I’d like to introduce you to my new nursling…
Yeah, it felt a little silly, but my son insisted. And so goes life with a toddler…
18 months tomorrow! WOO!
Go (.)(.) !!
Yesterday’s Major Mom Fail:
About 10 seconds after I heard my son run down the hall toward his very baby-proofed playroom, I turned to go find him (because I never, ever leave him alone. Not for a minute.)
I was heading down the hallway when I heard a thump behind me, in the kitchen. I thought my husband had come into the house.
I turned to see my son, sitting on the kitchen floor. How did he get over there? I swear toddlers have some kind of magic…
Then I noticed the spray bottle of bug spray. In his hands. Pointed toward his face.
His little face, with tiny droplets on it.
My heart stopped. For a minute, I thought I might throw up.
He looked at me, wide-eyed, surprised. But he did not cry.
He switched gears, smiled, got up and ran past me down to his playroom, and I ran after him, grabbing a towel along the way to clean him up.
Reason #45789203 to go a little greener: Orange Guard Home Pest Control, kills pests on contact with orange peel extract in a water-based formula that is safe for use around food, humans and pets.*
I was horrified that my son had gotten past me, and that I allowed it to happen. I felt like the worst mother in the world, and I’m still beating myself up for it. But, I gotta say, I’m pretty freakin’ proud of myself for making sure the product in that bottle wasn’t toxic. Because toddlers really do have a certain sneaky mischief magic, and accidents happen.
Even so, I’ll be hovering a little more from now on.
If I had three wishes, one of them would be the eradication of plastic from my home.
(I have no idea what the other 2 would be. It kind of stresses me out to even think about it…)
But, of course, I do not have three wishes, and I have found over the past years that even though I make every effort to NOT buy or use plastic, it’s just plain HARD to get rid of it all!
I’ve gotten rid of plastic bottles, I’ve started using stainless steel straws, I’ve switched out all of our containers to glass. But so many things come wrapped in it, or clamshelled up in it, and some things aren’t available in any option other than plastic.
…and then there’s the kid stuff. Namely, toys.
I scour the web looking for the best deals on cute, educational, eco-friendly, non-toxic toys, and I find a lot. There’s a great selection out there, but it’s really, really hard to convince everyone else to do the same. People just want to go to Wal-Mart or Target and buy something. And 99% of the time, there’s nothing but plastic to buy.
My mom and dad have been doing a great job of finding toys at yard sales. My mom is pretty discerning, and has an eagle eye for great finds, so I trust her to pick things out. I’ve bent the rules on yard sale finds, because I like the thought of reusing toys and not buying new. I also like that these toys were made a long time ago, many of them NOT in China, and much of what might be toxic has already off-gassed (on some other kid, unfortunately. )
Here’s an example. Some non-PVC Little People made in Mexico in 1991. Perfect? No. But in my opinion, much better than China circa 2007 or 8.
So, yes. I’ve been flexible on the plastic. (Does that sound punny?) Some days, it’s just too hard to try to micromanage every little thing. But the one thing that is not up for debate is our collection of eating utensils and anything that touches our food (especially my son’s food, and especially when it’s warm or hot.) We work hard to eliminate toxic, unnatural substances from our diets, so it only makes sense to NOT put them back in by exposing our foods to plastic. (Confession: We do switch back and forth from a wooden high chair to a plastic one from a yard sale. Eco-friendly repurposing or hypocrisy? I’m not sure…)
The only problem with that is figuring out what to serve my son’s food in. Glass? Heavy and breakable. Ceramic? Ditto. Metal? Ok, but sometimes expensive, hard to find and not that cute. I will admit that I sometimes look longingly at the cute, colorful plasticware on the store shelves (and then I snap out of it real quick, but you get the idea…)
So, what’s the answer? Check this out: I found tableware made of CORN!
Dandelion ReUsables are made from cornstarch, which is renewable and sustainable, using far fewer greenhouse gasses in its production than conventional petroleum-based plastics. They are free of Bisphenol A, PVC and Phthalates, and the packaging is even made from 100% recycled paperboard.
So we decided to give Dandelion a try.
On top of being a bright, sunny yellow that is sure to catch a toddler’s attention, all the cornstarch-based Dandelion products we tried were very lightweight and easy to handle. The plates are deep enough to hold foods in nicely – even salsa, which my son is very into for dipping right now. The forks are not sharp at all, but he still had no trouble stabbing food and feeding himself.
We’ve also used these with pasta sauce, and nothing has stained yet…which is really nice. Because that’s gross.
Bonus: they’re really affordable at around $8 for two bowls, two plates OR 8 utensils.
Well, it’s hard to find cons with a simple plate or spoon, but I guess I should point out that these are not microwave or dishwasher safe. But, I don’t have a dishwasher, so it’s not an issue here. And I am trying to limit microwave use anyway, so I kind of like how using these plates serves as a (sort of) reminder…
So, folks, I think we have a winner here. Can you tell?
And another…just for fun…
Interested in learning more about Dandelion ReUsables, or purchasing your own? Visit the Toddler Feeding section of Dandelion’s website. The Dandelion Foundation will contribute a portion of the proceed from your purchase to support organizations providing food to Americans living with hunger.
While you’re there, make sure to check out their bamboo plush, supercute crocheted rattles, and more!
Hi, friends! This post is my contribution to Week 5 of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop, hosted by Life With Levi (@LifeWithLevi.) When you’re done reading, please visit the rest of the blogs on the link list and share the BF love! I can’t host the linky myself for technical reasons, but you can find it, along with the instructions for the hop, by clicking on the button here:
So there I was, in the mall on a snowy day in January, with a rambunctious 14-month-old who would not hold my hand or allow me to carry him. He wanted to run, and he let me know it. Rather than completely “abort mission,” I called my husband to come pick him up so I could finish my errands.
“I’ll be there in a half an hour.”
I figured I could kill that much time, but I was exhausted, and my son was getting hungry. Then, he pinched my nose – a sure sign he wanted to nurse. Now.
So, the answer was obvious. Just sit down and nurse him, right? It would give me the chance to sit and relax, while reigning in the hungry monster and undoubtedly replacing his defiant mood with a much happier one. (I’m always amazed at the magical effects a few minutes at the breast can have.)
Except that our mall doesn’t have a nursing room, and I haven’t nursed in public in a loooong time. It just doesn’t come up that often for us anymore, and this is no docile, cooing infant.
I’m now nursing a toddler, which is a whole different ballgame.
Because a toddler doesn’t just lay there in your lap and nurse like an infant does. Not in my experience, anyway. My son can start out being cradled in my arms, then turn in the complete opposite direction, get down off my lap, stand on the floor, grab a toy, and crawl back up on me, all without unlatching! And he does it often.
He also has a tendency to get my milk to let down, and then unlatch to yell “Dada!” or grab a cracker, leaving me spraying the room.
Or, he twiddles, or pats my breast, which he insists be bare. The very idea of a nursing cover is downright laughable at this point. When I nursed him as an infant, nobody even knew. But things are much different now….
None of this bodes well for a “discreet” nursing-in-public experience. But the question I asked myself that day myself was, why do I even feel like I need to be discreet?
It’s no secret that many people have a problem with women nursing in public. I see it on the social media sites I frequent, I hear it in the news, I feel it out in public. I experience it firsthand from people who know me personally and tell me that nursing my son is “disgusting.” (Notice I don’t refer to them as my friends.) When people aren’t telling you it’s downright weird to nurse your child, they’re usually telling you that they don’t mind what you do, as long as you’re discreet.
…as if giving you their conditional permission.
First off, “discreet” is a totally relative term, and frankly, I have to look at offensive indiscretions all the time (Hello butt-crack dude, I’m talking to you!) In my opinion, a statement like the one above does nothing but negate itself and cause nursing moms to know, without a doubt, that they are being judged.
Plus, I’ve noticed a huge change in public perception since I’ve been nursing a toddler.
Some many people get more than rude when they find out you’re nursing a child over a few months old. I guess maybe it comes down to the inability to separate the sexual breast from the nourishing breast, but they think it’s just downright WRONG, and they are not afraid to speak their minds.
Now, I’m not a timid person, and I’m known to speak my mind when I don’t agree with the masses, which is often. But when it came time to nurse my son in public because he was acting out and obviously hungry, I couldn’t help but think about the anti-BFing hatred I’ve seen spewed on Twitter, and those moms I see in the news who are thrown out of public places for nursing. I will freely admit that there was a part of me that felt intimidated and scared without the safety of my home around me. But then I thought of the many other groups who feel that way when they leave the house, those who are told, “I don’t care what you do in the privacy of your home, as long as nobody has to see it …” as if that remotely resembles acceptance.
….the same-sex couples who fear holding hands in public
…the interracial couples who have to stand up to disapproving glares in public
…those who do not fit traditional dichotomous gender roles who have to put on an armor of defenses just to step out into public
…It even reminded me of the young boy from my local area who recently walked 11 miles in the rain, and stepped out in front of a truck to end his life because he was sick of being scared and bullied every day.
Because that’s exactly what it is when you infringe upon someone’s legal rights, and belittle them or attack them or harass them because what they’re doing doesn’t fit your personal idea of what “should” be. It’s bullying. And it’s wrong.
Let me be clear before you think I’m the most dramatic woman on the planet: I wasn’t terrified of nursing my boy in public. It just really, really bothered me that such a simple thing made me so uneasy, and stirred up so much emotion in me. It bothered me that our culture, as a whole, has made the climate such that I had to even think twice about meeting my son’s needs. So, when I was faced with the question – To NIP or not to NIP – I thought about the kind of person I want my son to see when he looks at his mother. So I found a bench, and I put my walking, talking, mouth-full-of-teeth, “old enough to ask for it” toddler son to my breast, and I did it for everyone who ever felt singled out, discriminated against, judged, or harassed. I did it for the one young mama-to-be who might walk by and feel inspired. I did it for the children who need to see breastfeeding mothers in the mall more than they need to see 10-ft. Victoria’s Secret posters.
I did it for my son’s sons and daughters.
And I’ll do it again.
Thanks for sticking it out through my novel-length post. Have you ever nursed a toddler in public? I’d love to hear about it!