Surely, this isn't as insane as my family is trying to make me think it is..... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't be the only one....

to have a play yard or baby gate up around the Christmas Tree? My Mom, Dad, and sister are all making me feel like a freak. But my son is 21 months old and into everything. Since the tree is in our family room where we spend most of our time, I think it's safer and better for my sanity if we have the tree protected by the play yard gates. My family thinks this is insane and are giving me a hard time about it. I'm getting comments like "I didn't have to do that when you girls were growing up", "that's part of the fun of christmas - to crawl under the tree" (yeah, right - we have a lot of heirloom ornaments that I really don't want to take the risk of them breaking). And here's my favorite from my childless sister - "none of my friends who have kids have done this"....

Anyway, I am quite comfortable with my decision but I'd feel better knowing that I'm not the only one who does this or has done this when their kids were small.

Thanks,
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#2 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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You're definitely not the only one. And while I don't have one up around ours, I wish we did. As I'm sitting here on the computer, my 18 month old has brought my 7 different ornaments off of the tree and has completely untied the tree skirt and thrown it in the middle of the family room floor.

(but I skipped putting up all of our breakable ornaments this year and went strictly with non-breakable ornaments and no hooks)

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#3 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 02:59 PM
 
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My family thinks the play yard the tree is brillant! My aunt wants one to keep her dogs away from the tree.

When we were little, my parents got table top trees to keep it safe.

Joy wife to DH, mom to DS1 (4/2005): DD (5/2007) : : DS2 (1/2009 :
I do what works and when it stops working, then I do something else.
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#4 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 02:59 PM
 
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I did that one year, so I guess I was insane too!

The one time my tree did topple over, it wasn't my DS's fault (he was in another room with me when I heard the crash), but the timing was particularly bad. The tree fell over breaking glass all over the floor about twenty minutes before a playgroup of crawling babies and toddlers was scheduled to arrive. Man, I never moved or vacuumed so fast.

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#5 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 02:59 PM
 
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Eh, I'm not even putting up a tree 'cause I don't want to deal with ds getting into it.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#6 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:02 PM
 
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Eh, I'm not even putting up a tree 'cause I don't want to deal with ds getting into it.
Yeah, I'm not doing ours (yet) either... I've been joking that we'll put it up on Christmas Eve, but the kids aren't too pleased about that! Maybe next weekend. Even last year without a baby or young toddler in the house, the tree still got knocked over about 10 times.

OP, I would NOT use any ornaments that you would be upset to lose. Pack them away until your kids are all older. Like, maybe not living at home anymore
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#7 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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Do I think its insane no but I do think its unnecessary. I have my 4th son who is 13.5 months and we have always done live trees and never gated them from any of the children. All have been interested and Ive put alot of unbreakable ornaments back on the tree but after a few days of redirecting all is good. Its not a big deal here.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#8 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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I don't have a gate around mine - if I did then maybe there would be ornaments left on the bottom half of the tree but every year I have my tree tied to the wall with fishing line. The fishing line keeps it from falling but not from being robbed of ornaments!

If it was up to me I wouldn't even have a tree up.

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#9 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All have been interested and Ive put alot of unbreakable ornaments back on the tree but after a few days of redirecting all is good. Its not a big deal here.
Wow! That's great. I redirect and it works for the moment but then he'll continue doing it and I have to keep redirecting. Yes, that's my job , and I don't mind having to tell him over and over not to touch certain things, but the tree is a different story. See, he knows what he's supposed to touch and not touch, he just doesn't have the impulse control to not touch it in the first place. He'll touch or grab something and then say "uh, uh" and then put it back when I tell him to. But I just can't take the chance with a tree that he'll touch, pull, tug or grab first and then say "uh, uh".
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#10 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP, I would NOT use any ornaments that you would be upset to lose. Pack them away until your kids are all older. Like, maybe not living at home anymore
I wish! Unfortunately, this is not an option. My house is where my whole family does Christmas and unfortunately, there are a whole lot of ornaments that are "special" and that HAVE to go on the tree. Actually, almost all of the ornaments are that way. It would have caused more of a riot to not have those ornaments on the tree than the play yard around the tree caused. There are just too many traditions tied to the tree, unfortunately.
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#11 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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I'm thinking positively this year and not gating it, I thought for sure with DS1 we would have to do *something* about the tree but really we didn't. He has been very good about it - this is his 3rd Christmas with him mobile.
My MIL insists that she just poked her kids fingers with a pine needle once and they *always* listened after that and she NEVER had any troubles. I find that impossible to believe.
But really, even with two very impulsive children, it's like anything else in the house they are not supposed to touch...they learn.

DH and I - totally winging life with our four children, DS1 (6.5yrs), DS2 (5yrs), DD (3yrs) and DS3 (1)!

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#12 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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I think it must be a funny site! But no, not insane -- we set our tree up in a different room (dining room that is also the entryway) because we spend a lot more time in the living room and didn't want to have to chase DS out from under the tree

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#13 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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The redirecting thing worked alright for my older two kids, but we had to do table top trees for the last three years due to my youngest son's persistence (and he still managed to knock them over!) and because we didn't have room to gate off the tree. This is the first year we've been able to have a real tree in awhile (he's 4 now). Anyhow, not crazy. A great way to drive yourself crazy is spending a month chasing your kid away from the tree!
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#14 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=Tizzy;14794294
But really, even with two very impulsive children, it's like anything else in the house they are not supposed to touch...they learn.[/QUOTE]

Well, I guess my son must be in the rebellious terrible two phase already because he does know he's not supposed to touch some things and he does it anyway. He used to be very good when he was younger about not touching anything he wasn't supposed to - but now, I think he's trying to assert more independence and as such is testing his boundaries. Maybe next year, I won't need the gate...here's hoping....
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#15 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it must be a funny site! But no, not insane -- we set our tree up in a different room (dining room that is also the entryway) because we spend a lot more time in the living room and didn't want to have to chase DS out from under the tree
I wish there was another part of the house we could set the tree up in, but there's not so we have to put it up in our family room which is where we spend most of our time. Also, it does look a little strange but we're going to disassemble the front part of it after DS goes to bed on Christmas eve and so it won't look bad for the pictures on Christmas morning.
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#16 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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I wish! Unfortunately, this is not an option. My house is where my whole family does Christmas and unfortunately, there are a whole lot of ornaments that are "special" and that HAVE to go on the tree. Actually, almost all of the ornaments are that way. It would have caused more of a riot to not have those ornaments on the tree than the play yard around the tree caused. There are just too many traditions tied to the tree, unfortunately.
So put them up on the tree a few minutes before family arrives.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#17 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyhow, not crazy. A great way to drive yourself crazy is spending a month chasing your kid away from the tree!
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#18 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So put them up on the tree a few minutes before family arrives.
Unfortunately, my family lives close by and can stop by anytime. My sister lives down the street! Also, it's a tradition to trim the tree together so the ornaments have to go on the tree.
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#19 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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Also having the tree up for only a short time makes it easier. This year is the first year in a long time that we put it up earlier than the weekend before Christmas. I always take it down the day after Christmas. So when we had a toddler in the house (this includes daycare kids) the tree was only up for a week tops.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#20 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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Oh, and i don't think it's insane, it would just ruin the effect for me...unless I had a gate/pen that was nice looking...like a wrought iron fireplace gate or soemthing instead of a big ole plastic thing.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#21 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:55 PM
 
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I did it when my kids were smaller and redirecting was not practical. It's a simple, easy solution that doesn't lead to tears (on part of parent or child!) over-parenting, or broken treasures.

Ignore them and do what's simplest for your family

CPST
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#22 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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I've heard of lots of people doing this, my Mom even suggested to me that we do it this year because our little guy. Sorry your family is being obnoxious!
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#23 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:59 PM
 
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I will add we tie our tree to a nail placed in the corner. It cant fall on Jack. All the bottom ornaments are the kids ornaments. Soft , non breakable, homemade etc ( have some awesome snowflakes made with elmers clue sparkles and q-tips). There are things that get carried off its not a big deal. We do have a short kneedled tree ( live) Yesterday Jack was trying to put the ornaments back ON he had just taken off.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#24 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 03:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rocketgirl96 View Post
Unfortunately, my family lives close by and can stop by anytime. My sister lives down the street! Also, it's a tradition to trim the tree together so the ornaments have to go on the tree.
Tell them that by having them on the tree, they are risking them breaking and they will be permanently off the tree. My family growing up was very big on the heirloom ornaments and special ornaments we got each year being the first ones up. But we also do Christmas at our house and I have a 5 year old and an almost 3 year old. Everyone is very understanding that we don't put up any glass ornaments because little hands really like to explore them and that leads to them breaking. Heck, as it is, ds has broken 7 wood ornaments since we put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving.

And my MIL is always telling me things that she didn't have to do with her children, that I have to do with mine. I've pretty much decided she's forgotten most of her kids childhood

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#25 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 04:11 PM
 
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My opinion on this is pretty much my opinion on just about every bit of unsolicited parenting advice I hear:

Unless your family wishes to camp out at your house 24/7 and be 'in charge' of gently redirecting your LO every.single.time he decides to touch one of the tree ornaments then they have zero say in the matter. Whatever the needs and wants of YOUR family is more important that what the extended family thinks.

My own mother is just horrified that we don't put our tree up the Sunday right after Thanksgiving... as we did every year growing up. (And as DH's family did too.) Well, my older DD's birthday is Dec. 4th so we made it OUR family tradition to put it up the weekend following her birthday. Which ends up being today actually. And nope, haven't done it yet. Still need to rearrange the living room a bit and sweep. Oh, well. Anyways, it's OUR family and we'll do what we feel is best.

Beth
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#26 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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I don't think it's crazy. We have our tree up on a table. It's just easier that way, when there's so much other insanity.

sleeping.gifMama to DD dust.gif(12.2005), DS1 sleepytime.gif (01.2009), DS2 babyboy.gif (04.28.2013) with DH heartbeat.gif04.10.13!!heartbeat.gif namaste.gif

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#27 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 04:40 PM
 
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My opinion on this is pretty much my opinion on just about every bit of unsolicited parenting advice I hear:

Unless your family wishes to camp out at your house 24/7 and be 'in charge' of gently redirecting your LO every.single.time he decides to touch one of the tree ornaments then they have zero say in the matter. Whatever the needs and wants of YOUR family is more important that what the extended family thinks.
Yep. You do what you need to do to save your sanity (and your heirlooms). If the gate works for you then keep it. You shouldn't have to answer to anyone about it.

We've taken a bit of heat in the past from my family about putting the tree up late (2 weeks before Christmas). And I've told them that if they have a problem with it they are certainly welcome to come keep an eye on my kids around the tree! They've relented.

Personally we just go with the no breakable ornaments on the tree thing. Last year my daughter and I also made a whole bunch of clay ornaments that she spent two days painting. We put those on the tree. It really made the Christmas tree very special for her, seeing all of the things that she made. We're definitely doing that this year, too.

Candace - Mama to Molly (02/06), Max (06/08) and Maggie (03/10)
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#28 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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And here's my favorite from my childless sister - "none of my friends who have kids have done this"....
"Only because they never thought of it. "
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#29 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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i think it's a good idea.

we made our tree. it hangs from the ceiling so if it gets knocked, it just swings. we also don't have any good ornaments on it (because we just don't have any)
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#30 of 91 Old 12-13-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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After fighting for a few days, DH moved all of the ornaments to the top of the tree. It looks ridiculous. We'll move them back to normal for Christmas morning.
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