is short and that too soon he will be saying bye and leaving us at home free to do whatever we want! He wont always want to hang out with us 24 hours a day so I treasure these precious years.

Stick with your convictions and tell everyone else to quit worrying about you and your marriage!

Heather , momma to ' Parker- 10, Carlee- 7 and our baby Genevieve Faith - 8-27-10

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#9 of 22 Old 01-10-2004, 08:38 PM
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I also do not live near family and I have no fear of leaving my 2 yr old because I know she'll be ok, but I do not WANT to leave my 2 yr old with just anybody. I tell people that dh and I did NOT do date night before we had our child, so why should we start now? That usually stops them in their tracks.
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#10 of 22 Old 01-10-2004, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I still get excited when I see people responding to something I've posted here :LOL
Thanks so much for all your feedback, it's just good to have some reassurance that I'm "not the only one" sometimes. I know in my head I shouldn't have to justify or explain to anyone that we're okay, but there's a nagging part of me that needs people's approval or at least understanding. It gives me the ickiest feeling in my stomach to hear someone telling me we're wrong or not normal - I guess I need to get over it. But it's just nice to come here and know I'm not crazy. Again, I would have no problem leaving ds w/ someone IF he were comfortable with it, etc - it's ds who needs to know we're nearby. But MIL approached it w/ me like, "now, don't get mad at me, we all love Logan, but there comes a time when you need to leave, yada yada." As if to say we're just far to wrapped up in him to even remember we have a marriage. I'd just like to be given more credit than that. Yeah, it's my marriage, ofcourse I'm going to do everything I can to keep it going good, I don't need MIL to arrange an intervention. Dh and I never really had "date night" before either. Thanks for all the kind words and good advice, I agree with all of you - I know these days will go by quick and soon enough he'll be ready to spend the night w/ friends, etc. I never understand how people have the nerve to but into something so private as a marriage...
take care,
courtney

Mom to two boys, 7 and 10.  Expecting 3rd boy any day now with DH (his first).

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#11 of 22 Old 01-10-2004, 11:52 PM
 
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I might just say something like:

"Well, our marriage must be stronger than most, because it simply isn't an issue for us".

or...

"Oh, there'll be plenty of time for date nights when she's older; right now our favorite thing to do as a couple is be with our daughter!"

or something similarly upbeat.

Or you could turn the topic around and say something like:

"yeah, I've never understood why so many marriages can't deal with the reality of having children, I guess I'm lucky to have found a partner for whom this isn't an issue."

Bottom line, of course, is that people should stop trying to tell you that you couldn't possibly be happy without a date night, LOL.

[PS - DH and I have had several date nights. DD goes to bed at around 7:30 most nights, and that leaves a lot of time for us to light some candles, pour some wine, and just hang out together!]

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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#12 of 22 Old 01-11-2004, 12:43 AM
 
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Quote:
I still get excited when I see people responding to something I've posted here
Me too! : :LOL
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#13 of 22 Old 01-11-2004, 01:51 PM
 
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I can back you up! I took my time leaving my daughter and, although my time frame was different from you, I still felt like I needed to move at my own pace and resented pushes from friends or family.

When I got closer I was able to be more open up to my parent’s suggestions to leave my daughter with them. What I found was that their “suggestions” had less to do with pushing than them yearning to help me and them wanting to be alone to bond with my daughter.

That said, I still feel pressured to do things separate from my daughter. Sometimes it comes from friends with older kids or childless friends anxious for time alone with me and other times it’s my parents or my in-laws thinking they can save our marriage problems by watching Aya for the weekend.

I don’t know, I think I see both sides. While I resent the pressure, I feel that when my family offers they really mean well. Sometimes they are implying that they can “help” my marriage and other times I think they just want to be with Aya alone.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#14 of 22 Old 01-12-2004, 09:42 PM
 
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I don't post often at all, but this topic always strikes a chord with me. We have 5 children and have never really had a regular babysitter. We did try to go out a few times a year (our birthdays and anniversary) but often just took the children with us. We heard a lot of the things you all are saying but we just did what we wanted anyway and have never regretted it. Our oldest will be 17 next week and our youngest is 3 1/2 and we still love to be with them all as much as possible. We are fortunate now in that, when we do want to go, out that we have older children to care for the younger ones. It's good experience for them (and they are just wonderful with our youngest) and the 3 1/2 year old has the security of his siblings around when we're not.

People will try to tell you it will make them too dependent, but we've found the opposite. Lucas moved to a regular Sunday School class (I work in the nursery during Sunday School so he was with me until he turned 3) last September and happily goes every week, in fact usually doesn't wait for me to remove my own coat but takes off down the hall to see "Miss Kaffy (Kathy) and my fwiends"
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#15 of 22 Old 01-13-2004, 01:46 AM
 
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C&L, do what your heart tells you is right...not what your MIL keeps trying to tell you is "right." You know your DH and your marriage far better than she. And why is she keeping track anyway?

DH and I do not have a babysitter, regular or otherwise, for our DD and we do just fine. Periodically my mother will watch her for a couple of hours while we go out, but those times are few and far between. Besides, DD *loves* spending time with Grandma and is quite happy to say goodbye to Mommy and Daddy during that time. Yes, it is nice to have a little break to ourselves every now and then, but we spend most of the time talking about DD anyway and usually end up coming home early.

Another more concerning factor on our part is that we just don't "trust" her with anyone else. My mother forbid anyone to watch me and my brothers except for my paternal grandparents. She didn't even trust her own mother and stepfather. However, I was also molested by the only person my parents trusted...my paternal grandfather. Prior to our marriage, DH says that virtually every girl he had dated had some sort of molestation issue in her past. While we can't raise DD (and our upcoming addition) under a blanket and umbrella for her entire childhood, we do hope to avoid many of the situations until she is old enough to tell us if something has happened. DH has flatly stated no babysitters for the time being and we will revisit that issue as our DD (and baby-on-the-way) are older.

I hope I'm not coming across as paranoid, and I'm the one reminding DH that we can't just shelter her from society, but this is the lifestyle and parenting style that we have chosen. My family understands and accepts this. One of the hardest things I ever had to do was to tell my own father that he would not be spending any time alone with DD for several years. He is painfully aware that is was his father who molested me and it tears him up to this day. I did assure him that I had no doubts about his integrity, but that as parents DH and I have made our decision which, unfortunately, includes him for the time being.

It's not easy being parents, especially attached parents. And having other family members breathing down your neck about it doesn't help matters either. Stand your ground and do what you and DH feel is right for your own little family.

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#16 of 22 Old 01-18-2004, 05:03 PM
 
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If you listen to your heart and your child you will ALWAYS make the right choice. Right now that is what you are doing.

I have never had a babysitter for my children. We have had relatives watch the oldest before so we could go out alone, but it is rare. He's seven and we;ve been out alone less than five times. To some people this bothers them. It bothered my MIL. So I told her that DH and I have the rest of our lives to spend together but that our children will grow up and leave one day. We have lots of time together, just not much alone and if this doesn't bother us it shouldn't bother anyone else. She accepted this.
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#17 of 22 Old 01-18-2004, 07:24 PM
 
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First, a disclaimer: I am a mama-to-be, awaiting our first baby in late spring this year, so I am speaking to this as a caring onlooker.

A close friend has an in-home nursery school, and currently watches four toddlers under the age two, two of whom have been coming to her house since they were six months old. I help her one morning each week, and these babies all have grown accustomed to my face and manner and have become attached to me enough that they feel comfortable when she leaves to run an errand or steps out of the room. These toddlers are in a safe environment and it's amazing to watch them interact with one another and observe how much they learn from each other.

Another close friend has an almost three year old whom they have never left with anyone for more than a few hours, despite the fact that grandma and grandpa live an hour away and have offered babysitting help. The latter has not had a vacation alone with her partner since their baby was born, and she says she that is okay and she doesn't miss it. But I also see the temperament of her child: she is very strong-willed and would learn a lot from peer interaction. She is just now getting this at the preschool she started attending this fall.

I can see the benefits of having a trusted caregiver that allows a couple some time to spend with each other, unfettered and with undivided attention. And I can also see the benefits of always being there for your child if you continue to feel energized and healthy by this continuous interaction. With all the concerns about finding a trusted care provider juxtaposed with all the concerns about continuing to foster a healthy partnership between the parents, I can also understand the dilemma many people find themselves in. So I agree with those who say, do what works for you and your situation. When it needs to change, you will figure out a way to make that change happen.

warmly,
claudia
mama-to-be in late spring 2004!
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#18 of 22 Old 01-18-2004, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I would LOVE to find a trusted caregiver who ds could form an attachment with, but we've only lived here 7 months, so we haven't really even made many friends. I'm kinda pissy about the issue, because even when we did live sort of near family, they would all say "when can we babysit?" yet never made an effort to make an attachment to my son. They would watch TV when they were over rather than play on the floor with him, for example. Or I would let them watch him while I took a shower for a trial run, and they didn't know how to comfort him, nor was much effort made to distract him. If my MIL wants to fly 3000 miles and babysit, she's welcome to, I would love it, but she just can't seem to find the time.... Ds and I go to playgrounds and playparks all the time, he loves playing with other kids and gets along well with them. I'm just saying, don't call me on the phone from 3000 miles away and tell me how bad my marriage must be because we don't go out for our alone time together. Our alone time is spent indoors while ds is sleeping. Ds is nursing still, so staying away overnight is definitely not an option. I honestly don't think I'd want a vacation away from ds until he was much much older. We always have so much fun all together on our vacations as a family. We can still have private moments together if we want.

Some people are lucky to have family that is good with kids, and nearby, we're just not those people. And frankly I more look forward to my time out by myself, while dh watches ds. To me that's more helpful to my marriage

Piglet - I loved your responses, I'll have to remember those.

Ooh, I just read some more replies that I didn't see there. Thanks for sharing your stories, they are very reassuring. I guess this really is about defending attachment parenting. When I grew up I was constantly with a babysitter from a very young age, and I always felt lonely and removed from everyone. Maybe I'm just trying to prevent that in my child. Well I guess I've rambled enough, thanks so much for the support, I can't tell you how good it makes me feel.
courtney

Mom to two boys, 7 and 10.  Expecting 3rd boy any day now with DH (his first).

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#19 of 22 Old 01-18-2004, 09:32 PM
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I'd love to have a trusted caregiver as well, however, reality is that I live in an area in which I do not grow up and do not know anyone well enough in which I'd feel comfortable leaving my dd.

Whether or not a kid has a temper, is sweet & loving, shy or is anti-social has a lot more to do with the child's entire environment. You cannot say "b/c they were never left with a babysitter, they are that way" or b/c the child was in daycare, they are that way."

A lot more goes into making a child the way they are than one single thing. A child's nature, family, friends and extended family all make up the child.
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#20 of 22 Old 01-18-2004, 09:34 PM
 
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Oh....we just moved away from our family and I have to say I do miss it! My IL's are *VERY* attached to my children, and ds has been haveing overnights with them since he was about 2. They are the most wonderful, loving and understanding people ever - and they totally trust and respect the way we are raising our kids and do their best to do the same. They even co-sleep with ds when he is over. We were planning on ds staying with them for a week or so after we met, but with all the changes he was afraid and very clingy - and although my IL's miss him terribly and *really* wanted him to come for a visit they did not even blink an eye when I said he wasn't coming - they knew it was best for him to stay home.

With dd she has never really had issues with seperation - espically is ds is with her....so from the time she was little DH and I were able to take time to ourselves on occassion while she and ds stayed with family members. It was nice - and I really like the extended family as *family* way of raising a family. It worked for us.....

Now that we are away and the kids are older I will be looking into a 'babysitter' for the kids. I am thinking a young high schooler (14 or so...) who can come and play with them for a couple of hours on a Saturday so DH and I can go out for coffee and a movie. Kind of like a 'big sister' type person.....we shall see. I really think it will be good for everyone - it will give the kids a chance to play hard with a young person who has more energy then mom and give DH and I some nice time to connect together. I have to say with an almost 4 and almost 2 year old (neither of who nap much) there is not alot of time at home for that ALSO I was a nanny and full time babysitter in college and had so much fun with the kids I watched - so I know it can be good for the kids! I think I know them well enought that I would never leave if they were not ready.

I know it is not for everyone, but if it works with your life and your kids I say go for it! If not I say tell everyone else to mind there own business!

Grace - photographer, wife and mom to 4 great kids (Ethan 5.00, Ainsley 4.02, Owen 12.04, and Ellis Ann 10.07) :
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#21 of 22 Old 01-19-2004, 02:28 PM
 
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My children are 7, 6 and 4 years old and it is really only in the past year that we have started using babysitters. We live far from family and the grandparents were always far to eager to introduce our babies to a bottle or TV or spankings for our comfort when we visited them. There were some stretches when the time alone would have been great, but the stress of knowing one of our little ones wasn't ready wasn't worth it.

What we did was have a consistent bedtime routine that had all of the kids asleep by 7:30 at night - they are all early risers so they were always ready by then and DH and I would have a late romantic dinner or rent a movie to watch together. Those were our dates. Sure, I sometimes had to nurse a little one back to sleep but it worked out just fine. Now that they stay up a little later we can't to that (dh and I are not late night people at all) so we go out to an afternoon movie or an early dinner to have time alone together. We love being with our kids. We also love each other and we just keep trying to give each other and each child the special attention we all desire. Frankly as a SAHM I would rather have a babysitter to give me a little time alone than for "date time!"
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#22 of 22 Old 01-19-2004, 02:51 PM
 
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I think it's great that you are content with things as they are and that your marriage is strong. But although your in-laws and friends are being rather rude and tactless about it, I do believe that they are saying what they are out of genuine concern for you.

As we all know, parenting in the early years is all-absorbing, fatiguing, endless, sometimes thankless work. (Of course it has its high points as well!) But a lot of couples aren't as content as you are, and a lot of us do yearn for time alone, and don't get it and find our relationship suffering. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the people bugging you to go out had this sort of experience, themselves. They don't want things to get to the point in your marriage that they may well have gotten to in theirs.

So, along with others, I think the main thing you need to do to get them off your back is to convince them that you really are happy as is. Whenever I'd mention tto my mom that ds was still sleeping with us, she'd try coming up with all these strategies to get him to sleep in his own bed. But one time, dh said, "Wait a minute - do you hear us complaining about where he sleeps?" And she realized that no, we didn't seem to have a problem with it at all. You just need to get that light bulb to go off in their heads about the babysitting issue.
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