Kids

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. 🙂

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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… 🙂

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?

Hey guys, What is Fisting? – Cards Against Humanity with a Pre-Teen

We must be getting old, something I tell myself more and more in recent times. Last year, we went out for a few drinks, only to return home with some friends about half an hour later to play Monopoly instead.

I used to enjoy going out, when I was in my early twenties’ I was out most weekends, now I look around and think, damn, I am ten years older than the median age here…. Time to go.

On that note, my partner and I decided to start a monthly games night at our place. We both love our board games, card games and that sort of thing, and a few of our friends also do. What we all have in common is not having fun standing around a bunch of drunk teens at the pub. Times have changed.

A few weeks ago we had one such night. However, we also had my sister-in-laws son over for the night. He started high school this year, I for one think he is far too innocent to be in high school. Time for an education…

So the sister-in-law drops him off that afternoon, and we mention we are having some people over to play a ‘card game’. Said game is commonly known as ‘Cards Against Humanity‘. For those of you that know it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. For those that don’t, at this point in this post you need to answer the following questions:

1. Are you easily offended / do you take offence to bad, bad, humour? If so, please stop reading. Now.
2. Are you religious? If so, please stop reading. Now.

Well, we did the responsible thing and told her that we would be playing this game. My partner said something along the lines of, ‘we will put a movie on for the kids, he shouldn’t be playing this’….

Hah… I answer, ‘Nah, he will be fine’. On that note, sister-in-law gives the go ahead to let him play.

What a fucking night this was.

Our friends come around and we order pizza for dinner. Then, the game comes out. The pre-teen, currently in that point of life where he is torn between being a kid, and joining the adults, comes running over to sit next to me. Curious as to what this game was, and how to play it. We explain that the idea is to make the most offensive and / or rude statement you can from the cards you are given.

He opts to sit a few hands out. A few hands later, I am pretty sure he thought we were all speaking a different language. I finally get him confident to play, get him his hand of cards, and off we went.

In the next few hours, I couldn’t stop laughing. For a few reasons. Below are some of the questions to come from his mouth, all in a period of about ten minutes:

1. What is fisting?
2. What is incest?
3. What is double penetration?

At this point, please do not forward this post on to child protective services. Come on, he is in high school, if he does not know what fisting is, he will soon, and will know a cards2lot worse than that. Can’t tell you how funny and awkward having to answer some of these questions was. Great times.

There is also another good reason to play Cards Against Humanity with a pre-teen. They manage to pick awesome cards, and read them out without actually understanding what they mean, or how funny they are.

Well yes, I may be going to hell now. I figure, if I am, I may as well stake a claim for the presidential suite. If you like a good laugh, and can take a joke, I recommend getting this game. It should also be reiterated, the goal is to offend, what comes out is not an accurate representation of anyone’s way of thinking. No burning crosses etc at our place.

Bed Time – Scurge of the Toddler World

A question for the ages. How do you get your toddler to go to sleep?

To be honest, if I had THE answer, I’d be a millionaire by now. As most, if not all parents out there will know, getting your little one to bed can be quite a task. They can be a manipulative bunch, and will try anything to stall, or avoid going to bed at any cost. At least ours does.

Can you blame him though? He does not want to miss all the fun of dishwashing and bad TV, if only I could explain that is what we really do when he sleeps. Nothing too exciting.

We have been battling with this issue for a long, long time. Our Google search history is dominated by it. We had just about given up on tricks and tips for bed time, and moved to the more generally accepted method of, just fucking deal with it.

This was working for a while, to be honest, he was only up out of bed two or three times before finally crashing out. I think at that point, he had worked out that we had an answer for every excuse in his playbook. Then it all changed, something new, that we couldn’t really deny him had become a reason to get out of bed.

He is now potty trained.

I was so happy when he was finally potty trained, what an ordeal. Denis the Menace had other ideas, a bed time plot ticking over in his three year old brain. It would rely on our meagre understanding of his bladder control, and our empathy for him and his decision not to wet the bed. A perfect idea. And it worked.gotosleep

For the last few months he has been in and out of bed every ten minutes for three to four hours. GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP.

This change in toddler bed time strategy required action. We had had enough. But really, what could be done?

Here is the checklist we started running through

1. Go to the toilet before bed.
2. Go to the toilet before bed. (he always needs to go twice)
3. While he is on the toilet, get his drink (water) for bed.
4. Move the plastic blanket of toys accumulated on his bed from the previous night.
5. Allow him to choose ONE toy for bed. Ok, sometimes two, if he has been good.
6. Offer a bedtime story. (we take turns)
7. Put him to bed.
8. Sit on the couch, wait for five minutes until the first toilet break.
9. Sit on the couch, wait for the second toilet break.
10. Try to enjoy some adult time while constantly looking at the dog to make a move, indicating he was up, again…

Suffice to say, I have never been a fan of ten step programs, and this one was not working. At all.

Back to Google….

Once again, we turned to the internet. We spent our time trolling through different approaches that we hadn’t already tried. Keeping in mind you have to take these with a grain of salt, and try to apply bits and pieces that fit for you. Well, that is our approach anyway.

She found it!

My partner’s love affair with Pinterest had paid off, again. I got home from work one day and she proposed an idea, we both agreed it just may work. He is at a stage where he will understand the concept, fingers crossed he sticks by the new rule.

That Saturday morning, we began phase one of our scheme. We would have some art and craft time. With a twist.

We all worked on a card, a very special card which is now known as ‘The Bed Time Pass’. We all took turns adorning it with colourful pictures, stickers and whatever else we could find in the box. It was really great family time to boot.

He loved it, albeit still not fully aware of its purpose. We both sat with him after it was finished and explained how it worked.

‘This is your bedtime pass, if you jump out of bed you need to hand it over to us. It can only be used once a night.’

To be honest, the first night was a fucking nightmare.

He was in shock. He was allowed out once, then he came out again. Met with no contact, just a held hand and a directive back to his bed. Every time, for about three hours. ‘Stick with it, we have to give it time’ we kept telling ourselves.

Then, the magic started to happen.

The second night, there was a little drama, but nothing major. From there on in, it has been working a treat.

He now saves it, holds on to it, ‘in case’ he needs to come out. The game has been flipped on its head. He no longer comes out of bed every ten minutes, he understands he is ALLOWED to come out of bed, ONCE. So, that is indeed what he does. No requirement to tell him it needs to be a good reason, he worked that out for himself.

Back to quiet nights, for now. Maybe we can get some reading done. I haven’t finished a book in months.

No doubt this will not last forever. But for now at least, i owe my sanity to ‘The Bed Time Pass’.

How do you get your kids to bed? I am sure we would all love to hear some ideas, please feel free to share. 🙂