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Who is in Charge Here?

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You know all those warning labels attached to children’s toys and furniture?  The ones that tell you how the product should be used, then they give a blanket statement;  “Nothing takes the place of parental supervision.”   Well, I read those labels and still end up in parental messes.  It all started with the crib recall  3 months after my daughter was born.  It was only the biggest crib recall in recent history, crossing Canadian and US borders, affecting more than 2 million families.  The company was quick to come up with a solution to “fix” the crib and make it safer.  We waited a day on the phone to order our free kit that would take a few weeks to arrive.  It meant that we now had to find another place for baby girl to sleep in the mean time.  Nevermind that she had actually started to sleep through the night!  So we put her in a bassinet she was nearly too big for, bring her into our bedroom for supervision, and went back to having broken sleep for a few weeks.  The kit came and it permanently fixed the rails in the up position.  So we could never again put the rail down to actually help us transfer a sleeping baby into the crib.  I have to lean in as far as I can reach and let her plop the last 1/2 inch.  Real smooth huh?

Well last night, parental supervision once again failed me.  I was sitting at the dining room table, ‘supervising’ baby girl’s evening snack.  She was feeding herself yogurt in her highchair.  What could possibly go wrong?  She spontaneously grabbed the yogurt tub and squeezed it!  As if that wasn’t enough, in the 2 seconds it took me to reach her, she immediately rubbed the exploded

yogurt into her eyes, hair, nose, and ears.  She then began to scream and cry.  I’m sure cold yogurt feels terrible in your eyes huh kid!?  She stopped screaming long enough to say; “Bubbles?” Meaning she wanted another bath.  Very sneaky way to force the issue.  So inspite of it being 5 minutes to bedtime, we now had spontaneous bath time.  I managed to snap a few pictures before hosing down every yogurt covered surface.  I was trying hard not to laugh at her, she was upset.  Really in the grand scheme of everything that can go wrong, yogurt explosions are low on the danger scale. 

The longer this parenting gig runs, the more I realize that I am not in control.  Control is an illusion.  It can be quickly shattered by the impulses of your child, and the reality of living in a world where we have to adjust to the consequences of other people’s mistakes.

No H-8

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I had a perky blog saved in my draft’s folder to add to the usual jubilance I feel on Friday’s.  I don’t know why Friday is my favourite day of the week.  It’s not like I ever really have weekends off, but anyway, I digress.

I had a little Twitter scuffle yesterday.  Someone that doesn’t follow or have a relationship with me decided to make offensive remarks about the child of someone I follow.  Since I am still naive inspite of my crazy mixed-up life experiences, I was surprised at the ‘drive-by hate’.  It was random and unsolicitated.  I want positive relationships, so tried to find a redeeming quality in this stranger that had made her presence known in my little world.  After visiting her profile I found that it was FILLED to the brim, top to bottom with slurs, and negativity.  This stranger posted one more negative comment about my weight, before I blocked her.  I actually laughed at being called ‘fatso’ because it was so childish.  I would be more offended if someone called me stupid, I have reconciled my weight issues a LONG time ago. 

So this kind of put me in a funk.  I began thinking about the large number of people that use social networking sites.  I was an avid Facebooker for years, until I got a blogging gig last summer and was asked to Tweet for the CNE.  So timidly I stepped into the Twitter-verse for the first time.  I know that human nature can make us feel safe when critisizing someone while hiding behind a computer.  Really, we are offering information about ourselves for strangers to judge or misuse.  You know the ones.  Every site or group seems to have at least one user that will attempt to use the forum to spread their message of negativity or hate.  It may seem like we won’t have to take responsibility or ownership for any nastiness we put into cyberspace.  One payback for being rude; it doesn’t usually lead to positive relationships or success in the ways that count.  Relationships are everything in social networking.

In light of this, I still believe in the social networking power held within our computers, and smartphones.   Blogging has changed my life in the last year.  And relationships I have made in various sites and forums have helped me through this new transition called parenthood.  I would like to ask, “Can’t we all just get along?”.  I know the answer is “No”.  Being unique, with different personality querks, opinions, and points of view, is what makes life interesting.  How could we ever learn respect or acceptance if we all agreed on every single topic?  As we meet people with opposing views, we learn more about the world around us.  The world is a shared space afterall, and becoming ‘smaller’ as the social networks grow.  As we meet people with similar life experiences we find comfort in knowing we are not alone.

Some important things to remember;

Have control over what people know about you online. 

Know the security limits of the sites you use. 

Stand up against cyberbullying.  You can disagree without hate.  It’s requires maturity and falls under the umbrella of such social skills as acceptance and respect.

*stock photo courtesy of dreamstime.com