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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:21 pm 
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I got a stokke at a yard sale for $10. best find EVER. she still uses it!

littlebear - i told my hubs i'd consider it if he promised me a girl

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:23 pm 
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ariann, i'm sorry birth went badly for you! livi was born via c-section and had an apgar of like 1 when she first came out. for years i was convinced no way in hell, but now i think maybe. i also felt pretty alone and couldn't discuss with many people (okay, it was mostly just my mom that i spoke with) but it's all okay now. hang in there, it gets better, i promise :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:31 pm 
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Guineapiglet has figured out a way to retrieve food once she's accidentally dropped it. She now pushes her seat back from the table with her legs and puts one foot on the table while she eats. Therefore she access to the entire seat if something falls on the seat or in her lap and if something drops farther down and lands on the little ledge of the highchair her arms are now long enough that she can bend over and get it. As far as baby etiquette goes feet on the table probably aren't the best but in terms of efficiency it's pretty grand.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:20 pm 
***LIES!!!***
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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:22 pm 
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These are SO cute! Thanks for sharing!

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:03 pm 
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My friend's 14 year old is dating an 18 year old. I think my brain would explode if it was my daughter. The levels of maturity seem so different and the power dynamic would seem so problematic. I have no idea how I would handle that as a parent. I guess you have to trust your kid and be there to help them if things go wrong but you can't make their choices for them. But man, I would want to.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:12 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
My friend's 14 year old is dating an 18 year old. I think my brain would explode if it was my daughter. The levels of maturity seem so different and the power dynamic would seem so problematic. I have no idea how I would handle that as a parent. I guess you have to trust your kid and be there to help them if things go wrong but you can't make their choices for them. But man, I would want to.


Dude, I would totally not trust my kid in that situation and I would totally make decisions for them. You want to date each other in four years? Go for it. But not now. An 18 year old dating a 14 year old feels totally predatory, no matter how cool the 18 year old is or how mature the 14 year old.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:34 pm 
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Right? To me too. But I would worry that I was making the situation less safe and the boy seem really appealing by putting my foot down. And how can you police it without becoming your child's enemy? If you let them date in a controlled way and you support your child in her choices, you can hope that she'll make good choices, I guess?

I have no idea what i would do, besides freak out.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:04 am 
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So, I dated older guys when I was in that age range. When I was 14 I dated a 22 year old (oh my god! that sounds so creepy now!) followed by a 17 year old, both of which are too big of a gap at that age in my personal opinion. What I think a lot of people don't realize is that it's not just a bad situation for the younger party, it sucks for the older party too. Generally by the time people reach a certain age (maybe 20?), they have expectations, want commitments, expect their partner to be thoughtful concerning them etc. A 14 year old can't be thoughtful about other people in that way. They just can't. I'm sorta socially slow, I don't think I really figured that kind of shiitake out until I was like 22 and I made some bad mistakes-- all with older people-- that hurt people who were really important to me. Past tense, 'cuz now these people aren't in my life, because I did dumb shiitake because... that's what people do when they're young.

Which is fine if they're doing it with other 14 year olds, who are also just learning and experimenting with relationships. But not so fine with people who are old enough to actually have expectations of how humans will treat one another.

Does that make any sense? I'm tired and kinda rambly...

Anyway, the thing is, if you freak out, it doesn't generally change anything. I ran away to be with the 17 year old I mentioned above and when I came back from that, my parents of course forbid me to have anything to do with him. So I kept dating him in secret for about six months, til we broke up for other reasons. (The 22 year old I just didn't tell them about to start with.)

ETA: and I was pretty much the quintessential "good kid" growing up. It was not in my general behavior to sneak around, lie, or do other crappy things to my parents otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:14 am 
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That is a really great post C&S, and its really great to hear your experience with it. And yes, I get that its not black and white for either party, though I don't think it is equivalent. I personally feel like (1) although the older person may be at some emotional risk, they've agreed to that by dating someone that much younger, (2) the older person generally sets the tone of the relationship (drives, makes decisions about where to go and what to do) and that can put the younger person at both physical and emotional risk.

When I was 18 I started dating someone who was 28 and just a messed-up person. My parents were separated and my Mom tried to police me out of it with threats and conflict and my Dad figured it would blow over and he didn't say much besides that he would be there for me if I ever needed anything and he was. He was great and non-judgmental and when I needed to get out of a really bad situation, he is the one whom I turned to and he never said "I told you so." He was really supportive and kind and helped me get my head together and interceded with my ex when he was begging me to come back. But that relationship lasted 3+ years because I had no real support to go to the US because my Mom was so angry and unsafe that I couldn't go home to her. And in the interiim some really bad stuff happened to me and it could have been way worse

And yes obvs 18 and 14 are very different, but I really appreciated that my Dad was so non-judgmental and supportive, and I would want to be that for my kid.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:02 am 
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I think for an 18 year old I would be more supportive and offer advice without telling what to do implictly because 18 is considered an adult and it's an age for exploration - a lot of kids are in college and that's the time when we learn so much that makes us the people we are. Although, I have to say I might end up biting my tongue so hard it bleeds! :)

But at 14 I would put my foot down and have to forbid it. I tried to date an 18 year old senior when I was a freshman in highschool and my parents sat down and had a really frank conversation with me about what a relationship with someone older really meant, and what the expectations were - then they forbid me from dating him (or really dating anyone until I was 16). But, the way the handled the situation made sense to me and I decided that even though they said I couldn't date him that I didn't really want to date him and the whole thing kinda just seemed creepy to me after that conversation. Every child is different but I would likely use a similar template in dealing with a situation like that if it ever happens in my home.

I think there's something alluring about being a teenage girl and an older guy wanting to date you. In a way it validates what you are feeling - that you're not just a kid even though everyone is still treating you like one.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:17 am 
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Ariann wrote:


I ordered some shoes from this shop about a week before you posted this. I wanted shoes like this for ages, but where I live they were all leather. I was so glad to find this shop. I hope they make it to Germany soon.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:43 am 
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interesting to hear that some of you had similar experiences as me - 1st boyfriend at 14 was 19, dated 27r old at 16 etc. (in some sorta defensive way I want to say that the "scene" I've been part of here is notorious for being full of sorta manchildren hahah. It continues even now as we get older, 42yr old guy friends of mine are dating 23yr olds.)

but yeah, my parents had essentially 0 control over what I did with respect to boyfriends, because I was outta the house and in Manhattan every day. And not to slag my parents too much or anything, but they pretty much had no idea what to do with me after my 4 older siblings were all so well-behaved. My dad only really got upset about my horrible school attendance; I know that because I was admitted to a school for the gifted he was really really hoping I'd end up a wildly successful intellectual instead of a punkrock misfit. But he's proud of me in a different way.

in short, I'm scared as eff about what Dahlia and Sierra will start pulling when they are teenagers. I feel like Howard and I should be equipped to deal with it since we were both demon teenagers but I doubt it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:17 pm 
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My mother was extremely strict, but still didn't have much control over me either as a teenager (because of who I was for the most part - my siblings were totally different) and my various fathers did not even attempt control. EVEN SO, I appreciated my mother attempting to set limits much more than I appreciated my fathers not having limits. Not having limits is scary to a kid and I think really neglectful parenting - it is not the worst thing in the world to be your kid's enemy for a little while. It is not the worst thing in the world for your kid to hate you for awhile. The alternative is not never hating you (that is probably impossible), it's hating you for a really long time instead of just a little while. For the record, I don't have much of a relationship with any of my fathers and I don't speak to one of them at all.

I think it's totally possible to say "you may not do this" and to say "I will pick you up and rescue you from any situation you get yourself into" at the same time. One statement sets limits, the other says, "I will always love you and protect you even when you defy me." When I told my mother, at 16, that I was having sex (which was a crazy scene all around and my weird attempt to get closer to my mother which did not pan out at all), she said, I just don't want you to get AIDS and die, if you get pregnant we can get you an abortion, but you can't get rid of AIDS.

Also, 18-year-olds are totally different from 14-year-olds. I did not share anything about my romantic life with my parents after high school unless it was unavoidable (like inviting a girlfriend/boyfriend home for a holiday).


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:43 pm 
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i dated an 18 year old when i was 14. it seriously was fine. not all 18 year old boys are super mature, sexually experienced nearly adults, you know? i was arguably more mature emotionally than he was. and neither of us were particularly sexually experienced. he wanted to do some stuff that i wasn't that comfortable with, but so did the 16 year old i dated the following year. i kinda didn't stop feeling a bit pressured by my sexual partners until i was 18, and had my first serious "real" relationship. i can't realistically say that this relationship had any negative affect on me at all.

my parents literally had no idea we were dating. i knew they'd flat out object without even giving it a second thought, so i didn't bother. ironically, we met at church youth group, a place they continued to force me to attend throughout my teenage years, despite being an atheist. while we were dating, i spent almost every saturday at his house making out. my parents thought i was at the library or the mall.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:31 pm 
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Vegan baby/toddler winter boots:
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We just got a pair from a local kids' shoe store.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:42 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:18 pm 
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I have to stop talking to random online moms' groups. People say the craziest shiitake in them and then I feel the need to call them on it and am incapable of overcoming that need and not giving energy to something I know is going to make me a) deeply irritated and b) seriously concerned for their children's safety because their mothers say they are doing alarming things with them (or looking for advice to do alarming things). I especially cannot trust myself around conversations around vaccinations and homeopathy. I have to either bow out of the group or figure out how to not get notified about ongoing conversations. /notes to future me


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:04 pm 
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Hahahaha! I so know what you're talking about.

I am thinking about going dark side on Zoos you guys. Every single mom's group I am in does zoo trips and I really loved zoos when I was little and I love the idea of Leela seeing these amazing animals and hanging with her little friends. Our ASL group is going and they're going to be learning the signs for each of the animals tomorrow, and I am not going, but darn it, I want to. I like all our ASL moms and would like to hang out with them more regularly.

Also, another vegan mom I know here was telling us that her son (6) ended up having a complete melt-down in class, because he was trying to explain to all the other kids that zoos are bad and they all laughed at him and it was just a mess and she is now homeschooling him. She was telling us the story as an example of how awesome her son is, but for me it was just a horror show. I would hate Leela to end up in a huge fight over issues that the other kids really can't understand. And obvs we're not there and won't be for years, but it makes me want to just take her to the zoos and use them as a tool for education and let her learn about the horror of zoos when she is much older.

I just don't want her to be the weird vegan kid. I want her to just be a kid.

In the same vein, I've stopped heavy policing of what she eats outside. She eats vegan at home, but if she eats a goldfish cracker or a piece of non-veg cake, I am not fussed. I will watch her myself, but I'm not happy asking all the other moms to make sure she doesn't get their food. I figure she'll make the choice to be vegan. I remember before I had her, I thought that it was crazy how many vegan moms let their kids eat NV stuff outside, but now I totally get it and I feel like a judgemental asparagus for thinking it would be easy to keep them completely vegan. The problem is that you can only fight so many battles and say no so many times, and I don't feel like I want to fight over food just yet. I also am tired of not being able to just relax with people because I have to be so vigilant about what they are eating and making sure L doesn't get any. OMG MY KID BEGS LIKE A PUPPY. She is so focussed on food its like we don't feed her. She finds the person with food and sits in front of them and eats whatever they give her. And if they are feeding their kid, she begs for food until she gets some too. Seriously kid, go chase a squirrel or something.

I am superlucky to have awesome vegan mommas near me, but not enough to socialize exclusively with vegans. I really wish I could.

Please tell me if there is an easy fix for this.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:22 pm 
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I am planning on taking my son, eventually, to the zoo as well. I don't have anything philosophical to say about that for the moment, just wanted you to know you aren't alone in that.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:31 pm 
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We're struggling with this right now too because our babysitting coop decided to have a social event this weekend at the zoo. As of now, we already have plans to go to a farm sanctuary but if I think I'm going to be too nauseous to ride in a car for two hours we will be here and free to go. Not sure what we're going to do yet if that happens.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Oh cool! Are you going to CAS or Woodstock? I also feel weird because I like the people who are in the groups, and when they ask me if we're going, I feel like I don't want to say "No, because we believe that zoos are cruel and horrible."

I love our Sanctuary outings. Leela has been to fTa 2x so far and its been great. I would be up for arranging a group trip there, but I wonder if there would be any takers. I guess you never know until you try

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:23 pm 
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On my phone, but tofulish, I'm on the same page when it comes to food these days.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:29 pm 
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At least at fTa you can pet the animals - they're not "exotic," but I think that wins.

I've answered invites like that with a simple, "our family doesn't do that." There's lots of stuff our family does/doesn't do (which I'm sure is true for every family), so it doesn't seem like that big a deal to decline. ETA: I may or may not say the same to a school - I'd probably just frame the visit and debrief afterward rather than say she couldn't go on a field trip (that or take the day off work and have a super fun day of cutting school!). .

As to going out and letting her eat others' food - she doesn't know what the food is yet and I'm not anti-animal foods on health grounds, so I don't know what the harm really is to her future veganism or to the animals (she's not eating so much she's driving these other people's food purchase choices). If I'm around non-vegans I do ask them not to give the kid non-vegan foods (if they have it out and it's obvious she's going to go for it) and people have always asked me first if they can give her stuff and been respectful when I say no. The only person who routinely F's this up is my mother who can't read labels.

More ETA: Mr. A and I just had this conversation the other day. He said, "Should I be as quick to snatch NV food from her as I am to make sure she doesn't eat something non-edible? Because I'm not."

Tofulish, that other annoying place just opened a homeopathy conversation - it was like on cue!


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:02 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
I've answered invites like that with a simple, "our family doesn't do that." There's lots of stuff our family does/doesn't do (which I'm sure is true for every family), so it doesn't seem like that big a deal to decline.


This is how I handle most situations where things could be problematic. On the vegan issue I really haven't had an issue with outside food since Guineapiglet's preschool has a vegan menu and right now I'm bringing her lunches in until she graduates to the next classroom next month then I won't have to anymore (thank goodness! one less thing to pack in the morning). Our biggest issue has been sweets. I was raised that you don't give sweets and desserts to kids and so that is my normal, that is not other peoples normal and so, for us, that is problematic and we don't go to a particular play group because they always serve cookies and cakes to the babies and toddlers.

For me veganism is about much more than food, it's part of my morals and ethics and just as with anything else I will raise my kids within that value system. For me not letting her eat a slice of pizza with cow's milk cheese on it is no different than not letting her eat a slice of cake or drinking soda when it comes to the food side of things. It's just part of our families boundaries of things we do and don't eat. No different than any other family or cultural or belief system that excludes particular foods from their diet. For us it's not policing or restrictive just part of the dynamics of our family.

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