Monday, August 15, 2011

To Harness or Not to Harness...

As you may have deduced from the title of this post, TC and I are currently debating whether or not to buy a todder harness for Dude. We're not quite decided on it yet. I have read some articles that laud their ability to keep a child safe while allowing them freedom to explore and move independently, and others that condemn them as demeaning tools used by parents too lazy to parent properly.

While I recognize that the toddler harness, like any other tool, can by abused or used improperly, I have to say that I'm much more sympathetic to the former view. There are some children who are content to sit in a stroller, or hold your hand if they're walking. Dude is not one of these children. He is a fiercely independent, intensely curious, energetic 15-month old who doesn't yet understand that he shouldn't run into the street or to the other end of the mall. He also gets upset if he's forced to stay in his stroller for too long as that requires sitting still for more than 10 seconds, and since he's currently the size of a 3-year old (seriously, the kid is huge!), carrying him for more than 5 minutes kills your arms and back. Assuming he'll let you carry him in the first place. We don't have a car, so taking Dude anywhere means walking on busy streets and in busy subway stations. Letting him go free range at this age just doesn't seem like a good idea.

What about you folks? Have you ever harnessed your kids? Do you think they're a bad idea? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the issue.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Adventures in Dude-Proofing

The Dude is an extremely determined child. As a result of said determinedness, we've had to be quite creative in our attempts to child-proof the apartment. Most recently, we've had to gate off the bottom half of the floor-to-ceiling pantry shelving next to the fridge because Dude, who is an active 15 month old, was getting into everything he could reach.

I received this email from my darling hubby this morning:

"So, thinking that the kitchen was safe, I let Dude play out there on his own while I was getting ready . . . then all goes quiet. Then I heard the rattling of dishes and think, oh, he's just poking at them through the grating or swatting them with a spatula. No: he pushed the small garbage can up to the gate, climbed up it, reached over it and had pulled each bowl out one by one and stacked them - and balanced them!- on the edge of the gate. Man, that kid is AWESOME!"


How to Use the TTC Without Being an Ass

Rule #1: Keep it to yourself.
If whatever you're doing reaches beyond the limited space that you occupy en route to your destination, for the love of all that's good, stop doing it. This rule encompasses a number of behaviours, including (but not limited to):

  • Having an excessively loud conversation, whether in person or on the phone

  • Cranking the volume on your iPod so that everyone else can hear it too

  • Clipping your fingernails (there's no way you can control where those suckers land - just, ew!)

  • Reading a fully extended newspaper (fold it up, folks!)

  • Eating smelly food

  • Rule #2: Don't block traffic.
    Keep in mind that you're not the only person trying to get somewhere. When you step into the subway car, keep going! I've seen so many people stop just inside the door and consider their seating options while there are 15 people waiting behind them trying to get it before the doors close.

    The same goes for any objects you're bringing with you, be they boxes, strollers, luggage or whatever. Don't stop at the narrowest part of the aisle, or right at the front so that everyone is forced to navigate around you. Move back, or at least out of the way as much as possible.

    Rule #3: Never run for it.
    It's not worth it - there will be another bus/streetcar/train along soon, and you risk plowing over anyone who might not be as speedy as you. If you're always feeling the need to rush, leave yourself more time to get wherever you need to be going. If that's not possible, take a long, hard look at your life.

    Rule #4: Be helpful.
    I know it's hard to step outside your city-shell and take the time to provide assistance, but do it anyway. Trust me, the lady struggling to get her stroller on the streetcar, or the person who has no idea how to get to their destination, will be incredibly appreciative.

    Rule #5: Be gracious.
    Every commuter has run into a situation where someone else is being an ass. It's inevitable. The solution, however, is not to contribute your own assiness. Now, I'm not against implementing a little passive justice, but it's not always possible to do so in a way that isn't more annoying than the original offense. Instead, allow for the fact that there may be extenuating circumstances and let it go.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    I'm back!

    Did you miss me? I'll spare you all the "sorry it's been so long" blather - suffice it to say that there have been some major changes taking place in the Blooming household that have made blogging time virtually non-existent. The best kind of changes :)

    For those who haven't already heard, TC and I were placed with a beautiful baby boy way back in October, and life has been quite a trip ever since! In three short weeks (which was the amount of notice we had before we brought him home), The Dude managed to completely alter life as we knew it. And I wouldn't go back to the way it was for all the chocolate in Belgium!

    I'd love to post a picture of him here for you to see, but because the adoption hasn't actually been finalized we're prohibited from putting his image anywhere on the internet. The entire process is almost done - we're just waiting to hear back about when our court date will be. Then we go to court, watch the judge sign a piece of paper, and he's completely ours! I'll be keeping you updated now that I'm back at work and caught up from my parental leave.