Saturday, 24 November 2012

Photos or no photos?

It's a hard decision for me as to if to post photos of our family on this blog, and on the internet in particular. It's something I think about a lot, but it's hard to decide.

I have erred on the side of 'no', since I'm not really comfortable with the idea of Chubs' image being freely available to anyone who has an internet connection. I'm also concerned about privacy. I wouldn't like someone to be able to know where we lived, or what our names were, or other identifing details. However, we are finding this increasingly hard to actually carry out.

I don't mind putting photos of Chubs up on Facebook - indeed I like it. All of my privacy settings are locked down, so only friends can see. However, it's not a simple as this. If anyone else is tagged in a photo, then all of their friends can see that photo. Chubs is in both my cover photo and my profile picture; and both of these are public. Where to draw the line? Allow photos of her, but not if anyone else is tagged? What about when friends put up photos of her, and their friends can see her? What if their privacy settings aren't as tight as mine?

There are more 'leaks' in the plan when it comes to interacting on Facebook. Because Chubs is in my profile pic, then her photo is available to anyone who looks at any other page that I have posted on. The simple solution to that is to not have her in my profile picture; but I like it. I have to decide if the privacy benefits justified the locked-down-ness.

There are more and more opportunities for Chubs' photo to be 'out there' - and out of my control. I could stop this, but I need to decide if it is worth avoiding opportunities for her because I'm precious about her photo. We had an absolutely beautiful photo taken of Chubs having a breastfeed, and I submitted it to a breastfeeeding calendar for consideration. I ummed and ahhhed for a long time - I didn't want the image to be out of my control (or that of those who I trust) and freely available, but it was a bea-utiful photo. I didn't want to let my fears overtake a wonderful opportunity for her.

What about daycare photos? They got individual shots and a group shot. The group shot included identifing information - Chub's first and surnames, her photo, and the name and photo of the centre that she attended, even which room she was in. Should I not have given permission for her to be in the photo? Like every parenting decision, it's a balance.

What about modelling? We said no to a modelling opportunity when Chubs was tiny, firstly because of the photo issue, and secondly because it was linked to modelling contracts with a modelling agency, and we weren't comfortable with agreeing to everything that they wanted, and the messages that we though that would send. However, another opportunity has come up. This time it is for a friend's business. I trust this friend, there is more control, there's less image/ modelling agency issues and I can't wait to see the cute photos that we will get of Chubs! I'm still not totally comfortable with her photos being available, but I don't think that it's worth missing the opportunity.

It's also important to remember that anyone can take photos of Chubs when we are out in public. I might not like it, but they can do it. Should I not let her go to birthday parties in case another parent snaps her in a pic with his child? Should I not take her to the park in case the same thing happens there? What about shopping centres? Yes, I worry about the privacy issues of her name potentially being linked with her address, date of birth or other identifing information. If someone was super computer savvy they could probably do this now; but someone could also follow us home from the shops, or steal my handbag, or break into the doctor's rooms and steal her file. Do these present a great risk?

So, what to do? I'm still not totally sure, but then a lot of parenting decisions are like that. I consented to daycare photos, I let other friends put up photos of her on Facebook and I said yes to the modelling for my friend's business. I will continue to keep Chubs off the blog and forums, since they are more public. I know it's not a perfect plan, but they rarely happen.

What about you? How do you approach photos of you child?

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Slap

The Slap is a book by Christos Tsiolkas, and I have recently been rewatching the TV adapation on ABC1, and to be honest I'm not really sure what I think of it. I've got lots of thoughta and ideas an questions but certainly not a coherent viewpoint (or blog post - sorry).

The scenario is a barbeque with family and friends for Hector's 40th birthday party. A small child, Hugo, has poor behaviour. Everyone else at the party has a lot of issues, and the tension grows as the afternoon unfolds. The end result is that Hugo is slapped in the face by another party guest.

The show (and the book) is told in eight parts, from the point of view of eight characters. I don't want to go into a total recap, but if you're in Australia you can view them on iView.

I wanted to blog about this, but as I said above it's all a bit confusing to me and isn't very clear in my mind. A few thoughts about Rosie:

I can't really understand her. What are her motivations? Why does she does what she does?

After Hugo is slapped, she snatches him up and then shouts at Harry, the man who slapped Hugo. In a later episode, Harry comes to Rosie's house to apologise on the request of his wife. Rosie is furious at him. She appears to me to deliberately bait Harry - when he arrives she asks Hugo 'Do you remember this man Hugo?' I can't really articulate why this it bad, but it almost seems like Rosie is stirring up the situation to show Harry how bad it is (and therefore how bad he is, as the person who slapped Hugo), even if that means making things worse for Hugo. Hugo has been breastfeeding and is sitting Rosie's lap; as the apology meeting quickly spirals into disaster she shouts and swears at Harry across the table, and right into Hugo's ear. It seems strange to me that she would shout and swear in her son's face while trying to 'protect' him.

She does seem genuienly concerned for Hugo sometimes - when she sees that the pot is on the stove when visiting Rachael she knows that something bad has likely happened. She sets Hugo up at the table with a drawing to keep him busy, so that he doesn't see anything bad.

She seems obsessed, fixated on the court case - selfishly. For Rosie the court case and Harry's punishment become the enemy to pursue with a determination, passion and selfish fanatiscism. She tries to turn every conversation back to her and the court case. When she is shown support and friendship she snaps 'will you stop saying that?' because she didn't get her own way at the court case - much like a tantruming child.

Rosie seems to have many demons, but I can't seem to see through them. What are her motivations? Does she love Hugo because she loves him, or does she love him because she is pouring all of her emptiness and disappointments into being - or appearing - to be 'a good mother'. As Rachael says, 'at least Hugo will know that he was loved.' I can't help but wonder, is it all an act? If not all of it, then at least some of it?

Apparantly there is more information in the book; flashbacks to Rosie's childhood (I've not read the book). Perhaps this would make her easier to understand.

For all of her breastfeeding and talking about baby led weaning, I certainly don't think that Rosie is attachment parenting. AP is about being close to your child, intimatly knowing them and responding to their needs and that isn't what Rosie seems to be doing to me. Hugo is crying out for discipline, structure and consistency and that's not what he's getting, because Rosie is so blinded by her issues (manifesting as her persuit of Harry) that she can't see that he needs it; or if she can she doesn't have the strength to look for it.

I wanted to like her, I really, really did, but I just can't.

I've not seen any more; I missed the last episodes when it was last on. I will watch with reserved - interest. I'm still not sure if I'm liking it. It's uncomfortable viewing for sure - the tension is hard to watch. The acting is excellent.

There's another post in this where I want to discuss the breastfeeding, but that is for another day.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Baby bag tip

Today's tip is a Works For Me Wednesday one; that is, it works for us. The tip is to have two baby bags - one for daycare and one for home. Well, not exactly 'home', but one bag for when Chubs is out with us, and one for daycare.

I know that some people have one nappy bag for all the time - I know this because I see them in the lockers at daycare. For us, however, it works much better to have two.

There are several reasons for this. The daycare bag is filled with different things - pretty much just lots of nappies, a lunch box full of food and spare clothes.

The nappy bag for us, however, looks very different. We usually only go out for a few hours at a time and then come home, so I don't need a whole day's worth of nappies. I use small wet bag(s) which can fit one or two nappies, whereas I send larger ones to daycare which can hold five or six. Wipes are provided at daycare but not anywhere else so they are in the nappy bag; I also have books and toys, snacks, paracetemol and a comb. There's a change of cloths and a cardi in there too, and a change mat.

When Chubs was a newborn I found it easiest to repack the nappy bag at night so we were good to go in the morning. At some stage though (I'm not really sure when - perhaps when I went back to work?) I started to just repack in the morning - toss in two nappies, two wetbags and a snack and we're done. I try to keep an eye on when the wipes need replacing. I keep spares of everything in the car, too, in case I do forget anything.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Daycare packing list for toddler

One of my more frequent Google search term hits is 'daycare packing list', so I assume that this is something that people are looking for! The list has changed a bit as Chubs has grown - here's the list when she first started daycare at eight months, and another at 11 months.  
Having this list is very important to low stress mornings. I don't like to be rushed in the morning -it creates a set up for a bad day. Lunches are done the night before and all her clothes to wear for the week are set out on the weekend. Because we have this structure, I know that things will still happen as they should if I'm brain dead - like I am most mornings. We also leave with plenty of time so that if something does go wrong, there is wiggle room.
The biggest difference with the current lists (18 months) is that I no longer need to pump at work - woooooooohooooooooooo!!!! Not pumping at work (but still breastfeeding) is the best of both worlds - a million times easier for me during the day, but still all the nutritional, comfort and immune benefits for Chubs. With all the daycare germs that float around, she needs all the antibodies that she can get! This is perhaps one of the best things about breastfeeding a toddler - most of the hard work has been done already. For a while I was still sending a bottle of soy milk (since she won't drink cows' milk) but when Chubs stopped drinking that I stopped sending it :). Chubs used to eat breakfast at daycare but now she has that at home so I don't send it. 
Our daycare centre doesn't provide nappies (diapers) or most food. (They do provide fruit at morning tea.) Most of the parents send in a box of disposable nappies at a time so they don't need to be packed each day, but since we use cloth that doesn't apply to us.

Night before jobs

- Chubs' lunch. Usually a selection of - sandwich, cut up apple, baked beans, sultanas and corn puffs, blueberries, yoghurt, crackers and cheese

- Mummy lunch

Chubs' daycare bag
Night before

- Sheet bag – top sheet, bottom sheet, bunny rug, cuddle blankie. Goes on Tuesday, comes home on Friday and usually gets washed on the weekend. Chubs has a cuddle blankie which is just for daycare, so it stays in the bag.

- Drawstring with nappies and wetbag. I usually send Tuesday and Wednesday's nappies in on Tuesday, and then send more on Friday. I count for six per day )plus one wetbag per day) but she often doesn't use them

 - Spare clothes - Chubs often uses these so I send two sets. Usually a pair of shorts and a pair of leggings so that there is a choice for the carers depending on the weather, plus two shirts and a jumper. These only need repacking if they have been used. Having two sets also buys me some forgetting-wiggle-room.

- 3 disposable nappies - spares in the bottom of her bag in case she runs out of cloth. Wosrt case scenario, they have spare nappies at daycare so she wouldn't need to go bare.

Morning of- Lunchbox

Mummy work gear
Night before
- Lunchbox
- Book bag
- Anything else?

Morning of- Computer
- Keys + nametag
- Lunchbox
- Anything else?

Monday, 5 November 2012

Kilo of kindness 16 - 21

MamaBear3 has been sharing the love far and wide! She takes 16 - 21.

I have a few, i'm always helping others
*Donated my eggs to someone i didnt know,just wanted to help
*On donated the left over embryo's to help another couple
*called another mum aside in the SCN who was being treated unfairly and gave her the info and courage to call the patient rep.
*Drove an old lady home once-she had come to get her hair set and it started raining. I'll never forget how happy she was and made a big fuss,but to me it wasn't anything.
*fostered a pregnant dog,through a charity, which had 8 puppies then looked after them till they were 5 weeks old.The kids loved it!
*visited my mums friends son,who was in hospital everyday for 7 mths. He didnt have many friends and was 17. I used to read his food chart and surprise him with take away if i saw it was horrid.

Keep the acts of kindness give or recieved coming in in the comment!

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