Parenting & Husbandry

Eating Off the Floor

Apparently, at 17 months of age, my daughter does not quite have the coordination to handle food properly 100 per-cent of the time. But, she does have the desire to try to feed herself pretty frequently, and occasionally throws a tantrum and refuses to eat if I or her mother try to feed her.

We still insist on feeding her the really messy stuff: yogurt, messy beans, juicy berries, etc.

But when it comes to biscuits for breakfast, as it did this morning, we let her feed herself. Simply hand her a biscuit, and she’s a happy little goober. (She loves bread. I don’t get it, but I’m glad she’s happy.)

She’s pretty efficient with eating a piece of bread, but still drops it sometimes. And, when she does, it sort of stays on the ground for a few seconds before she is able to bend down, grasp it with both hands, and rise up again (a complicated procedure when you’ve only been walking for a few months).

Our floors aren’t the cleanest, but they aren’t filthy. We sweep about once a week and mop every two weeks, approximately.

We let her eat the biscuit off of the floor. We let her eat Cheerios and goldfish off of the carpet when she drops them. So far, she’s only been sick once in her life, a bad cold, a few months ago.

I wonder if eating the slightly-dirty food is helping build her immune system? This doesn’t seem to be making her sick. She is a happy, healthy, occasionally tantrumy little girl.

Does anyone have comments on letting a child eat off of the floor?

Teething and Sick Child

My last few days have been pretty rough. My daughter is teething with her molars and in pain. Being 16 months, she likes to remind her mother and I frequently that she does not feel well. And to add to that, she may or may not have a touch of the cold I am just getting over.

The child has been screaming almost all day. We just don’t know what to do for her.

I think at a time like this, we must simply try to keep her as comfortable as possible. She will be well fed, kept dry, clean, warm, and cozy. She’s had Baby Tylenol once today already, and she will get it again in a few minutes. Despite these efforts, she will simply be in a bad mood because she is sore.

No parent expects it to be easy, but it is days like today that being a parent is just really hard.

The Key to Marriage: Be Confused, but Accepting

Since my wife and I started living together, and got married, I’ve learned a lot about women in general. Like most guys, I simply did not know things about hair and shopping. But occasionally something really sets me back.

Only moments ago my wife requested a new curling iron. She doesn’t have one, and would like one. As she said this, I was staring at her straightening iron.

Why would a single person need a device to straighten hair, and another device to curl it. For the record, I shaved my head a month ago and do not miss hair in the least.

But it seems like my wife would pick a hairstyle and go… but like her shoes, she must have more options than necessary, at all times.

I do not see why it is necessary, but I do now know that it is necessary. I find this is my normal state, lately: confused but accepting. It’s sort of like learning.

Somewhere Between Childcare and Stress Management

I’ve felt myself on the edge of burning out over the past few weeks. The stress I have felt, from a number of sources, has been weighing really heavily on me. It was near the point where I was considering taking legal drugs1 for the temporary relief. That would have been a big mistake, denting my two-and-a-half year sobriety.

I feel so silly for even considering it, now that the answer is so clear to me.

The answer is this: play with your kid!

I’ve been so busy lately doing stuff that taking care of my daughter has become just another responsibility; a daily task, a chore.

I nearly forgot that babies can be fun. A lot of fun, really. I think every age has/will have its highlights, and some ages and stages can be more fun than others. But all children can play, and they love to play with their mommies and daddies.

Get down on the floor with your child. Play blocks, make silly voices, hug stuffed animals, and go “vroom!” with toy cars. Above all: laugh and smile. Enjoy it. Play time is as important for parents as it is for children.

1 The legal drugs I considered were cigarettes and coffee. Because I consider caffeine to be the most widely used drug in America, I abstain from it as I would any other legal or illegal drug. I hate the fact that I considered consuming either substance, and it is embarassing for me to even think about.