The things we do…

Fisher Price Little People LeopardIf anybody had told me three years ago that I would one day spend a considerable portion of my time being a leopard and carrying on inane conversations with a toddler being a lion… I’d have wondered what drugs they were about to give me.

However, it turns out that one of Elspeth’s favourite passtimes is making me voice one character while she voices another – ‘Mummy talk leopard?’ she says, thrusting said leopard upon me while she clutches the lion.

The conversations are as in depth as a lesson in another language, with all the usual standards: Hello, how are you, what are you doing? Occasionally the answers are surprising; the lion was apparently on a jumping castle this afternoon. They then descend into incomprehensible babble and mumbles, just like language lessons.

The conversations are played out multiple times daily, between various characters. Sometimes I’m Iggle Piggle to her Makka Pakka, sometimes I’m Tigger to her Pooh Bear. I’m rarely just plain mum.

I try to expand her vocabulary and her general knowledge through these conversations, but her response to these forays into unknown territory is lukewarm at best. Upon being confronted with something new, a frequent response from Elspeth is to go back to ‘Hello!’ and start again.

And this is, honestly, how I spend quite a lot of my time at home with her. Is it any wonder I sometimes feel I’m going crazy?!

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Opinions

This picture has no relevance to the post. It's just nice.

This picture has no relevance to the post. It's just nice.

Today’s post may be rambling and disjointed, coming as it does from the keyboard of somebody tired and sore. However, I have been thinking a lot lately about opinions.

Pretty much everybody has an opinion on something. Whether it be a hotly contested current issue (such as climate change and the carbon tax) or something that ticks along in the background all the time (such as vegetarianism), you’d be hard pressed to find someone who believes in nothing. And given the right trigger, people are happy to share their opinions.

Generally speaking, there’s nothing wrong with having an opinion – no matter what it is. You’re entitled to your views just as I am entitled to mine. However there are a couple of things which strongly-opinionated people often do which annoy me no end, and these must stop!

The first thing is accosting people with their opinions, bombarding them, insisting that their opinion is fact or as good as the word of God and must not be contradicted. These people will not accept debate, regardless of how much evidence may be presented by the defence. Dammitall, they have a view, and it is right; dare to disagree and you are wrong and maybe even stupid or evil!

Didn’t breastfeed your baby? Your child will be sickly and stupid! Drive a large car? Oh my God, it’s people like you who are killing this planet!

These opinionated people know no tolerance or tact, there is no middle ground, you can have no possible extenuating circumstances to justify your differing view. They cause offence wherever they go, and then wonder why nobody seems to like them much.

The second thing is bringing up their opinion when it is irrelevant, or just barely relevant. These people will interrupt a discussion about milk prices to talk about fluoride in the water. They will hijack a conversation about a holiday to push their anti-airline agenda. They will wax lyrical on the evils of corporate America when you’re talking about having your kid’s birthday party at McDonalds. They will take any and every opportunity to inform you of their paranoia and belief in conspiracy theories. These ones can usually be easily dismissed as crazies.

A concept I would like to introduce to both (or all) types of opinionated people is tact, or politeness. By all means, hold your opinion. By all means, live your life according to your principles. But for goodness sake, don’t push it where it isn’t wanted. Sure, mention it. But do so nicely, with consideration for the certain fact that not all of your audience will be inclined to agree.

Here are a couple of simple examples:

Wrong: “Bottle feeding is wrong, and your baby is going to suffer for it!”
Right: “I preferred to breastfeed my babies, and I would be interested to hear why you chose not to.”

Wrong: “Never buy processed chicken, it’s full of hormones and they do horrible things to you!”
Right: “I feel uncomfortable eating chicken after all those unsubstantiated rumours from a few years ago.”

Wrong: “Vaccinations cause autism! How could you do that to your child?”
Right: “Oh, I had heard that vaccinations can cause some health problems so I chose not to.”

Good luck tactifying yourself, campers!

Cuddly Snuggly Toddler

Elspeth has been Little Miss Mummy-Hug today, which has been lovely! Well, so long as I don’t need to do anything else. She didn’t even want me to put her down long enough to dress her – she spent the longest time after her bath just wrapped in her towel on my lap. Finally I got a nappy onto her by stealth, so my jeans are safe.

Here’s a couple of pics!

 

 

I found another child I want to adopt…

Juliette Dunn, Connecticut Cocaine Woman

Juliette Dunn, Connecticut Cocaine Woman

A Connecticut woman has apparently been feeding her kids alcohol and cocaine. Her son is four, and her daughter just ten months old.

Ever since having a child of my own, I find that my nurturing instincts come to the fore whenever I see something like this. Regardless of practicalities, I just want to adopt all the abused and neglected babies of the world – even stone broke I could do a better job than their biological mothers!

Something I find tragic is that the world very often doesn’t find out about these babies until too late. There was the Korean couple who played games while their baby died. There was poor little Darcey Freeman, who was thrown from a bridge to her death. There are the countless babies of junkies, alcoholics, the mentally ill, who suffer through no fault of their own. I would take them all!

I have contemplated starting up some sort of orphanage/school/home for neglected or abused children. I fear it would take far more resources than I have available to me, and I’m quite sure it would be a process bogged down in beauraucracy and licencing requirements and so on. But it’s a nice dream!

Feeling neglected

I feel unwanted and unloved lately. Not by my wonderful husband; even when he’s sick he does his best to support and assist me in all my huge pregnant glory.

No, it is our daughter who overlooks me!

Daddy is the favourite, recently. ‘Daddy?’ she says, upon waking up to find him absent. And I do mean upon waking up, it was literally the first thing she said this morning. And when daddy is home, she wants to cuddle him, she wants to show him things, she wants to talk to him. I am an after-thought! She even goes to sleep quicker and easier when he puts her to bed at night.

I wonder if Elspeth simply takes me for granted because I’m always there. I rarely leave her with Aidan, I haven’t hired a babysitter in over a year, and she just occasionally spends a few days with my parents – times when I’m sure she has too much fun to even notice my absence! Maybe she just needs to miss me for a while… Maybe I should put her into daycare, or make a point of going out alone more often! Forcing her to miss me so that I might feel more loved by her is morally and ethically fine, right???

Not quite as planned

Sometimes you wake up with an idea in your mind of what the day is going to be like. What you’re going to do, and when, and how. You plan around bus timetables, you make sure everybody involved is fed and clean and ready to go…

But life throws a spanner (or two) in the works, and you end up doing nothing like you planned!

Firstly, the weather today is not as nice as I had hoped. This is discouraging; it means I probably won’t take Elspeth to a playground like I wanted to. Also, my head was threatening to be dizzy if I did anything too strenuous, encouraging a day at home – or at least a morning. My head is always worst in the mornings.

And finally, Aidan is unwell and has come home from work a lot earlier than expected. Whilst this doesn’t exactly get in the way of my plans, it does mean another person to consider, and a sick person at that. He’ll want to rest, which means I should probably try to take Elspeth out at some point, somehow, somewhere!