Monday, October 30, 2006

Good babies, bad timing

I'm incredibly blessed with good babies. Seriously. My kids are so good. I can only attribute it to their father's phlegmatic personality. The man's so laid back he's almost recumbent.

My bubs can entertain themselves for long stretches, are generally quiet and happy, can be taken out to restaurants and doctor's offices where they sit patiently without fuss. Almost every time I go out I hear: "They are SO quiet!" (or good, or well behaved, but usually 'quiet').

Of course I'm very strict about behaviour in public. At home they can run, crumb-sprinkled and naked, through the entire house, make a reasonable amount of noise, play with what they like (that belongs to them), etc.

In public it's a different matter. They do not get down from the table in restaurants, stand in chairs or shopping carts (MAN, it drive me MAD when I see someone let her kid stand in a shopping cart!), run in aisles, or touch merchandise. They must be quiet and stay close and stay out of other people's way.

Of course it helps that they're good babies. Did I mention how easy-going their dad is? He'd have to be to live with me. Can you imagine living with an already volatile person who's been pregnant for the last 5 years?

Yow!

Anyway, in an example of my low-key kids: one of the things I see on my baby boards all the time is mothers who say they can't leave their child alone for a second. In their own home.

I've seen the same plaintive question from moms of two, three, and four-year-olds as well as newborns: "What do you do if you need to put on a load of clothes or take a shower?!"

Uhh, I just do.

I have no qualms about leaving a newborn in a secure room alone. I mean, what's he gonna do? Roll out of a bouncy seat he's strapped into? Doubt it. Wake up and suffer psychological damage because I'm gone? Nuh-uh. How would he know, anyway? They can only see a foot in front of their face. Jeez.

And a floor baby is fine as well, for a minute. The worst thing they can do is slug over far enough to get jammed up against a piece of furniture.

Crawlers and toddlers are easiest - just take 'em with you everywhere. Just yesterday I needed to take a quick shower so I left the three oldest to their devices (dinosaur wars in the family room) and took the 16-month-old Bulk into the shower room with me. All it took was two soda crackers (one clutched in each pudgy fist) and the full-length mirror in there to entertain him for the few minutes it took.

I think kids need to learn independence. I think they need to be left alone with their own wee brains so they can learn to entertain themselves.

I don't mean abandoned or pushed away, of course. I just mean gotten used to making do themselves, without electronic games, television, or constant entertainment. Mine know I'm right there in an instant if they need me. I'm just not right on top of them all the time.

----

So tomorrow is Halloween, right? The biggest day of the year for me, a huge family fave, and one whose costumes I've been planning for months.

.... And the babies all woke up sick this morning.

Ugh.

If you celebrate xmas and you're ill, you can always open gifts later. Ditto your birthday. If something comes up at Thanksgiving a family can always come together earlier or later, another day. It's a pain, but it's do-able.

But you can onty trick or treat on Hallowe'en.

Crudnuggets.

And my children are almost never sick. Like, maybe once a year.

So not only do I feel kind of helpless and fish-out-of-water-ey, but I'm terrified they'll miss trick or treating. :(

We're currently on Red Alert (snot and cough watch). I'll keep you updated.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 1:56 pm   7 comments

7 Comments:

At 10:57 am, Blogger macboudica said...

Poor kids! That is horrible, to be sick on Halloween (it is one of my fav's too). I wish them the fastest of recoveries. Oh, and I am with you on the whole you don't have to be right on top of your kids 24/7 thing. They can manage for a few minutes without you if they are in a safe environment. It is called Coping, and it is an essential skill they definately need to learn.

 
At 2:07 pm, Anonymous Sherry said...

I'm with ya', sister, on the whole independant kid thing. With our twins, it just became a way of life, since things just NEED to be done, and if I spent every moment playing with them, my house would be condemned, no bills would ever get paid and we'd all be trapsing around in dirty clothes. We do keep the TV on for part of the afternoon, but the kids come and go as they please and only pay attention to it when something catches their eyes.

Yay for well behaved kids!!!

 
At 10:08 pm, Anonymous Kate W. said...

I SO agree with you- I love the fact that I know 99.9%of the time, I can leave my girls to "fend for themselves" while I shower etc. I am a huge believer in the whole out on public behavior thing too. So sorry about the germs on Halloween! What a bummer. Hope they still got some treats out of it!

 
At 9:13 am, Blogger Sharpie said...

I was the same way with my two - they are very independent now - thanks god.

Sick on Halloween - about the worst there could be. I feel for you - my eldest is ALWAYS sick on CHristmas - every year - she actually just expects it now.

 
At 11:08 pm, Blogger Allison said...

I am so like this with my child. My friends sort of all think I'm nuts but I swear that is why my son can play by himself for longer than 5 minutes and he's only 17 months old. I don't leave him alone in a dangerous environment but when a woman's gotta pee, a woman's gotta pee....he's glued to the t.v. half the time anyhow...hahahaha. jk. I love your blog, btw.

 
At 5:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing is'nt it, the things women worry about today as opposed to what our mothers worried about. i have a relative who thinks she can't leave her baby alone in her cot with some toys while she has a shower, or anywhere, anytime for that matter and subsequently the child can't do anything on her own, mummy has to be with her constanly, with her and on her hip. she was the same with her first, and you're right, they don't learn any indepence that way. i also feel that it can foster insecurity in a child if they feel they can't do anything without having mummy right there.

 
At 9:35 pm, Anonymous michele said...

Can you tell I have some major blog catching up to do? Only oh, a month late on this comment :)

I was floored the first time I saw a question on a new Mom board about how to take a shower with an infant when no one else was home. I was already well into my second month with infant twins. I showered every morning while they napped in a little puppy heap in their crib. It never occurred to me NOT to leave them (in the next room, in a crib, fed and dry and snoozing). I was even MORE amazed at the number of mothers (some on second and third children) who agreed that is was just impossible to shower until their husband got home from work. WTF????

I think they are the fledgling "Helicopter Parents".

 

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