The Origin of the Child Leash

Seems to be quite the hot topic with a lot of parents. To leash, or not to leash. Fuck’s sake, some kids I see running wild could also use a matching mussel, perhaps Hello Kitty will bring out a range for Christmas this year. One can only hope.

In all seriousness, I am not a fan of the leash. I don’t even really like to tether the dog, but have no choice as she isn’t quite as up on the English language as our 4 year old human.

After reading some rant today on Facebook about a child of a leash I got to thinking about the lighter side of child abuse. One of the posts was carrying on about some old lady pulling a kid along like it was a resentful pug unwilling to take a bath. Disgusting to say the least. Another post started raving on about how we have not needed leashes for children in the past, so why all of a sudden do we need them now.

Hold that thought….. Have you ever asked yourself the question: What is the origin of theLouis15 child leash?……

If not then never mind, I did all the work for you. Turns out there is actually some kind of circa 1990 style HTML homage to the history of restraining your toddlers. From what I have determined, this whole leash business started early in the 17th century, perhaps late 16th century. (Although this website makes note of telling us they have found no evidence in the 16th century yet).

Take a look at this baby. It is a painting of a young Louis XV with a child leash on. I highly doubt the leash is of any consequence that young Louis pictured here would turn out to be
known as Louis the Beloved, but perhaps being restricted to a one meter radius around his caregiver  fostered a sense of empathy.

Hell, good enough for the French, good enough for… ummm…. Just don’t bind your child folks, it isn’t a dog.

Oh yeah, after almost a year without so much as a whisper on the blog, I am back. 🙂


Sorry to my readers, I have just started university again and have not had time to get anything up on the blog.

I’m not dead, stay tuned.

Second article up on aimn :)

Hi all, for those who missed my last post, I am now contributing to The Australian Independent Media Network AIMN.

Link to new article here.

Dinner Time Science and Vegetarians

The little guy has been on a vegetarian crusade for a few months now. Sausages excluded. According to toddler logic, sausages are actually vegetables. Sure, I know you can get vegetarian sausages, but to be honest I prefer my meals newspaper free.

Anyway, we were eating dinner the other night and we got to the meat issue once again. Got to say I almost felt like I was being mocked, we had been cooking a boneless lam roast in the BBQ for the last four hours, it was delicious. To us perhaps.

‘I don’t like the meat’

He says, before even having a bite. He is not usually a fussy eater by any means, but the additional chewing effort and texture of meat has just turned him off. Fair enough I guess. We are actually at a point where we allow him to chew pieces up, ‘turn them into sausage’ and spit them out. Bit of a compromise, but it is a start.

A few days previous to this occasion, I was explaining to food pyramid to him. Not to much success, but it is better to start early right? Went through a few foods he knew and explained where they fit. ‘You need to eat a balance of these because it’s good for you. That kind of stuff.

Ok, back to the lamb. My partner must have had a burst of inspiration, and in that moment explained meat contained iron. The little guy has an obsession with superheros at the moment, Ironman in particular.

Well, Ironman is made of iron. Meat has iron in it, if you want to be big and strong like Ironman, you should eat your meat.

Seemed like a valid enough idea. He took to it, kind of. We then went into a bit of a science lesson, why the fuck not. Tony Stark would have been pleased had he been there.

I explain how iron is in a thing called the periodic table of elements, and they make up everything. But they are so small we can’t see them.

‘They are like little tiny legos, everything is made of little elements, like legos’. The partners analogy was superb I think. 🙂

‘But if you look really close, you could see them’

He returns, ok we are going there. I then explain what a microscope is, and say maybe when he is a little older we can have a look at one. ‘Just like your toy pirate telescopes, but they look at little things instead.’

Don’t think we have won the meat battle, but the science crash course was good for a laugh. Who knows, he might absorb something. 🙂

Insulted by a Toddler v2.0

Such is life, I used to be a pretty active person. I have never felt the need to step foot in a gym, but we both joined the local gym last year. True to form, neither of us have been yet. (6 months later)

I did make a news years resolution to go to the gym. But this is still yet to eventuate. I am pretty happy with how I am, but you know, I miss the physical activity and I do feel it. Life just gets in the way as I’m sure you all know.

Our toddler, in all his wisdom managed to insult me again the other day. I am starting to think he does it on purpose.

So, I was getting dressed for work in the morning. He was in our bedroom with the dog, going about their usual morning routine. Now, I am the kind of person that can’t be ass’ed un-clipping my belt, un-zipping my pants etc, I just pull the bastards up and be done with it. As I begin to wriggle into my pants, he begins to laugh.

‘Dad, your butt’s jiggly’

‘It’s like jelly’

Of course, met with laughter from my partner. The fuck kid, did you just call me fat?!?

Once again, insulted by the 3ft tall midget.

Time to make good on that new years resolution…… My butt looks like jelly, god damn.

There will likely be a lesson for him out of this. Something along the lines of…. NEVER SAY THAT TO YOUR MUM dude… 🙂

Coffee Table Book about Coffee Tables – Blogging about Blogging

Kramer, in all his wisdom had this right. A coffee table book about coffee tables. Blogging about blogging, why does it draw our attention? We all write a blog, why do we want to read about writing a blog?

I think the answer is pretty simple really, it is relatable. Regardless of subject matter, direction, theme blah blah, there is one thing all bloggers have in common. Blogging.

There is something all bloggers want, to be ‘heard’. But how does one break away from ‘The Herd’ so they indeed get, heard. When I started this blog I had little to no idea what I was doing. With that considered, I still don’t have much of an idea, but I know a little more than I once did.

When I started, I thought it may be a good idea to document the journey. This was as much for new bloggers benefit (welcome by the way) as it was for my own. I wrote ‘One month of blogging – 5 things I have learnt so far ‘ and ‘2 Months of blogging – 4 more things I am still learning ‘ for these reasons. I read over them the other day, some of it is relevant, some not so relevant. This blog is now about four months old, out of its infancy but still very much a baby in the grand scheme of things. With that said, I can confidently say, the blog, and the blogger, have moved from assisted mobility, to crawling, to walking.

By no means do I consider myself an expert, or a big time blog dude, but I have learnt and observed a few things.

1. Theme, or no Theme?
In all honesty, I started The Unsimplelife as an experiment, with no real direction or theme. I just started it because I wanted to start blogging. I had no idea if I would continue past my first post, my first week and so on. Yet, here we are. I did not start blogging for any other reason than out of interest to test the waters. In hindsight, I am really enjoying it. I think this is above all else more important than deciding on a theme, or topic, or genre etc. Sure, if you have one, that’s great, and all credit to you. I still don’t, I started the blog thinking that it would build itself into a topic, well, it still hasn’t. And that is perfectly fine, I enjoy it, and I hope a few others do too. That WAS the goal right, so, good times. No need to be so serious, just enjoy the ride.

2. Content
If you are beginning your journey, or if you are well into it, you must have read somewhere that writing / producing good, original content is key. Sure, I think writing good content is important, but there is a multitude of ‘good’ content out in the interwebz. What makes blogging unique, what makes people read a blog? Well for me at least, it is personability, writing style. Let’s face it, you can get most, if not all the information you seek via the more main stream media sources. You can, Google it. 🙂 But, what makes blogging content valuable? It is the personal feel you get from reading a post that is produced in almost-conversational language. The swearing, the off the cuff ranting, the warm fuzzy stuff, the ‘people’ side of the communication. That, for me, is what makes great content, regardless of topic, and at least from where I stand, is what makes me return to someone’s blog. I am no lingual genius by any means, but I do attempt to personalise my writing in the same kind of way.

3. Sharing the Love
There is something different I have come to learn about the blogging space. In my misspent youth I trolled chatrooms and social media like a fiend. So much negativity, (and humour) is out there in the social media universe. But, at least from my experience, the blogging space is a little different. There are some really fantastic people / blogs out there, and the ‘community’ so to speak is very positive and welcoming. Everyone who has a blog, or will be starting one, should embrace this, enjoy it. If you think back to what the goal is, to be heard, there is nothing more personally inspiring then to have someone out there engage with what you are doing. So seriously, read other blogs. COMMENT on blogs. If you do read something really good, go one further and drop the writer a line from their contact page. I have had a few people do just that, and I can honestly tell you it is a great motivator. So please, enjoy it, be positive.

4. Stick with It
Sounds strange, but even in the four months I have spent blogging I have seen some great blogs come and go. Such is the transient nature of it. I completely understand, and it is a shame. But, please stick with it, and good things can / will happen. People WILL read you. I should also refer back to point 3., share the love, again. 🙂

Well, that’s about it for my rant on coffee table themed coffee table books, but I thought I’d share it anyway. Hope you enjoy.

Toddler Potty Inception

Thought I’d reblog post number 1 for a laugh 😂

The UnsimpleLife

about rightFor anyone that has a toddler, they will, or are about to know that shit stained, hair pulling adventure that is toilet training. My partner and myself have a now 3/1/2 year old boy, who i am very proud to say is now totally potty trained…. Good bye nappies!!! If only that were the case, i have been talked into having another one of these things, but that is a story for another time.

The Early Days

We began our journey nearly a year ago to the day. My partners love for everything pirate had driven her to purchase a pirate themed potty training book, complete with sticker chart and hat! Arrrrrr!!

Excellent, we had a theme, we had time, we had toddler interest. We had a everything set for a smooth transition from nappies to the porcelain hole of dreams. What we didn’t expect was just how long and…

View original post 968 more words

Now appearing on AIM Extra

A while ago someone who contributes to The AIM Network (Australian Independent Media Network) asked me how I’d feel about contributing.

Long story short, AIMN has created a new space called AIM Extra. Some of my parenting misadventures will now be appearing there.

There is some amazing content on AIMN so I must say I feel pretty chuffed to be a part of it.

Go check it out! 🙂

Handling Toddler Tantrums – Soothing the Savage Beast

Tantrums are just a part of the deal when it comes to toddlers, and kids in general. We are lucky enough to have a pretty ‘good’ kid. Or so I’m told by my partner. Honestly, I The-definition-of-a-toddler-tantrumhave no experience with kids other than our one, so I take her word for it.

Dealing with a tantrum can be difficult. But, after this long I was pretty sure we had it down pat. A year or so ago it was much easier, but with increased mobility, vocabulary and attitude, it gets harder I think. Either way, he is generally pretty chilled, and rarely gets into full swing. In all honesty, I had seen him go maybe twice in a year.

Up until about three weeks ago.

There has been a lot of change in our house in recent times. Toddlers, like most humans, seem to be resistant to change. Maybe resistant is not the right word, but if you have one you know what I mean. A simple break in routine can cause unforeseen issues, or create a strange habit that wasn’t there before. I find it rather interesting how dramatically they can be effected by what appears to be such a small thing to us grown ups. Anyway, coupled with some changes at home, he has also just started pre-school. Exciting times.

Pre-school is more for the sociability aspect. He does not get a lot of time with kids his age, mainly cousins older than him and adults. Which is all good, but I notice when wecandh do take him to a toddler dominated environment, he is a bit hesitant. With pre-school we hope that will be addressed as he moves through life and into big school. 🙂

Anyway, back on point. Around three weeks ago, the tantrums started happening more frequently. So be it, we can deal with that. Although, something was different, they had this odd, almost violent streak to them. The screaming, the general behaviour, not like the usual stuff. This had us both understandable worried, and at the same time scratching our heads.

Is there something wrong?
Once again, as parents in our generation seem to do, we turn to the internet once again. Surely, we are not the only ones. Well, this activity kind of raised more questions than it answered. We are both discuss the toddler times pretty actively all the time, and this one had us both searching for a solution/answers. Was something wrong?

A while ago, prior to all this going on the tantrums were getting a little more frequent. So we sat down with him one day and discussed what his ‘punishments’ should be for said behaviour. My partner has always said giving him choices is a good thing. To which now I tend to agree, I think it works well giving him some control over what goes down. Anyway, the rules were set and agreed:

1. He says sorry. If the behaviour continues, move to 2.
2. He goes to his room for a short time out.
3. If he refuses to go to his room, he is taken. And must stay a little longer.

Pretty simple stuff really, but it has been effective. Should note, ‘sorry’ means he must also explain WHAT he is sorry for.

28ggdarcy-2jpg-39f615ff5416bbcaThese rules were not helping with these new age tantrums. Nothing was. He once screamed and banged on the wall etc for a good 25-30 minutes. Something had to be done.

We filmed him
Much to his distaste, we filmed him going off at full pace. Later on when he had calmed down, we showed it to him. ‘That’s not me’ he said. I think even he was a little shocked at his rage. I am pretty confident making him aware was a good step.

The Glitter Jar
Pinterest had paid off again. My partner found ‘the glitter jar.’ Designed for such uses as time out, with a spin. So one day while I was at work, they got to making one. It is simply a clear plastic jar with glitter glue and water inside. The principle is the same as an hourglass.

When he is raging, he goes to his room and shakes the jar. (bit of physical outlet) Then sits there and watches the glitter float around. When it stops, it is time to come out again.

He is a little resistant to it, but when he has used it the effect is great. Watching it soothes him, and I think being able to shake it, and have the jar as his own, still gives him control over SOMETHING. When he is no longer able to control his emotions.

For Now
For now, it is back to ok. We have also made a conscious effort to avoid things that set him off, good old misdirection etc. But at least for now, the mean streak is gone. I know it won’t be for good, but we shall see.

I think giving your kid something of their own, that they alone control, helps. The jar is a simple solution, but seemingly effective.

How do you calm down the raging beast?

Shit Tony Abbott Says #4

Tony Abbott, the gift that keeps on giving has had a pretty good week. This week, the flavour has been the standard idiocy, with a side of mutiny. We (Australia) almost lost our beloved, the honourable, Tony Abbott.

This one is just too easy, but I can’t resist.

“Good Government starts today”

Wow dude… For the international readers, you need to realise that he has been Prime Minister since September 2013….. But never fear, as per Tony’s claim, we have now had almost five business days of ‘good government.’ What a DICKHEAD.

In addition to this weeks instalment, an idea raised by fellow blogger from ‘A Momma’s View‘ this week I am opening the floor to you guys. It is just so hard keeping up with this moron that I am requesting your help.

Depending on how it goes, I would like to introduce ‘Shit Tony Abbott Says‘ as a static page on the blog. If you have some favourites, or would like to contribute on a weekly basis, please head over to the contact page and submit your quotes.

If all goes well and we have some interest, I will post your quote/s weekly with a link back to your blog and/or other. Although, I do ask that you reference where you got the quote if you can. 🙂