“Buh-Bye” Season

Welcome to the June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their stories and tips for playing outside with kids. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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He’s barely been up for thirty minutes and already he beckons. Standing at the door, a shoe in one hand, and an enthusiastic wave with the other, “buh-bye,” he says, again and again, looking at me, expectantly, waiting for me to heed his call. The outdoors calls to him like no other force in his life except, perhaps, mama’s milk.

I look at my babe, then I look at our apartment. Mountains of dishes and laundry. Dusty bookshelves and crumbs on the floor. A bathtub that needs scrubbing and diapers that need folding. Toys and clutter everywhere.

Just as I’m sizing up all that needs to be done, his call interrupts my thoughts. “Buh-bye,” he says one more time and I know it is done. I turn my back on all the chores, get my shoes, and head outside. I follow him, trusting his wisdom, that it is better to get outside and enjoy the day than to stay in.

Being outside is, in the mind of my little guy, primary. What we do once we are there is secondary and to him, largely, unimportant. The destination isn’t important, but the journey is.

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Help a Mama Out

Welcome to the April Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting advice!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we’re writing letters to ask our readers for help with a current parenting issue. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Dear Readers,

I fear I may be opening the proverbial can of worms. I’m about to ask you for advice on what I have come to believe is the most controversial topic of conversation when it comes to parenting little ones.

Sleep.

I wouldn’t ask unless we really needed the help. After all, I’ve found that it’s usually best to just slap on an extra thick coating of concealer and pretend that things are fine. “How’s he sleeping,” they ask. “Fine, just fine,” I reply through gritted teeth. But since this month’s natural parenting blog carnival is all about asking for parenting advice, I decided to wash the makeup off, stop pretending, and admit the truth.

We’re having trouble sleeping around here.

Some background Information

My babe is 13 months old. He was born at 35 weeks and after a short stint in the NICU he was exclusively breastfed for six months. Now he is an enthusiastic eater and loves a wide range of foods. We haven’t noticed any particular sensitivities to foods in his diet, aside from pineapple and, perhaps, hummus.

He visited the doctor last week and all his exams were clear. Medically speaking, he seems just as fine as can be. He doesn’t have any teeth yet, and there don’t seem to be any that are imminent.

His general demeanor is pleasant. He smiles a lot. Laughs some. He runs around and plays. He rarely cries or fusses.

He does not now, nor has he ever “slept through the night.” We accept that nighttime parenting and parenting our babe to sleep are part of the gig. We aren’t, necessarily, looking for those things to go away completely.

That being said, if all was well, I wouldn’t be writing for advice now, would I?

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