So it’s that time of year. The time when parents line up to have their little ones photographed with a jolly fat man with a humongous beard. A lot of toddlers have an aversion to the big man when they get up close. Master 2 loves him from afar and perhaps to give a high-5 to but other than that he doesn’t like to be too close.
He’s not alone.
The amount of times I have seen parents display pictures of their unhappy children on Santa’s knee made me realise an important thing. I am here to support my children, not to torture them. I can’t see the humour in a child crying on a strangers knee. I would not make him have a seat on Santa until he was ready to do it. I did not want people to laugh at my hysterical son.
We’re on to our third Christmas with Master 2 and again he doesn’t want to sit on or near him. But I am not bothered. One day he will surprise me and will want to climb up and tell Santa what he wants for Christmas. Until then I will line up at every Santa at every shopping mall (that he wants me to) for Master 2 to have a look at him and perhaps to give a high-5 or fist bump.
So before forcing your child to get that photo. Perhaps really thing about what you’re doing to them and what it means to them.
My tip for today is two-fold but is all about wrapping presents. Toddlers love to unwrap presents (it doesn’t actually matter what is inside). To make this easier for them to do it by themselves use tissue paper. It’s easier for them to rip and they love not needing help. Also it’s finer so it takes up way less room in the recycling bin (bonus tip).
The second part to wrapping presents, especially at Christmas, is to not leave it to the last moment. Sleep is a luxury as a parent and you do not want to be operating on Christmas Day on next to no sleep. So sacrifice a little each night (or sacrifice housework time) in the lead up to the day and get a little done at a time.
Make sure your vacuum cleaner is light enough for your child to use!
This might seem like a joke but honestly it’s not. Toddlers are learning about the world through experience. They learn to problem solve and succeed through trying new things. To help them with this we should allow them to try things where it’s not dangerous to them. This is why we let Master T help with some basic household tasks like vacuuming or pegging socks on the washing line. He loves this sense of trying and succeeding and we get to spend time with him doing something he loves whilst also getting some housework done. Some other tasks Master T likes to help with that your little one might also want to help with are:-
- Putting away the laundry
- Washing up plastic containers – although generally they will have to be rewashed 😉
- Wiping down the shower with a wet cloth
So the rule of thumb is – if they aren’t going to get hurt by it and you have the time to spare then let them help. It will benefit both of you in the long run.
Excuse the dodgy photo but he loves to vacuum and just moves to quickly for my phone camera.
Okay so when trying to conceive or when you have found out that you are already expecting it can be very exciting but don’t run out and buy 1 or more of the many books about pregnancy on the market without having a think about it first. The books have a hell of a lot of information in them. They are generally usefully broken up to give you a week-by-week view of the pregnancy however this also makes it somewhat frustrating to read if you’re an avid reader like me who just wants to read a book from cover to cover.
I am also an ignorance-is-bliss type of person when it comes to medical stuff so when I got to about week 10 (after my first Obstetrician appointment) and worked out that I really didn’t want to know what is going to happen next. My doctor gave me the information I needed until my next visit and for what he didn’t there was the internet with sites like baby center that not only provided more succinct advice and information (from real professionals) but also offered community forums. Baby center caters for those trying to conceive as well as those who already have to beyond.
You also find that from an online forum like baby center you can actually find facebook groups of mothers-to-be’s that share the same month for their due dates. These women will generally range in age, location and stage of motherhood and are a wealth of information. But be cautious, as there can be some issues with having so many hormonal women chatting particularly when topics like circumcision and infant ear piercing comes up.
So before rushing to the book store in excitement have a think about if you really need to spend that money on the book. There is sooooo many things (least of all coffee) that you might find the money better for in the short term.