emma_in_dream: (lotr)
I've bought a tourer - one of those platform on wheels things that attaches to the back of the pram - and for the first time since Ruby was born we are properly mobile.

My plan was for Ruby to use the pram but Pearl did not concur. She demanded the pram, partly because she resisted being ousted as the baby and partly because of her relapse in her hypotonia.

Since Pearl was hit by the car, she has refused point blank to walk outside. (Fair enough). But pushing her about as extra cargo on top of the pram was really doing my back in.

The solution: the tourer! She feels very safe as she is literally between my arms and it is a lot easier to push. For the first time in months we have been able to go for little walks for pleasure.
emma_in_dream: (shakespeare)
Does anyone have a recommendation of a really simple book about our solar system? Simple, like for a three year old?

My local library's offerings all seem to be above her level.
emma_in_dream: (vintage)
I remember the first few times I tried tying a reef knot. I went 'left over right and under, then right over left and under' and then I had two strands of loosely interwoven string that fell apart. It was only when I realised that part of what I needed to do was missing from the instructions that I managed to tie the knot - 'left over right and under THEN TIE A KNOT, right over left and under AND TIE A KNOT'.

This is how I feel about toilet training. Surely the books of instruction are missing some vital piece of information.

How do you get a child to go to the potty when they refuse to accept the bribe, run away from the potty, poo in their pants and won't tell you, try to hide rather than go?

In fact, the only way out of this impasse that I see is to stop (again) and to try again in another month (for the fourth time).

Also, all this codswallop that that parenting books are full of - it can take as little as 24 hours, you and your child can work together to master a new skill - bollocks all, I say. This is clearly like the lies about solid food (your child will like it if you persevere - no, as it turned out, not until your child has a mature swallowing reflex), the lies about breast feeding (a natural reflex - nonsense, she went blue with choking the first time she was fed), the lies about walking (at their own pace - or else there is actually something wrong with her), the lies about sleeping through the night (still not there), the lies about eating food (it takes an average of 14 times for a child to eat new foods, unless, in actuality, the average for your individual child is say 100 times).
emma_in_dream: (Monroe)
I realised today that I am in the interesting position of being able to compare Pearl when she is well (a month ago) and not well (now). Her hypotonia doesn't compare to real illness, of course - every time I go to the State Child Development Centre I see some child with a terrible, debilitating condition and I am so grateful that Pearl is relatively so well.

Nonetheless I can see how much easier it is when Pearl is well. I'm not talking about having a cold or whatever, I mean the difference when her muscles aren't aching and support her properly.

When she has a bad patch of hypotonia she whines constantly, about everything, she complains about her sore muscles, she cries when she is picked up because the pressure hurts her, she falls over all the time and then she cries because she has no reserves of strength left.

When she has a good run with the hypotonia she occasionally falls over, the way most three year olds do, she occasionally has crying fits and she sometimes is unreasonable. She is, in short, the sort of child who is described in parenting books, the kind of child that the techniques experts suggest actually work on.

Taking care of her when she is well is so incredibly much easier.

I had a sudden realisation today that this is part of the reason that I find parenting such heavy weather sometimes.
emma_in_dream: (avon)
Pearl was sitting in the common area garden this afternoon when she was startled by a terrible, horrible, no good chicken.*

She let out a cry of great fear and ran towards me. By the time I calmed her down two different women had emerged from their houses to see if she was OK. I was really pleased to see that they were willing to get involved in someone else's child's problems.


* She wasn't afraid of chickens when younger - she used to feed the one at my parent's house - but now she is old enough to imagine terrors.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
The Geena Davis Institute says that in G-rated films produced 1990-2005 fewer than one in three speaking characters (real or animated) are female and more than four in five of the narrator's are male.

For G-, PG- and PG-13-rated films released between 2006 and 2009 there were 2.42 male speaking characters for every 1 female speaking character.

Why?

Hint: not because they are spending their time making non-racist films as 85.5% of the characters in 1990-2005 G-rated films are white.

Actually they went and asked 108 content creators (writers, producers, directors, executives) what they thought was happening. They responded that male stars attract, that male content producers are more likely to make male focussed films, that movies are made for male audiences, that female-oriented films repel male viewers and, overwhelmingly, that 'girls will watch stories about boys, but boys won't watch stories about girls'. 86.7% agreed with that one and a further 10.5% thought maybe this was true.

I don't know whether that is true or not, but certainly it seems to be the accepted wisdom for Hollywood.

See: http://www.thegeenadavisinstitute.org/
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Do you know what makes me want to rush right out and buy *Have You Seen My Duckling*? The fact that it is the only Caldecott winner with a standalone female character since the award was established in 1938.

A study by Florida State University found that male (humans) are central characters in 57% of children's books published each year, with 31% having central female (human) characters.

It's worse if you're a cute little bunny or a teddy bear. Male animals are central characters in 23% of books each year and female animals star in 7.5%.

Ho hum, apparently 'mothers reading to their children' make it worse by labeling gender-neutral animals as male. Possibly journalists also do their little bit by labeling those reading to children as mothers?
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Pearl just loves her Disney Princess magazines, but allow me to share my comments on one of the stories from her latest volume.*

This is one of the better stories, better than the one about sentient tools in the Beauty and the Beast being kept prisoner, and better than the Mulan story about how the other village girls pick on her for not having a nice dress.



* Thanks Baby_Elvis. I know how hard it is to resist those begging puppy eyes - I just got her the Angelina Ballerina magazine.

Read more... )
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Pearl is very keen on Fisher Price Little People. I like them too - they are the right shape and size for her and they are very gender neutral as all the characters are basically the same shape (including the dog).

But then, alas, I saw that both Healthystuff.org and Zrecommends.com had given them low ratings for safety. Damnit. Apparently they are high in chlorine which is measured as a proxy for PVC.

So I wrote to Fisher Price in Australia and I got back the usual kind of answer. Ie. we meet the regulatory standards and PVC is in everything and it is safe, or at least there is no evidence that it isn’t.

Fisher Price letter

Read more... )

I do not know enough to make any kind of reasonable decision. My understanding is:

PVC is toxic to make and to dispose of (ie. bad for the manufacturers and those around them).
PVC is not recyclable.
PVC emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
PVC becomes most dangerous to us when phthalates are added to it to make it softer.  This softer version of PVC is the sort used in children’s toys. Phthalates can cause harm to the reproductive system of both males and females.

And it’s ubiquitous. I really don’t know what to do.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
From me – doll clothes, a Kinuko Y Craft book on Pegasus, a string of beads, hair clips.

From Nanna and Pop – a bag of second hand doll furniture, a second hand music box, an old style second hand My Little Pony

From Steph – Mog the Forgetful Cat, Mog and the Baby, The Tiger who Came to Tea, and a tea set

From Gina and Rosalie – a new My Little Pony

From Kylie and Finn – a pair of pink fluffy slippers

From Fe and Galen – pencils and a board

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