Growing Up

A Really Good Day

at the zoo

He spent a lot of time with this Tamarin, who is missing an eye.

A couple weeks ago the Kiddo had a Really Good Day.  Not that every day isn’t wonderful, but this day was full of wonder, fun & new experiences that he thoroughly enjoyed.   We went to the zoo and then we went to Grammy & Papa’s and swam in the pool.  Let me tell you, this kid is a water baby.

We’re Going to the Zoo:
We’re going to the zoo
We’re going to the zoo!
We’ll look at some animals
And they might look at you!

There are Monkey at the zoo
There are monkeys at the zoo
They might swing around
And toss some poo at you!  
(before anyone gets upset the orangutang baby did toss poo)

There are turtles at the zoo
There are turtles at the zoo
They might crawl around
And eat some salad too!

There are rhinos at the zoo
There are rhinos at the zoo
They might snuff and snort
And roll in the mud.

There are elephants at the zoo
There are elephants at the zoo
They might eat some hay
And trumpet hello to you!

There are goats at the zoo
There are goats at the zoo
They might take a nap
Or say Naaaaa! to you!

There are polar bears at the zoo
There are polar bears at the zoo
They might swim around
In their pool.

Anyway, the song can go on like that depending on what animals the kid saw, what they did, etc.  Feel free to be silly, my kid though it was hilarious. To the best of my knowledge I came up with the words, but if I’ve accidentally co-opted something, please forgive the Mommy Brain.

 

baby in the pool

Water Baby

After that we went to my in-laws house and it was hot enough that they all decided to go in the pool.  He went too.  He had a blast.  The only issue we’ll have after this is keeping him OUT of the pool when the Big Kids are making it inhospitable for little guys.   

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Replacing The “But” in Parenting with “And”

I hear and read a lot of this statement:
“I love my kids but —“
This got me thinking about how language and thinking are so closely related. Parenting is a tough business and while many (most?) of us will try it for 20 yrs or so, we have a linguistic system that makes any complaint or realistic observation seem like we wish our kids would go Poof! This is not so, and I propose a change in wording and therefore a change in thought.

If I said “I love my son but it takes a lot time to feed him!” that makes it sound like “If I’d never had him I would have so much more time to do something other than feed the little bum.” While that is technically true, it’s not sentimentally true.
If I said “I love my son and it takes a lot of time to feed him!” I’ve just conveyed the enormous amount of time that goes into nursing & mealtimes for my darling boy without wishing he’d never been born.

So there it is.

“I love my son, and this MommyLapNap thing has GOT to end.” Not only is he getting too big for it, there’s stuff I need to be doing while he sleeps… like shower, eat, prepare his next meal, wash clothes, clean up, go pee, etc. Instead I’m sitting here making a blog post about conjunctions.

I actually did get him to lay down on the play mat for about 10 minutes of an alone-nap. Then the microwave beeped & that ended. I should have resisted the allure of hot coffee.

Ooh camera!

I love my son and he can make one heck of a mess!

 

Gratuitous cat picture

Thing 2 in all her infant cat glory.

 

WIC and 7 month food list

We visited the WIC office today yesterday.  I love the county health department, awesome folks!  I also like WIC for the services they provide – weight & measurements, answering basic questions that your doctor never takes the time to address, etc.  Not a huge fan of the coupons, mostly because there isn’t much we can use & I tend to buy non-WIC stuff… like almond butter* v. peanut butter (though sunflower butter* is far better & hella cheaper) and absolutely no hydrogenated anything.  I also forget to take the packet with me & just end up handing the coupons back.  I’m lucky if I remember to bring my cloth bags when I shop, heck, I’m lucky if I remember to put my wallet in the diaper bag.  I do like the produce coupon, $10 can go a long way for fresh fruits & veggies if you buy smart.
*You can basically make nutbutter from any kind of nut/seed if you just chop it & grind it enough to make the oils come out and emulsify.  You don’t have to add anything.  It’s a lot of work, which is why we don’t really do it much today, but Once Again Nutbutter is local – and NOM!  How to make it  You do need a good food processor, which I don’t have, which is why I buy the jars.

Anyway, he’s at 8% for weight & 10% for height, and on the breastfeeding charts he’s 50% height-for-weight, which is awesome.
His now former doctor had me absolutely freaking out about his weight, even though I knew he was on his curve & perfectly fine.  Hopefully NewDoc will be better.
WIC dietitian was thrilled with our food intake.  She says she wishes all her clients would eat the way we do.  She also reassured me that the baby weight will eventually come off, and no, I don’t need cholesterol medication, just go for a walk with the kid every day and eat sensibly; no I’m not going to drop dead tomorrow.  Apparently FormerDoc is horrible for ALL of her breastfeeding mommies and apparently we’ve all been frustrated/infuriated rats jumping off that sinking ship.  So, stay on course with the breastfeeding and homemade foods & maroon the doc on a rock.  My husband has a bit of a joke that goes “What does Dr. — say?  Quack! Quack!”
The kiddo is also talking, a few words here & there – so WIC lady says – because we don’t employ the mouth plug.  His binky is a toy, like all other toys, not a pacifier.  We do use the binky on long car rides, but he’s actually happier with the Links attached to his straps because he can’t lose them.  He also likes having a cup where he can reach it to drink.
The MommyWalkMe thing is good exercise.  He’s really REALLY crawling as of this morning.  Not just 2 scoots & done, but distances of 2-4′ then a sit-down, then 2′ more.  Easier on the knees with pants, so I’ll have to make sure we stuff him in them, not just a onesie or diaper cover.

WIC – totally awesome program.  Have I mentioned how awesome WIC is?   WIC is awesome.

 

At 7 months, here is his food list:  (we’re at 8 months now, but this is what I had typed out).

JR’s Food List
Fruit:
Bananas
Applesauce
Pears
Peaches
Apricots
Prunes (1 tbsp ONLY)
Tomatoes

Grains:
Oat Cereal
Cream of Wheat
Soft Bread
Naan bread
Pancakes
French toast bits
Bread pudding

Vegetables:
Sweet Potatoes
Peas
Carrots
Squash
White potatoes
Cooked celery
Cooked onions
Asparagus
Summer squash
Green beans (mixed w/ other)
Beets (mix w/ applesauce)

Meat:
Salmon (oat cereal & carrots)
Turkey (mix with veggie)
Beef broth
Chicken (mix with veggie)
Venison
Egg yolk (whole eggs are fine, mix w/ banana)

Beans:
Tofu
Humus

Juice:
apple juice w/water

Dairy:
butter is OK

 

 

No

Fruit:
Avocado (2 yrs- allergic)
Berries (1 yr – safety)
Grape juice (Puke)

Grains:
Rice (9 months – tummy upset)

Nuts:
Peanuts (2 yrs – safety)

Dairy:
Yogurt (allergic – 1 yr)

Other:
Honey (2 yrs – safety)

 

 

Fat Crunchy Mama

Image

Baby Steps

I had a dream last night that we went to a restaurant that served you food based on your BMI.  My healthiest option was a 10 gallon plastic tote of salad steeped in fatty dressing.  I tried to wash it off with the water form my glass, but it just made it worse, and then I didn’t even have the water to drink.

I’m fat.
If I were comfortable with this level of fatness I’d be totally cool with that.  But I’m just plain not.  I’m unaccustomed to my body overlying my body.  This weird post-baby belly thing (love that I got a kid out of it) is just not of the cool.  The boobs are awesome, but there aren’t bras big enough – HOW do women find nursing bras that are big enough?  Companies advertise that they sell “38F” but then you get there & it’s one stupid sports bra that really only goes up to G.  I can sew corsets like a champ, but bras are mind-boggling.  Not like I have time either.

Anyway, walking is keeping me sane.  The little bit of yoga I can squeeze into the day is great.  I really want to bring my AbDobics! machine upstairs – cheesy, yes.  Works like wow.  I’m wondering where I can squeeze it into this already overfull room.

This isn’t just me bitching about my postpartum physique. I promise there is a point.

Here’s the point: My body has been effectively pregnant for the last 4 years.  I got one fantastic, awesome, incredible, beautiful boy out of that and I could not possibly be happier.  My hormones were trashed, I had multiple miscarriages, a stroke, cancer and more bed-rest than I care to talk about cracks in the ceiling – I don’t look up in the mornings – at all.  It took me 4 years to lose the weight the first time, it’ll probably be longer this time.  And I would do it again in a heartbeat.  For all that grief, pain, fear, frustration, anger – all of it was worth it for this little boy.

When I hear the voices in my head that say “you’ll lose all of that weight breastfeeding” and not a pound has dropped…
When I hear “only slackers don’t lose baby weight in the first 8 weeks” and nothing has come off in months…
When I hear “!Ver cómo grandes caderas!” in the store…
When the voice in my head says “My God you are fat!”

I need to stop & consider where I’ve been and what I’ve been through in the last few years.  I need to give myself some grace, and some time to get myself back together.  The primary goal is BOY.  All else is secondary.  Health falls in there, pretty high up the list actually, but not at the top.  Food choices first, then exercise, then we’ll see.  I have to remember that I’m still me.  I’m still worthwhile, I’m still the lovely, funny (am so!), irreverent, hungry for information, nuts over costumes, weird chick my husband married all those years ago… there’s just a little more of me now and I need to boost my HDL.

 

On a side-note, my kid said “good” today several times.  Apparently peas are good!

 

Edit:  I realize that this will come off as a fat-hating post.  Yesterday was a fat-hating kind of day.  None of my reenacting clothes fit so I was more than a bit pissy.  OK, the Civil War maternity dress fits beautifully and I still rock that thing.
Anyway, let me just restate that this is, in fact, all about me.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with you, your body, your perception of yourself or anyone else for that matter.  Got it?  Good.
Also, there are days when I absolutely love how I look.  Even naked.  Which doesn’t happen much because there’s always a kid in the room with me.   But still!  I even love the stretch marks that now match the old “I grew way too fast” marks.
If I were actually fat & fit, I would be fine.  I used to be fat & fit.  Now I’m just fat & unhealthy.  Not cool.  In any case, due to my medical issues I am working on it.  Health is important, and actually being here for my son and hopefully his children is really important to me.  To do that, I have to be above ground & at least semi-mobile.
So, don’t internalize this.  Remember, it’s all about me.

Dandelions Are Edible

Dandelions are edible

Hello Tasty Flower

So it’s spring here in West Podunk NY (lovely- really it’s pretty enough to make a calendar photographer cry tears of pocket change) and our yard is basically composed of wildflowers… if we lived in the burbs they’d be called weeds but we never have to water our lawn; let’s hear it for tried & true vegetation… but no mater what you want to call that greenery – purplry? Whitery? yellowblossomsofnummygoodness?, my kid is going to eat it.

Dandelions are tasty

Nom nom tasty flower! Daddy ate one too.

Honest to God I have uprooted and Googled more flora in the last month than I did when I was studying herbalism 300 yrs ago.

Yes, dandelions are edible.  No, you may not eat 5 at once.
Clover is fine.
While purslane should be OK, kid you only weigh 17 lbs, so no.
Violets are cool.
Pansies are nummy
DO NOT EAT THE DAFFODILS NONONONO!
The roses aren’t blooming yet, but he can chomp on the petals when they do.
Lilacs smell and taste delicious – go for it.
No tulips. (they are yes/no sorta edible, but I’d rather he skip them)
Grass?  Really?
Thankfully by the time he can reach our (edible) day lilies they will be done blooming… One flower might survive the grazing habits of my pint size son.

Now, the downside to this floral binge that it has put the whole 4-day-wait food schedule in disarray.  I have things like “dandelion” in the slot where “white potato” should be.  Grapes got put on hold in favor of lilacs.

So, all that scheduling angst aside, it’s horribly cute when he goes tripping outside towing the Mommy Walker behind him, then does a dead stop&drop to nosh on one of those delightful yellow weeds that my father-in-law tries so hard to irradiate in his own yard… in these parts we just enjoy the sunny view & blow the seed heads in the wind for wishes! (or my kid tries to eat those too)…

 

Oh, I forgot to mention, all that chewing on chewy dandelion heads has helped break a tooth through.  Thank You!  We’ve been waiting for that sucker since he was 3 1/2 months old!  Now if the other 3 would come in we might get a break from the Mr. Droolbuckets for a bit.

Snoozin’

1 month old & right on the tummy.

1 month old & right on the tummy.

So I read this article on yahoo news a few days back & it’s had me chuckling ever since.  Essentially it was about how a good chunk of American parents don’t put their kids to sleep on their backs.

Now, as the mother of a Tummy Sleeper, I can’t tell you how nerve-wracking it was for the first few months to know that my little peanut could, and did, roll himself right over at less than 2 weeks & smoosh his little nose right into the mattress all flippin’ night.  I’d literally stand over his crib making sure he was breathing… for hours.  I got NO sleep.  After going nuts for about 2 or 3 months (I can’t remember anymore), we brought him into bed with us.  I have this hazy recollection of my kid getting a horrible cold & he couldn’t breathe laying down,* so I put him on my chest & we both slept well for the first time EVER.  And there he’s been since.  I’m sure we get the Worst Parent Award for co-sleeping, which BTW, I never, ever planned to do, E-V-E-R.  But here we are.  I still live in hope that someday the All Night Mommy Diner will reduce her hours & the one loyal customer will sleep in his own bed again, but no rush.  It’s awesome birth control.  I do miss my heavy blankets & nice pillows, but at least I can open my eyes, see he’s still breathing (he takes up 4/5 of the bed – HOW does such a little person manage to confiscate so much real estate???), and go back to sleep if I’m not da Fountain o’Boobajuice or getting baby ninja kicked in the belly or thwacked in the boob.  As a bonus, cosleeping has helped regulate his nighttime temperature; poor kid used to freeze or sweat into fits (have YOU tried the “no blanket” thing?).  Now, instead of waking up screaming & unhappy he just sticks his little icicle toes on my stomach and smiles in his sweet dreams.  Let’s not even discuss the insane idea of sleep sacks & swaddling… it was a great plan until the Baby Campaign for Piggy Freedom started. After a tireless struggle the beleaguered PiggyTrapperMommy gave up and the protester won and the piggies are now free!
*So there’s this thing called a crib bolster, which you are supposed to put under their mattress when they have the snuzz to help elevate their heads but not add “stuff” to the crib.  Har-de-har-har.  Ever take a basic physics class?  Yeah, gravity works.  Those little bundles of joy just roll head-down straight to the bottom of the crib, adding to everyone’s misery.

So, back to this article – according to which I am no doubt Satan herself.  Has this (totally unhelpful) author never met a living child?  Babies aren’t plastic dolls, they sure don’t stay where you put them!   In all seriousness, there is no way you can keep your kids on their backs all night.  It’s not going to happen.  Realistically speaking, they move.  It’s when they don’t move that you need to worry.

Yes, keep big pillows & heavy blankets & insanely huge teddy bears out of their crib/bed.  Ban the cat who likes to cuddle too close to the kid (he’s still pissed at me).  Turn a fan on for air circulation.  Lay them down on their backs to start.  Do what you can to keep your child safe, and the rest is up to them and fate.

This & That

I don’t really have much exciting to babble about.

At 7 months & change he’s sitting up for quite a while, can correct his balance, but hasn’t sat up on his own yet.  He pulled up to standing from sitting via his activity center.  Boy was I surprised!
He’s a champ in the walker, but losing interest; he wants me to walk him all over the world unless shoes are involved, in which case sucking on them is the preferred activity.  My back is killing me – thank heaven for my massage therapist, she’s a miracle worker.

The crawling thing… not exactly happening regularly yet.  He’s still rolling, squirming, swimming & rocking to get places.  He’ll make it a few inches & then it’s SPLAT again.  Soon enough.  He crawls in his sleep just fine.

We are up to 3 meals a day, and he’s fussing about nursing in the daytime – my boobs are killing me & I’m pumping because the kid wants to eat ALL NIGHT.  Last night I had 3 dreams, and remember all of them if that tells you anything.  Zzzzzzzzzzz.  The food list is growing rapidly, but then so is his allergy list.  I fear this poor kid will have my food issues.  Yogurt is off the menu, it gave him a rash, the runs & major tummy issues. Not surprising considering I had to cut dairy when he was a newborn, but still disappointing.  We’ll reintroduce it later & see if it’s any better.  He actually tolerated green beans mixed with tofu & oat cereal.  Someday I will win on the green beans thing… or he’ll hate them as much as I do; whichever.  Beets are a win when mixed with applesauce.  Egg yolks are fab when mixed with bananas (so is tofu & bananas, kinda like tapioca, which I miss desperately & can’t eat anymore, so baby-food combo win for the mamma too!).  Peaches & pears & oat cereal are awesome.  peas & oat cereal are great, we’re doing whole peas in the blender now vs. hulled peas in the foley food mill, what a relief that he can handle a bit of texture now!  He plays with his food more, which is good.  That high chair tray is finally coming in handy.  Still only a little in the mouth via fingers, but he piles the goop up & sucks it off the tray.  Whatever works kid.

Object permanence is mastered.  He hides his own toys in blankets & then finds them.

He says “up” “hi” “mama” “ga-ma” “boowa (boob)” also “boob-boob” and “ungy.”  Yesterday was “yeah” which I realize I say way too much.  He said “cake” once but hasn’t said it again, but I haven’t mentioned it either and we haven’t had any.  He does NOT like chocolate cake (YAY! more for me!).

Naps are still MommyLapNap, so nap time is not “get stuff done time.”  At some point this kid will be too big for my lap & we’ll have to adjust.  For now I’ll take it.  He gets a nap, I get internet or book time and he wakes up happy.  I won’t deny being a fan of the cuddles either.

Time.  It has flown and there isn’t enough of it, and some days are empty and some drag and some never end or end too soon.  I’ve been trying to get his reenacting outfits together in stolen moments, but what once would have taken me a couple days at the most has been a week & counting and nowhere near done.  Tick Tock & I still have to make Husband something decent (read “not polyester”) to wear.

 

5 Commandments of Offering Parenting Advice

“Thou shalt not criticize the parenting methods of others.”

“If asked, thou may givest thy opinion.”

“Once thou hast given thy opinion, in a respectful and intelligent manner, thou shalt shut thy mouth.”

“If thine advice is not taken, thou shalt not take offense and thou shalt henceforth remain silent.”

“Above all, thou shalt not undermine the parental authority of others by mocking, degrading, harping, arguing or criticizing said parenting methods in the presence of said children.”

A little Bath and a whole lot of BS

I’ve had a thought brewing for a few days now, and it’s a rather heavy thought.  I’ll try to phrase this so as not to sound like a total jerk and incite the hatred of all of Internet Land, but if I do, so be it & here goes. 

WARNING: possible trigger reading!

The other day I gave my kid a bath (Boy /boi/ noun.  noise with dirt on it) and rather than scramble to get out as fast as his flailing arms could manage, he sat in the tub & splashed like a curious little mad scientist.  YAY!!!  Total parenting win!  Of course he also tried to drink it & I was like ‘no way Dude, you’ve totally peed in that.’

Anyway, like any proud mama, I took a picture & some video of this mad splashing.

Then, like any sleep deprived insanely proud mamma who had just captured the uber-splashy-shreeking-giggling-cuteness on film, I went to share it on the largest social media site in the world.  And paused.  And thought about it.  And read the Terms Of Use.

I’m still rather confused as to whether or not this video would violate FB’s terms of use or not, but that is a total side-note because I decided not to post the insane water cuteness partly due to the absolutely rabid response I got from my friends.
“OMG some perv might exploit/abuse pics of your son!”
“Someone might THINK bad thoughts about your kid!”
“AACK baby naughty-bits are naughty!”
“It’s illegal to take pics of your kid in a tub!”
“Haven’t you seen that news story about that girl who’s photos went viral?”

Whoa there!  Hang on a minute Internet Land!  Can we please inject some sanity into this situation?  Perhaps a garnish of reality on our paranoia platter?

– First, it is NOT illegal to take a picture of your baby in the bath.  Google it if you don’t believe me.
Yes, some people have been tossed in jail overnight or arrested and even went to trial for bath pictures, but the vast majority of those cases got thrown out, and the ones that didn’t had a lot more to them than splash time.  CPS is not going to steal your kids over a snapshot.  Truly.
(BTW, the thing that made me decide not to post the video is the auto-play feature on FB’s news feed.  To be honest I just think it’s obnoxious and it’s a long video, 20 seconds, which will take 2 flippin’ days to load.  And I get that not everyone is going to want to see my Mad Natural Scientist discovering the liquid properties of bathwater).

– Any picture you put on the internet – anything in fact – has the potential to go viral, get stolen, shared, used as an advertisement without permission, etc.  Once it’s there, it’s there forever and that’s all there is to it.  It’s the internet.  Just so we all understand that. 

– “Someone” might THINK bad stuff about your kid.
Can we take a moment to analyze that?
“Someone” meaning my friends and family and their friends.  Holy Poop that’s a lot of people.  As it happens, the same number and the same people who see every other photo that I post of my kid.
might meaning they may or may not.  The possibility exists, yes; but realistically speaking it’s not much greater than if I never put myself or my child online at all.  My kid might die of cancer too, but there’s not a darn thing I can do about that, so I’m not going to stay up at night worrying about it.   I might regret posting photos of my kid or talking to other humans, but then I might not.  Life doesn’t run on might.
THINK  I am not responsible for the thoughts or feelings of other people.  Nor am I responsible for their actions.  I am responsible for my own actions.  I am sensitive to other people’s feelings and try to avoid hurting them, but an unfortunate side effect of life is occasional pain.  Other people’s thoughts are not my problem, nor are my thoughts their problem.
bad things.  Yup, bad things happen.  Statistically speaking the majority of abuse happens with your nearest and dearest: parents, siblings, neighbors, family, classmates & other direct associates.  These are the people who have opportunity.  Realistically speaking my kid is in more danger from his cousins than from Random Internet Guy.  Please note I’m not downplaying cyber bullying or online abuse, I’m just taking a real-world view of the facts.  1:4 girls, that’s 25%, and 1:5 boys, that’s 20% will be sexually abused before they hit 18, and the vast majority of that abuse is perpetrated by people they know well.  That is a staggering number.  When you consider the corresponding number of abusers out there it’s enough to make you paranoid – because there is no real ratio, let’s call it 1:10 or 10% of people are or have been sexual predators.  But from a survivor’s perspective, worrying about it is worse.  Realistically 75% of girls and 80% of boys will never be sexually abused and that IS a comforting thought.
Someone somewhere will have a fetish about almost everything, and that may possibly intersect with your kid’s lives at some point.  The good thing is that most fetishes are between consenting adults, and while my son will always be my baby, by that time I soooo don’t want to know about that.
Lastly, you are familiar with the thing called The Internet, right?  There are entire sites dedicated to saying & thinking bad stuff about other people.

-Baby bits are NOT naughty.  At all.  To make one part of a person’s body “bad” is pure stupidity.  It also plays into Rape Culture.  Saying “your penis/vagina is BAD” invites shame regarding that body part and shuts conversation down.  It is more likely to make your kid a willing victim, meaning they will keep secrets out of shame rather than coming home & telling you straight out that “Kenny Touched My Penis/Vagina On The Bus,” at which point you can either kick Kenny’s ass, or go through the proper channels & get that kid some psychological help before he abuses someone else.  That may seem a long time off, but it starts right now.
Now, my 7 month old does not know what his penis is.  To him, it’s far less interesting than his toes, which are AWESOME.  Occasionally he grabs it, but that’s his deal not mine; my job is to make sure he doesn’t have poop on it.  I just wait for him to let go & finish changing his diaper.  When we get to potty training it’ll be all about the penis (Lord, please let’s keep the pissing up the walls to a minimum – or at least confined to the bathroom… Pretty Please?).  Do you have any idea how many diapers the average parent changes in a day?  10.  Ten times you wipe your kid’s butt & corresponding sprinkler system.  If I had to worry about my baby’s bits being “bad” I’d go insane.  So stop it.

 

Realistically speaking, what can we as parents do to keep our children safe(r) from sexual predators?
1: Don’t abuse children.
2: Teach them what NO means.
3: Respect their NO.
That needs a bit of expansion.  That means if you are tickling them and they say “Mommy Stop!” you stop.  If you are playing Sack of Potatoes and they say “Daddy I’m going to throw up (if you don’t stop)!” you stop.  You do not make them kiss or hug Aunt Sally & Uncle Frank if they don’t want to.  Does that risk hurting Sally or Frank’s feelings?  Possibly.  But children do know who they want touching them and who they don’t, and IF you are paranoid about the possibility of sexual abuse, respecting your child’s mind & body as their own is the best thing you can do for them. 
ex: My nephew does not want me to kiss him.  I blow him kisses across the room.  If he still says NO (or ducks the kiss) I’ll “catch” it before it gets to him & give it to someone else.  If he’s really in a “don’t touch me” mood I’ll just wave goodbye & say “have a nice day!” not even “I love you” because that’s too mushy.  I’m totally cool with that.
4: Listen to them when/if they try to tell you that something is wrong.
DO NOT dismiss what they are saying as lies just because you have a hard time believing it.  You may love your brother, but he could very well be abusing your child/ren while you go out on Friday nights   ~ 1:10.  I’m not going to offer suggestions, but I will tell you as a child who was abused over a long period of time, I did try to tell multiple times.  I was ignored, brushed off, called a liar & felt abandoned.  Not having adults listen made it that much worse.  When the adults finally did listen and then didn’t do anything it was terrible. When the kid who abused me abused three other girls it was infuriating. 
If this happens, and it might (20-25%), you as the parent need to get your child some help.  I won’t tell you what kind, but therapy did help me.  It took some doing to find a good therapist, but it really did help.  I lived with a seething pit of black rage for more years than I care to think about, but little by little I was able to let that go.
5: Tell your kids not to sexually abuse other kids.
While it’s kinda horrible to contemplate, your kid may be that 1 out of 10 who ends up being the abuser, and they could be 10 or 25 or 50 when/if they do.  We tell our kids not to steal, lie, cheat, bully, etc. but we also need to tell our kids not to be rapists.  Trust me when I say I’m not looking forward to that talk but we will have that talk.

Now a bit of a tangent:
Our society spends so much time trying to protect our kids from life it’s become a sort of pathology. 
– Since China imported lead-heavy toys (2009) all toy manufacturers have to send samples to be tested for lead to the tune of $3000 a pop.  This has put many small & micro-businesses out of work or driven up the costs so much that normal people can’t afford unique toys without making them themselves.
– Many people consider breastfeeding a type of sexual abuse or incest, (no, really, they do).  So much so that many states have put laws on the books saying that it IS LEGAL to breastfeed your child.  However, you may still be charged with trespassing in some states if you don’t go somewhere else to feed your baby.  This is all presumably because some older kid might see some younger kid trying to eat their lunch (which happens to be a boob – eew, boobs) and get traumatized by boobs or lunch, I’m not sure which here.  O-M-G it’s a nipple!  Someone kill it with fire before it leaks milk all over!
– A boy has been arrested & is facing jail time for his father’s fishing knife under the seat of his father’s car, which he drove to school, without knowing the knife was there.
– A kindergartner was suspended/expelled for talking about a Hello Kitty bubble gun.

There are reasonable safety precautions & unreasonable safety precautions.  Putting your kid in a rear-facing carseat?  Totally reasonable.  Snapping your toddler into a harness on a leash at Disney World – I’m all for that.  Bike helmets? Awesome.No running on a playground?  Totally not cool.  Being afraid to take/talk about a picture you took of your kid because someone/somewhere/might/think/bad things about him/her?  Please.  Check your paranoia at the door & step on in to reality.  You can’t stop your kid from getting hurt, that’s life.  But you can take joy in their childhood & show them that there is beauty and wonder in the world; even if it’s just a splash in a tub that they no doubt peed in.

Cheers!

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