Posts Tagged 'parenting'

Breastfeeding is Awesome

I don’t think I’ve really talked much about this topic, but I really do feel quite strongly about it, so I want to get it out there… Breastfeeding is amazing! It’s practical, healthy, and beautiful. I wouldn’t go back on my decision to breastfeed my daughter for anything in the world. Of course, I know I am lucky to have a year parental leave so that I didn’t have to worry about working and daycares, etc. and also, it doesn’t come as naturally as one might think it would… It was quite a bit of work to get everything right in the beginning, but it is so worth it.

First of all, breastfeeding is super practical. If the baby is hungry, you just need to find a place to sit down. No warming things up or mixing powders. You don’t have to remember to carry stuff with you, except a cover, and even that is optional. (Most women in Germany don’t use covers; the only ones I’ve ever seen were foreigners)

Secondly, breastfeeding is super healthy, both for mom and baby. It gives the baby a life-long boost in their immune system, and it also helps the mother with her immune system. We have spent the last 6 weeks in Mexico, and I haven’t been sick even once! Olivia had the sniffles for a few days, but it was very mild. Normally when I come to Mexico I get the infamous stomach illness (usually salmonella) pretty badly no matter how careful I am. This time not at all, and I have been eating everything, even lettuce! Unfortunately my husband was not so lucky… He has been sick three times so far, each time being stuck in bed for several days. Poor guy doesn’t get any of the immune system boosts from breastfeeding.

Lastly a word on nutrition. I know there are a lot of myths floating around out there about how the nutrition in breast milk is not sufficient after the baby has reached 6 months. I did a little research on this and couldn’t find any evidence to support that. It seems people are mostly worried about iron, since there is very little iron in breast milk, and the iron stored in the baby’s body from birth supposedly depletes by 6 months. But breast milk is tailored to the human body, and the small amount of iron it contains is actually absorbed very efficiently by the baby, (50-70% as opposed to iron-fortified cereals or formula which is only absorbed at a rate of around 10%. ) You can read more about it here if you are interested.

Other people say that there simply isn’t enough milk after six months and that the baby will be hungry if you don’t feed them something additional. This isn’t true, either. The way the body works is that the more a baby eats, the more milk is produced. There is a delay of a couple of days, so that when the baby hits a growth spurt he will be eating a lot more often because he is hungry. A few days later, the mom’s body catches up and there is more milk. As you start to wean, the milk production goes down accordingly, since the baby is eating less often. But if you continue breastfeeding, there will continue to be milk.

I breastfed my daughter exclusively until she was 7 months old, and then continued to feed her about 90% breastmilk until 11.5 months. (She has suddenly decided that she likes to eat more solids). She has been at the very top of the weight charts since just a few days after she was born, even though her birth weight was exactly average. She has always been very healthy, and people are constantly asking me if that is really all from breast milk. The answer is “yes”! I know that not every breastfed baby is super healthy or super big like mine, and they don’t have to be, either. But if you are looking for proof that exclusive breast milk is enough for a baby to thrive on, my little girl is a great example.

20130208-004433.jpg (here is my little chunk, talking to daddy on Skype)

Of course, as with all things, there are always exceptions… Every woman is different; every baby is different. Some women really don’t have enough milk or can’t breastfeed, and obviously that is ok, too! But if you have been breastfeeding successfully and your baby doesn’t want to eat solids when they turn six months old, don’t worry about it! They are getting everything they need from you.
We moms have enough to worry about already without people telling us that our babies are undernourished. What a way to sabotage the beauty of the female body.

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Laundry in Mexico

Doing the laundry has been a bit different since we have been traveling in Mexico. And since we are still using cloth diapers we end up with tons of laundry and I basically have to wash every two days.

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One of the things I like the most about doing laundry here is that you get to hang it up on the roof to dry! I really enjoy going on the roof, and since it’s sunny and warm in the afternoons, everything dries really quickly. It is a HUGE difference from Germany, where it’s usually cold and rainy, and where even indoors it takes days for laundry to dry.

I like hanging out the laundry so much that I’m even willing to brave the stairs of death to get up to the roof to do it.

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The laundry basket doesn’t really fit while you’re walking up the stairs, making it even more difficult. But hey, I admit that that’s part of what I like about it.

We have a washing machine, but we also have something else which makes my life a million times easier:

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This is not just your ordinary wash basin, as you might think. It is tilted at a slight angle so that water runs down over the ridges, similar to the old fashioned washboards people used before washing machines. You are supposed to rub the clothes over the ridges, and since some of the water stays in the ridges, it makes washing by hand super easy. I use this every day to get out the dirt stains on Olivia’s pants, since she loves to crawl all day and by the end of the day the knees of her pants are almost black. It’s also great for diaper stains, which are a huge pain in the butt even if they are pretty rare for us (since we practice EC). This simple washbasin may not seem like much, but believe me it is a million times better than the bathroom sink, which is what I have to use at home. Every Mexican home has one, even if they have a washing machine.

A few days ago it actually rained (during the dry season, heaven forbid!) and we ran around grabbing all the laundry down from the roof so it wouldn’t get wet. Since the volcanic ash always “drops” more after a rain, it would have not only gotten wet but also covered in a fine layer of black dust, which would have meant washing it again. Obviously, we’d rather not have to do that, so we took it all in the house.

The only problem is, since this is Mexico, there is no where to hang laundry inside the house. (They normally don’t have to worry about the rain.). So instead we took the laundry to a laundromat to be dried. They charged 9 pesos per Kilo, (so about 2 Euros for the whole load) and when we picked it up, it wasn’t just dried, but FOLDED as well! It’s crazy what you can get for your money here.

Nevertheless, I will stick to hanging my laundry on the roof just because it’s more fun.

Diaper Free – Month 10& 11

After my last post about EC which was a bit depressing, I am happy to report that EC has been going incredibly well for us for the past month! Considering that we have been using diapers full time and haven’t done any diaper free time at all in ages,I really thought that Olivia would eventually stop caring about going to the potty. But that hasn’t been the case at all – in fact she has been gaining more and more bladder control and still waits for me to take her to the bathroom most of the time. Even with all of the travel we have been doing, she still expects to be taken to the potty at regular intervals and lets me know by “yapping” when she needs to go. (Sounds kind of like a high pitchecd “eh eh eh”)

We have gotten into a good routine of going potty after every meal and every nap, and that is working very well. We still have a lot of wet diapers, but poo almost always ends up in the toilet unless I am not paying attention. Interestingly, on the day of our flight from Germany to the US, I woke her up extra early (at 4am) to take the taxi, then train and finally the plane, and with all of the rushing I didn’t get the chance to take her potty until four hours later. Would you believe it that when I finally got into that tiny airplane bathroom, her diaper was still DRY???? She did the biggest pee I had ever seen, and then we went happily back to our seats. From that point on we continued to have dry diapers about 70% of the time for the entire trip.

Our rate has gone back down since then (she almost always does somthing in the toilet when I take her, but she usually has a wet diaper too) but that’s only because we have a lot going on and I don’t take her as often as I should. Nevertheless, I am still really happy with the way things are going – it feels like second nature now to the point where I have a hard time NOT offering her the potty after changing her diaper. Even if we are in a parking lot or in the middle of a touristy park and there is no potty available, I will put the dirty diaper on the ground and hold her up over it to do her business. I know she expects the chance to relieve herself, and I simply couldn’t live with myself putting her into the carseat when I know she has to go to the bathroom.

Even though we aren’t doing “all out” diaper free, I am really happy with EC and how it’s working for us. I used to be worried that I wasn’t doing “enough”, or that it wouldn’t “work” as well if I put less effort into, but now I’m seeing that it really doesn’t matter all that much. Sure, we could probably be completely out of diapers by now if I put in the effort to take her once an hour. In fact, if I got rid of the diaper she would probably start to hold it longer than an hour, since I know she has the capacity to do it. But I’m happy with how things are going, and I know that anything I do is better than nothing, and Olivia seems to be fine with it too.

The Story of Our Stroller

Yes, I love to baby-wear and carry Olivia around in my arms a lot. But I also use the stroller quite a lot, depending on what I plan to do.  Since we live in Germany and don’t need a car to get most places, I often spend the whole day on foot, which means sometimes I like to have the stroller there, even if it just to carry shopping bags 😉 Olivia also likes to sleep in the stroller, and I’ll be honest, it’s a great place to pull on and off her diaper when there’s no other place to change her.

Our borrowed Hartan stroller

Our borrowed Hartan stroller

Our stroller was lent to us by a good friend who lives in Paderborn. It is about 5 years old and has already lived through two children, so it has seen better days, but still worked fine when she gave it to us. It is a Hartan VIP – which is a top-of-the-line stroller here in Germany. I was ecstatic at not having to buy a stroller! And I am eternally thankful to our friends for lending it to us.

But about a month ago, it suddenly gave out. The plastic piece at one of the joints on the right-hand side had cracked. It makes sense that it would crack there, since every time you push down on the handle to get over a curb the entire force is put directly on that one joint. And despite the many good things about Germany, they unfortunately have a long way to go in installing ramps at every street corner. So basically you are maneuvering up and down curbs all the time. So it was clear that eventually something would have to give. But this is not our stroller… so now what?

I took the stroller to a store which sells baby stuff and asked them if they could order the plastic part for me. They couldn’t, they said they had to send the whole thing in to the manufacturer, who would then give me a quote for repair, since it was no longer under warentee. I knew even then that it would be expensive. no company ever just charges you for the spare part… they would most likely want to replace the entire mess of metal rods, if not the entire base. And to let me try to repair it myself – no way. They would rather have me spend 500 EUR on a new stroller. But even though I knew all of this, I let them send it in anyways (for a 30 EUR fee). They gave me a spare stroller to use while it was gone, for 2 Euros a day, and told me it would be four weeks.

The spare stroller made an odd clicking noise wherever I pushed it, but it didn’t seem to bother Olivia, and I got used to it pretty fast. I still used my carrier or a wrap a lot anyways. Then, about three and a half weeks later, the spare stroller cracked, too!! This one decided to give out on the handle bar, at a joint which is used to fold the handle up and down. It is also a highly stressed area, so it made sense to break there. But that didn’t make me feel any better! What would the store say? How much was this going to cost me?

The *next day* the store called, saying that my stroller had been returned to them with a quotation from Hartan – the repair for that one cracked joint would be 210 EUR, if I wanted to do it. They couldn’t even tell me what exactly Hartan planned to do to fix it. (super glue…?) So yeah… if I had waited ONE MORE DAY to take that last walk, the spare stroller would have been just fine, and I wouldn’t have had any issues! But now I had not one, but *two* broken strollers on my hands, neither of which belonged to me! If the first stroller was 210EUR to fix, would would the second one cost?!

Fleeting thoughts of trying to hide the broken spot on the rented stroller crossed my mind. Maybe I could glue it so that they wouldn’t notice, and then it would break on the next customer instead. But I just couldn’t do it. I really have a tough time being dishonest like that. So I sucked it up and took the stroller in, expecting a huge bill, on top of the 60 EUR rent for the past four weeks.

Fortunately, this is a story with a happy ending! The employees at the store were very sympathetic, and told me it wasn’t my fault. The rented stroller was already 6 years old and could have broken on anyone. They simply threw it in the trash. They almost forgot to even charge me the rent, until I reminded them about it. And even then, they only charged me for 10 days instead of 30! I wanted to hug them. I wheeled my broken stroller back out of the store, intent on trying to fix it myself later. I loaded Olivia into the car and drove home a happy girl. And to make things even better, Olivia even fell asleep on the ride!

Well, I got home, opened the trunk of the car, and what do you know, the stroller wasn’t there! I had left it parked on the street next to my parking spot downtown…! But being the panicked carefree, relaxed person that I am, I just got back in the car, and with Olivia still sleeping drove back for the stroller, which was still parked exactly where I had left it.

Of course, at the end of the day, our stroller is still broken. But I swear, I have the nicest friends in the world. Another friend of mine who lives in my neighborhood offered to lend me her stroller while she spends 6 weeks in Berlin. Her mother even pushed it all the way over to our house this morning, just to give it to me! (it is about a 15 minute walk) Knowing my luck, I will be *extra* super careful with this stroller, especially since it is brand spanking new.

Grandparents are Allowed to do Anything

On our trip to Michigan back in August, I had a lot of parenting conversations with my mom.  After all, she has a lot of experience since she raised six of us!  At some point, my mom told me that she didn’t let me have any sweets until I was at least two years old, but that her mom (my Grandma) had given me ice cream behind her back!  We both agreed that that wasn’t ok.

Then, just a day later, my mom and I went out to the grocery store, and we stopped to have chocolate shakes as a treat together.  I went to the bathroom for a few minutes and my mom held Olivia for me.  When I came back, this is what I saw:

My mom pulling the chocolate shake away from Olivia

My mom pulling the chocolate shake away from Olivia

My mom said “She really wanted it, she grabbed it before I could do anything!”  Olivia had chocolate shake running down her chin…

Now, at this point, remember that she was only 6 months old, and hadn’t even started solids yet, let alone dairy, sugar or chocolate!!  A million things could have happened.  Fortunately everything was fine.  In fact, she didn’t even like the shake, probably since it was so cold – she spit it all out.  But she wanted the cup back – probably because of the straw.  Yes, Grandparents can get away with anything.  And I really couldn’t be mad since it was so funny.

Michigan

At the end of August, I took Olivia on her first trip to the US to see my family. This was her very first plane ride, and I managed to do it by myself, since Oscar had to work. (We are going to take another trip for Christmas, so he didn’t have enough vacation time to go twice.) I was a bit worried since the flight was nine-and-a-half hours, but Olivia did fantastic! She only cried once, and that was for less than a minute after waking up from a nap and not knowing where she was.

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Olivia on my lap in the airplane

I didn’t take a stroller – instead I had Olivia in the front pack carrier, so I had both hands free to pull luggage. That worked out really well, and also it made it easier for me to carry her around the plane for naps. Of course most of the time I had her on my lap, though, since she is pretty heavy. On the ride over, a nice woman helped me out by holding Olivia while I ate my meal. On the way back I somehow managed by myself, but I’m honestly not sure how. Even though I brought lots of toys, she occupied herself almost the entire flight with the crinkly bag of pretzels. Talk about easy to please!

I wasn’t too sure about taking Olivia potty on the plane, but actually it wasn’t that hard. They have a changing table over the toilet which folds down from the wall, so I just changed her on that, then flipped it back up (with the changing pad and her clothes still clamped inside it!) let her pee in the toilet, and then flipped the table back down to get her dressed again. The whole thing was really quick, and actually even easier than many public bathrooms which don’t have changing tables, or when the changing table is in a room without a toilet. The only problem was that there was often a line for the bathroom. But of course, since we use a diaper back-up, it wasn’t a big deal anyways.

We had a really nice time visiting my parents. We mostly just hung out at home, but we did do a few things, like go to the cider mill.

The cider mill in Dexter, MI

The cider mill in Dexter, MI

I also got to see one of my close friends from college, R, and her daughter, who is a few months older than Olivia.

But for me, the highlight of the trip was that we got to see my grandma, who was 92. We went out for breakfast the first Saturday after we arrived. Olivia played with the empty coffee creamers while my mom and Grandma and I talked. Four generations…. it was so wonderful!

Our four-generations photo, unfortunately we didn't think to take it while she was still healthy.

Our four-generations photo, unfortunately we didn’t think to take it while she was still healthy.

Unfortunately just a week later, my Grandmother suddenly came down with Pneumonia, and ended up in the hospital. From there everything went downhill, and just a few days before we were supposed to return to Germany, she passed away. In the week or so before she died, she was in a hospice, where they took really wonderful care of her, and we came to visit her there every day.

Even though my Grandma was mostly sleeping during the last few days of her life, she did wake up to see Olivia. It was so touching to watch the two of them – one just entering this world, and the other saying her goodbyes. It brings me to tears thinking about it 😦 but the good thing is, at least my Grandma got to see her.

I wrote about my grandma’s life yesterday – you can read it here if you missed it. She had such an interesting life!

Olivia playing on the floor of my Grandma's room at the Hospice (My Grandma made the pillow and blanket!)

Olivia playing on the floor of my Grandma’s room at the Hospice (My Grandma made the pillow and blanket!)

My Sister with Olivia

My Sister with Olivia

I delayed my return flight by a week, and all of my brothers and my sister flew in from all over the US for the funeral. So, if there can be a good side to all the sadness, at least it was that I got to be with all of my siblings for a few days. It was also the first time for them to meet Olivia!

All in all, the trip was really nice. I’m so glad I had the time to spend with my family, and most of all with my Grandma.

Orange Peels Taste Better than Oranges

For the past few weeks (has it already been a month…?) we’ve been letting Olivia share in almost all of our meals, giving her some of whatever we are eating, as long as there is very little salt or sugar.  We have given her tons of variety, but for the most part, she really didn’t eat much.  P1080975Not interestedUsually I would sit her in the high chair, and within a few minutes she would throw up her hands and lean back in the high chair with a bored look; “just what exactly do you think I am, anyways?  a TODDLER?  I eat milk, silly.”

The only thing she was interested in was her sippy-cup of water, or plates and spoons.  With any of these, she would occupy herself for hours.  But with food?  Well, she’d pick at it, but that was about it.

I swear to you, I really tried everything.  I tried home-made purees.  I tried some random finger foods, and I tried smearing purees on toast.  I tried cutting all the foods in nice easy-to-grab stick shapes.  I tried tons of different textures, colors and flavors.  Sometimes she would pick at them for a bit and maybe even put it in her mouth for a few seconds, but she never ate more than a crumb or two.  Most of the time she didn’t even get that far.  One day after refusing to even touch the food on her high chair tray, I let her back down on the floor, and within minutes she had scooted over to a giant ball of dust and popped that right into her mouth.  (!!!)

“I don’t get it!” I told her.  “You like dust more than hamburgers and noodles?! ”

I got the dust-ball out of her mouth, and she gave me a devious grin.  I’m telling you, this girl KNOWS that she is being difficult!

So then I went and got the food from her high chair, and put it on the floor in front of her.  She took one look, turned away, and scooted off into the next room.

I re-read Gill Rapely’s book on baby-led-weaning, and decided that maybe I was giving Olivia her meals at the wrong times, and that she might be too tired or hungry when I sat her down to eat.  I made a huge effort to sit us down to eat at that perfect sliver of time right after a nap and nursing, before she got too tired or hungry again.  It did help a little bit, but she still was not all that interested in anything.

green onion

Olivia eating a green onion (it’s on the tip of her finger)

Until one day when I made a beef and broccoli stir fry with green onions cut into little rings.  I put a little in front of her as I had been doing every day for weeks.  She eyeballed it and sat back in her high chair.  But then, after a few minutes of staring at the food, she suddenly perked up.  You could see that something had caught her eye.  The interest was mounting inside that little brain.  She leaned forward and extended one finger and slowly approached a green onion.

She chased that green onion all around the high chair, and it fit perfectly on her little finger.  Then she picked it up and put it in her mouth.  I figured she would just push it back out, but she didn’t.  In fact, she chewed on it with her little teeth and pushed it around with her tongue.  And then she picked up another, and another!  After she had eaten about five of the green onions, she looked at me and started grinning.  Through those clenched teeth I could see her mouth stuffed with a bunch of green onions.  It was such a hilarious sight!  I don’t think she ate more than a few tiny chunks off those onions, because most of it ended up “falling” back out onto the table.  It was obvious that she liked them, though, and that’s when it finally dawned on me that my “stick-shaped” foods were not what she wanted.  She was starting to master her pincer grasp, and she wasn’t at all interested in large chunks anymore.

So after that I started cutting things into tiny pieces for her, and suddenly her interested was piqued.  All of a sudden she started trying to pick up bits of everything, the more microscopic the better.  I also noticed that she prefers dark foods.  And yet, she very rarely actually swallowed anything.  So far my biggest successes have been green onions and spinach.  Odd choices, I know.  I really thought she would have liked apples, pears and bananas, but she doesn’t seem to like the textures of those because she has yet to actually get any of them into her mouth.  As soon as she picks up a chunk of banana, she starts waving her hand around as if she were being attacked by a snake.  And no matter how much I try to explain to her that her mouth would be a great way to get that banana off of her finger, she just doesn’t listen!  Imagine that.

Now that it is cold season and we have had three colds one directly after the other, I decided Olivia needed some more vitamin C.  I started peeling an orange and I was going to let her try to pick up the individual juice sacs.  But Olivia was so excited by the sight of me peeling the orange that she was practically leaping out of her high chair to get at it!  To keep her happy I gave her a large chunk of orange peel to chew on while I finished.  I figured she would taste it and immediately drop it since it’s quite bitter.  But lo and behold, she *liked* it!  She kept chewing on it and chewing on it, sucking off little bits here and there for more than fifteen minutes!  And although I put some actual pieces of orange on her tray, she was not a bit interested in those.

Imagine living in a world where babies were all the same….?  Where they all followed the state-recommended schedule of foods?  Ahhh but how boring would that be.

Diaper Free – Months 6-9

How have the past three months of EC been going for us?  Well, in a nutshell, I would say that we have slowly but surely been getting more and more relaxed about it.  Or maybe lazy is the word I’m looking for.  No, no… relaxed is better… definitely more relaxed.  Ha.

I admit that we never really went all out with EC, since I didn’t do all that much diaper free time (or rather, the time we spent was a bit spotty… sometimes doing a lot, other times nothing at all) When we went to the family camp near Berlin, we did tons of diaper free time with lots of success, but after that my motivation went way down.  Olivia and I flew to the States for a month to visit my family, and even though I continued to take her to the potty quite a lot, I stopped doing all diaper free time.  Another big factor for us is that I finally bought some decent cloth diapers. They are a lot cheaper in the US, so I bought a full set while I was there, and ever since then I have been happily relying on those without feeling bad about the environment or Olivia’s bottom.

my cloth diaper stash

After all, with beautiful diapers like these, who can resist?!?!  I LOVE using them!!!

In the US, I even took Olivia to the toilet at night, and it worked out very well – she would move around while still half asleep, I took her to the bathroom, she did her business, and sometimes I would nurse her back to sleep, other times she just slept without nursing.   She did have a tendency to cry when I first took her to the toilet, but if I gave her a paper dixie cup to play with she would be happy.  Often she didn’t really even wake up at all.

But after coming back home, for some reason I dropped the night EC-ing, and started on a slow decline of potty opportunities until pretty soon I wasn’t even taking her more than once every couple of hours.  Looking back, I think the reason is that I still feel a bit overwhelmed here at home with no help, while at my parents house a lot of things (like cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, etc) were all taken care of, so I had more time to focus on Olivia and to relax and take care of myself.  Nonetheless, my everyday situation is that I am alone with Olivia most of the time, and I have to take care of the house and chores myself, so I have been letting EC slide.

She has completely stopped signaling since I wasn’t responding to her anyways out of laziness.  But I have noticed that she really has seriously increased her holding power of the last few months.  She can now hold it in for something around an hour, which actually makes EC seem a lot more do-able.  I just haven’t been paying any attention and instead am going almost 100% on my intuition (i.e., whenever it happens to pop into my mind I take her to the bathroom, so it still is quite often, nevertheless.)  I also usually take her after she wakes up or after nursing.  So actually… when I think about it I’m not really doing that much differently than before, it just feels a lot different since we are WAY out of sync from each other.  When I pay more attention to her, our success rate also goes way up, to the point were I could probably have mostly catches, but… well… I guess I am just not really that motivated anymore.

Part of me feels bad about it, but another, more logical part of me says that it really doesn’t matter.  After all, she knows what the potty is for and she still does her business there quite a lot: at least 4-5 times a day.

Who can resist a fluffy baby butt?

Who can resist a fluffy baby butt?

So even though I am not putting much effort into EC at this point, I’m pretty confident that it won’t have any negative impact on her potty training when that time comes.  If I were to put more effort into the whole thing, I probably could have switched to training pants or underwear by now with only very few misses per day.  But I am simply not that motivated, so I am going to put that off for a while.  After all, I have to get some value out of my beautiful cloth diapers!

We have a climber…!

Oh how time flies!  Olivia has been getting quicker and quicker, scooting from place to place on her belly, and ending up in all sorts of unexpected situations.   A few weeks ago I found her under the bed.

Olivia under the bed

Olivia under the bed

Then she was starting to navigate minor obstacles.

Crawling over the leg of the computer table

Crawling over the leg of the computer table

Then just yesterday I turned around in the kitchen to see this:

Climbing onto the step stool in the kitchen

Climbing onto the step stool in the kitchen

She watched an older girl doing this just a few days ago, and then just copied her!  Incredible.

Time to start moving everything to the next higher shelf…

No, I don’t have to let your dog near my baby.

Today I took Olivia on a walk down to the little corner grocery store near our house.  As we were coming out of the store, two thuggish-looking guys where just finishing tying the leash of their black, boxer-looking dog to the post at the end of the ramp.    I took one look and headed for the stairs, instead.

The guys immediately said – “oh!  Don’t worry!  He’s a good dog – he won’t do anything – go ahead and come down this way!”

“Oh… that’s ok… it’s no problem, only 2 stairs…” I said nicely, already on my way down the stairs.

“Really – he’s perfectly harmless – just come here, you’ll see!”  They said, almost as if they WANTED me to come that way.

“Uh, ha.. ha.. that’s really ok…” I said laughing, ” I’m sure he’s nice, but I’ll go this way, thanks.”

By this point I was already down the stairs and quickly steering my stroller the other way, while they tried to convince me to show the dog to the baby.

I’m sorry, but I don’t know you OR your dog.   What exactly is your agenda, anyways?!

I understand that a lot of dog owners feel put out by all the non-dog people, and want to prove to the world that dogs are actually wonderful and great.  Especially the owners of bulldogs, pit-bulls and rotweilers, which everyone is scared of.  They feel their dogs are mis-understood, and maybe they are.   Really, I believe you, that your dog is a great dog and wonderful friend, and is great with kids and even babies.  I believe you that he would never harm a fly.  But my daughter means the world to me.  I would never put her in a potentially dangerous situation just so that you can prove your point.  Go and prove your point with your own baby.

 

The truth is that even though there may be plenty of dogs out there which ARE harmless, there are also plenty of dogs which have hurt or even killed children.  The owners of the dogs are always shocked that their dog would do such a thing.  “He was always great with her!  He loved her!  We have no idea what made him do it!”  Because you see, love is blind.  I understand, because I could never ever picture my 9-month-old killing a dog with her razor-blade teeth.  But that’s just because I love her… the reality is that she just *might* do it someday to some poor, unsuspecting doggy, and then I am going to just shake my head in wonder and tell the grieving owners that I never thought she had it in her.  After all, she was always harmless before!

This is my impression of a dog. You think I’m harmless, but wait till you fall asleep at night…

 

 


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