My Inspiration

My Inspiration

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Why we do the things we do...

Hello my lovely readers! It's been so long since I last posted and I figured it was time for an update. I've been thinking about a few posts I want to do, but they are a bit on the controversial side and I'm trying to write them delicately since I know a few of my readers will NOT agree with some of my thoughts. So it's going to take me a while to get to them. Mostly because I'm not used to censoring things. I have a bit of a filter problem sometimes.

Anyway, there are a couple things that Cuinn and I have decided to implement into our parenting that I thought was time to explain. As usual, this will probably come out rambly and all over the place. But you're all used to that right? And you love that about my blog. Right? Right. So here. We. Go. (Ten points if you got the movie reference)

Baby Led Weaning.

I know you're all dying to know what decision we came to about the food issue I've been having. A good friend of mine lent me a book that is basically the BLW  bible. It was such a blessing! As I was reading it I found myself nodding and thinking "YES! This is exactly right!" So thank you, S, for loaning me your book! It has been a life saver! I'm not ready to give it back yet as I will probably have to go back for encouragement that I'm doing things right, but you will get it back. Eventually. 
Anyway, for those of you who don't really get BLW, let me give you a quick over view.
Let me be clear, though. All that I'm telling you about BLW is MY interpretation and is strictly my thoughts on the subject. Please don't take what I say as the concrete way to think of or implement it. Please discuss with your doctors, your midwives, your partners. Do your own research. Read your own books. Then throw it all out the window and make your own decision! Just know that I believe in you and that I believe you are making the right decision for your family, no matter what decision you make!
BLW is basically an extension of breastfeeding. As with breast feeding, you are allowing your child to make the decision to eat. What to eat and when to eat. BLW is giving your child the opportunity to, firstly, play and explore food. And by food I mean, well, uh, FOOD food. Not mush. Not cereal. Not baby food. But food. Exactly what I'm eating, and just give it to her. It's letting your baby take food from your plate, or putting food on her high chair tray and allowing her to explore the different textures and tastes that you get to enjoy. The only restrictions I've seen is the allergen stuff. Y'know, nuts, strawberries, honey. 
BLW gives your child the control with food, which I love! I don't need to teach her how to eat mush from a spoon, just to have to teach her how to chew later on. Babies already have the skills, spoon feeding them takes away from their natural abilities! 
Another plus? It seems that BLW babies are a lot less picky, because they have always been given the opportunity to explore the food themselves and not just have it placed on a spoon to the back of their throat before they could taste it.
Now, I will say I have a couple reservations. Number one reservation. The mess. Ok, I am NOT a neat freak. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I enjoy my clutter. I embrace it. But I am a little nervous about just letting my baby girl play with her food. Only because I remember having to clean the snack/lunch table at work. 3 times a day. It's a lotta work. I know I am going to have a hard time with this, but if it's between having to feed my baby mush and letting her explore the world of food herself? I'm so picking the latter. I really am looking forward to watching her learn that a piece of lemon is sour while a piece of orange is sweet. I can't wait to explore food with her!
The other reservation I have is everybody else. I can practically hear my husband cringing. Whenever I tell him that someone hurt my feelings, or I hate that my decision bothers someone else he always responds with, "Who cares what they think/say. Don't let it bother you." 
Which bothers me.
I can't help it. I like approval. I crave approval. I need approval. 
Which is why the food issue is such an issue. 
I feel like this reservation is so silly though, that it really isn't a reservation at all. More of a...thing. A blip on my radar. A bigger blip than I care to admit, but it's there all the same.
Either way, even with my two little issues about BLW, I'm still super excited about trying it with Aislynn!! Don't worry, I'll keep you all posted on how it goes!

One of the other parenting choices we get asked about is our Disney policy. 
We don't do Disney.
We don't buy the clothes.
We don't buy the toys.
We don't allow them in our house.
We do allow the movies.
Some of them.

I know, I know. We're awful parents. We don't allow our daughter to conform to the big nasty corporation that sucks every pre-teen girl into this ridiculous standard of what a girls life should be. Terrible parenting!

OK, OK. Not all of it is bad, I will admit, but let me tell you why we don't "do" Disney.

I don't like that Disney is such a thing. It used to be that Snow White would come out in theater, then you could buy the movie, and that was it. Maybe at Halloween you could buy the costume and be Snow White for an evening. That was it though. Now? Now Cars comes out and your can buy shirts and shorts and pencil cases and backpacks and toys and this and that and the other thing. Seriously? Why can't it just be a movie? Why does it have to be plastered on every little thing? Why can't a frisbee just be a frisbee? Why does it have to have Lightening McQueen on it? Wait, do kids even know what a frisbee is these days? Maybe I should have said laptop or cell phone. Either way, I HATE that Disney has to have it's hand in EVERYTHING!

I also hate the ridiculous standards it puts on girls. Every princess is perfect! The have long beautiful hair and tiny perfect bodies and that is just so wrong. We girls already have a helluva time trying to be the "perfect woman." I'm not going to start that with my daughter before she even knows boys and girls are different. It also shows that we girls need to be "saved". Now, I know that I am pretty spoiled. I am a daddy's girl, I have an older brother who looks after me and I married a man who takes very good care of his two girls. But y'know what? I'm not a weak individual who NEEDS a man to save me. Yes, it's so romantic to think that your prince will come for you, but it's also pretty damn cool if the princess can save herself. I want Aislynn to be a strong woman who can climb any mountain and slay any dragon herself. I want Aislynn to be a person in her own right. And if a man can live up to HER standards, then maybe she will give him the time of day. (OK, enough of my feminism speech, I'll get back to the kitchen.)

(I'm kidding.)

Look, I know that when Aislynn turns 13 and the next Justin Beaver (or whatever his name is) is singing his way to the top, she's going to want ANYTHING with his pouty face on it. I will deal with that then. Right now though? She doesn't know Justin whatever from Ringo Starr. (Seriously, how old do I sound?) Does her diaper really need to have Dora the explorer on it? Does her onsies really need to have Disney princess slathered all over it? Does her bathing suit need to have Piglet on it to prove she's a fan? I don't think so! 

So, my dear friends, we don't do those things in our house.

Our clothing just has generic pictures on them.
Our toys will be plain and boring.
Our shoes might light up, but they won't have Batman on them to make us run faster. 

We will have Disney movies. The ones with a message we approve of. 
Honestly though? I think we'd prefer VeggieTales.
We will allow certain Disney books. One or two.

I know that I can't always control what our families and friends give us, and it's not like we're going to say, "Oh, no thanks, we don't do Disney." How rude would that be? WE'RE just not going to spend the money on it. And our friends and family mostly know my feelings about Disney. Or they will know once they read this. If they read this. I also know that every Birthday invitation I send out for Aislynn will have to say "Please respect that we have a Disney free house!". Or something like that. I'm ok with that. Because I'm a mom now. Which means I get to make the rules. Ha ha! Suckers!

Anyway, I hope that this has enlightened you a bit on a couple decisions we've made as a family. I know there are other weird things we do, and maybe I'll have to explain those too.

But another day ok? I'm a mom now. I'm sleepy!!


Sapphire_Angel said...

I completely agree with the having rules for things that our babies will have, I have a no battery powered toy rule in our house. I just don't like them at all, and I think it leads to a severe lack of imagination because kids now a days don't know how to play with things that are not electric. I do tell everyone who buys things for Marley that that is our rule, I don't think it's rude because we won't let her play with them and I think it's ruder to have them waste their money. Also, I have fed Marley the homemade baby food and she is now basically just eating solid food like eat, and don't worry she makes a huge mess and always has, BLW won't be too much messier than the traditional way. I'd love to know how it works out for you, I had never heard of it until after I started Marley with baby food and it is intriguing to me.

Sapphire_Angel said...

Also, for floor mess, I bought a shower curtain liner, cut it up into 4 pieces and I lay one on the floor under her chair as a splash mat, then after the meal, I pick it up, dump it out and if need be take it to the bathroom to rinse it off. Meal time isn't that messy after I started doing this.

pippasmum said...

Oh, my, you are so much like me in some ways!!! I know we shouldn't worry about what other people think but it can be so hard, especially with mothering. It's not like your job where you do get positive evaluations now and again... you so rarely get feedback, it would be so nice to have people tell you that you are doing a good job rather than either looking at you like you are crazy or offering concerned advice. I'm glad you have come to a decision that you are comfortable with. In terms of the mess, we took the easy way out - a dog! My two circle like vultures when my littles are eating, they know that there may be treats coming their way.
The Disney one is such a tough one. We feel the very same as you and we have found that it can be really hard to avoid. We've allowed a couple of the movies (which, so far, seem to have really scared Pips) but that was only after I read an interesting article that suggested that the best way to allow Disney, especially the princess ones, is to choose movies in which the girl shows exemplary character (e.g., courage, loyalty) and to talk with your child about how it's her character that makes her a princess, not so much what she looks like. We have also found that Shrek is a big hit and Princess Fiona is definitely not your typical movie princess. Good for you for knowing what's important to you and having a plan. I wish I had been a bit more clear about that from day one.

Just Another Mummy Blog said...

Shrek is such a good example of the movies we will allow for Aislynn. The fact that it is one of the movies from Cuinn and my dating days is just an added bonus. I find the "no Disney" policy difficult already because some of our family LOVES Disney and keeps on giving us "Disney crap" as Cuinn calls it. I really don't want to be rude, I just don't know how to broach the subject. Any tips?
It is hard not to be hurt by other people's feedback. Especially if your so sensitive. (like us)
Oh man, the dog idea is such a good one! But I already want a dog and I fear if I tell Cuinn that having a dog would help on the mess he will look at me and say, "Sarah, we're not getting a dog, stop asking." lol

Sapphire_Angel said...

This may not work as easy for you because you live away from your family, but I tell people that if they really want to buy something that I don't allow in the house for Marley then they can have it at their house for when we visit. Also, if people ask what she wants/needs make sure to let people know that you'd like things that aren't Disney. I also try to bring it up during conversations if we are talking about toys or whatever, i say well that's kinda cool but we don't want electronic toys in our house. I also make sure to brag up the brands that I do like. For instance I really like wooden toys so I always talk Melissa and Doug up when asked. You could also make an open wish list at a place like Chapters where all they need is your e-mail address and they can look at the kind of things you'd like for Aislynn. Remember though, that there are ALWAYS people who don't listen and you will still get the forbidden, lol, but you can donate it to the a needy charity in the area. It may help also if you tell the gift giver that is what you are going to do because you are trying to be Disney free.

Just Another Mummy Blog said...

I would love to do the family thing, but as part of the family is in Alberta, and the other is in England, I fear it would be a bit useless. ha ha. Thanks for the other tips though!!