Friday, May 29, 2009

Blog Bickering

I predict I'm going to cop a bit of abuse for this one, but I'm doing it anyway because...

A.) This is my blog and I can say what I like (insert 4 year old child symbol with hands on hips and tongue poking out)

B.) I've had a grumpy week so why not end it on a grumpy note?

C.) I *think* some of my lovely readers might just agree with me. I hope so anyway.

Ok so some of you might remember THIS post of mine a while back? Where I mentioned buying a little backpack harness for my sweet Tinker. Well I ended up buying the Panda. Tinker absolutely loves her "Pahndah" and it means that shopping with her is no longer a battle. Strapping her into a pram meant she would sob hysterically begging me to let her walk. Unfortunately she refuses to hold my hand for more than 30 seconds so letting her walk basically means letting her run in front of cars. So not going to happen.

With her little Panda on she can toddle beside me and touch things, pick up leaves, pat the dogs as we walk them to the park. You get the picture. I hold the end of the Panda's tail and she toddles in front. No dramas, no tears, only little chuckles as she trots along enjoying our walks.

Recently I read an article written by Wil Anderson, published in the Sunday paper and HERE on his blog. It really upset me so I decided last night to shoot him an email. I'm not normally one for wasting my time with such bickering but having been one of "those" people mouthing off about parenting before I actually had my daughter, I thought I should give Wil the benefit of the doubt and offer him the chance of enlightenment.

Here is a paragraph taken from his article:

I mean what is next? A collar with a bell and their phone number on it? Or why stop there, if you are that worried about them going missing take them down to the local vet and get them microchipped.

I’m sorry, but every time I see this it makes me feel uncomfortable. Surely a child is not a dog, despite how tempting it must be when they go to the toilet on the carpet to grab them and rub their nose in it.

So for me, the leash is one step too far.

How are you going to exercise your child, take them down to the park, throw a stick and get them to fetch? (Or will they be too busy sniffing the other kids’ bums?)

Then it’s only a small step to tie them to a pole out of the front of the shops while you duck in to grab the newspaper, and when they are crying too loud just put them in the backyard with a squeaky toy and a bone.

Again, I stress that I am not a parent, but I hope that if I am lucky enough to be one I will teach my kid boundaries and not just tie them to a rope and five them a three-metre radius.

I mean if you are that worried about letting them out of your sight then why stop at the leash, why bother even cutting the umbilical cord in the first place?

Then they will never get too far away, and for fun you can bounce them up and down like a yo-yo.

In fact while I am on a roll, maybe it is time we considered bringing in a parenthood test before we let people breed.

Here is a copy of the email I sent him:

Hi Wil, I like your blog and I really enjoy your column in the paper.
Your piece about "baby leashes" really irked me.
I thought I might invite you to spend some time walking with me and my toddler. I'd like to see how you manage without the "leash". Seriously.
I live in (my suburb) Sydney and my daughter is 17 months old. See attached. Really cute, really sweet but full of beans.
She won't hold my hand for more than a minute. She will throw herself on the floor and scream hysterically and then sob for 15 minutes if I do not allow her to walk.
So I let her walk and she runs off. She is too young to be trusted to walk on her own, she will run in front of cars. The "leash" is the only answer. This is her "leash" it is a backpack one:

Let me know if you are up for the challenge. It might be funny.

He replied this morning and this is what he said:

hey carolyn,yeah that column has certainly divided people. and certainly i have had some negative feedback (admittedly only from people who use them, but they- like you- have explained their reasons why).all that said, i must admit that my position remains pretty much the same. i acknowledged in the original column that i am not a parent i think it's fair that we all have the right to have our opinions. it doesn't make your decision wrong, but it's also okay for me not to dig it. and i don't dig it.all the best,wil

So what do you my lovely readers think? What should I have sent in reply? This is a copy of my reply:

Fair enough Wil. It was just pretty harsh, what you said about needing a license to parent. I certainly know all about bad parents having been a Children's Court lawyer...I'd love to hear your suggestions though, an alternative? Perhaps the prison on wheels- The pram?Strapped into a pram, my sweet little Tinker will sob hysterically. She misses out on touching leaves, picking up sticks, running up to our dogs and generally toddling about. It seems such a cruel thing to do, but perhaps more palatable for the nonparent to see a hysterical child in a pram than a happy one in the backpack harness.Carolyn


  1. I reckon you should challenge him to a boxing match and kick his comedic ass.

    Then as punishment for losing you should leash him up and go the shops...

  2. hun i think the fact that he says 'i am not a parent' sums it up - it's all well and good to have these 'perfect' ideals of how you will parent and how things work when you're NOT living it on a day to day basis - i have the wrist straps for my girls (they would be the leashes he was referring to) and i freely admit BEFORE any of our friends/ourselves had children NONE of us would use them.

    what do you know - first friend has a bolter, she used one, second friend her second daughter is a bolter so she has one - i used them twice on lily (a bolter - for a chubby kid she gets some speed up LOL) and then she realised holding hands is far nicer.

    ahhhh the joys of the perfect parent brigade or those that don't even have a child yet.

  3. I would like to see Will Anderson keeping up with a rambunctious 2 year old especially having an artifical foot and all. I have friends that have those cute backpack leashes and are forever explaining the reason for them as far as I am concerned it is not necessary.You would think that Mum's already have enough to feel guilty about and the first priorty is keeping their child safe. I have a friend that is 8 and half months pregnant with a 2 year old no leash and has to carry her in her condition. I think a leash is a marvellous invention now they are so cute and at the end of the day the child is happy so why should it bother anyone else.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I love how people who have no experience in parenting have such strong opinions. Clearly it makes more sense to let our toddlers run free. Who cares about cars. Why is it so terrible to put one of these back packs on our toddlers but no one makes a fuss over play pens? I'm sure those could be viewed as a cage? What about safety gates? We use those for our pets too. As far as the back packs.... so what if it's like a leash. It's used to "Safely" give your child the feeling of independence. Ewww.. That guy has no clue!!

  6. See that is the thing we don't want to have to put a leash on our children we are trying to protect them from themselves as best we can.
    I am currently having a running debate with a 12 year old who thinks it is cruel to have a backpack with a leash on his litle brother.

    I would rather have a few months of nasty looks from other people about my toddler being tethered than make leaving the house a nightmare or worse still have a squished child on my hands.

    Big raspberries to Wil.

  7. Yep! I often say to my Tinker, ok we have to hold hands and stay next to each other otherwise we culd get hurt by the cars. Still holding onto the panda tail. Not knowing I have the tail, she bolts. Rich after nodding and saying "okay" when I tell her what we have to do. So his idea of "teaching my kid boundaries" doesn't work on a baby. 17 months old and very clever but still, telling her that if she bolts again we are going straight home, doesn't teach her anything because she just says ok. And we go home. And she bolts again and again. She is only a little one, it takes time to learn boundaries. IN the mean time I do not want her to be run over or strapped into the pram if she is unhappy there.

  8. I am a mother of a very busy 2 yr old boy and I understand the need for a harness for some parents.
    I myself have decided not to use one as I really dont like to. Its all relative really.
    Parenting styles is one of those hot topics at a dinner table that is up there with politics,sex,religion,money.....Everyone will have an opinion, whether they are a parent or not is beside the point, what we miss in that argument is that we have ALL been CHILDREN.

    I feel this alone gives any person a right to comment. My mother had me in a harness and I hated it! Hence my decision not to use one.
    I have worked with my child and managed to teach him about saftey and holding hands etc, mostly through storytelling using puppets and by example. This has worked for me.
    What works for one child doesnt always work for another.

    I applaude you for speaking out about your decision to use a harness and I agree that Will was harsh in his wording about 'Licence" to be a parent, but that is the way he communicates. SHOCK will sell...

    Ps...I love your blog and follow it often.

  9. I still reckon you should challenge him - just to see what he says.

  10. Carolyn I think you were far too nice. Wil Anderson is a twat.

    I think you should do a post on bogan names and spelling. Surely Wil (with one L) has to make a mention in your list.

    Afterall, it's just your opinion and it's ok for you not to dig it ;)

  11. Nice reply (yours I mean!)

    I am probably toward the "attachment" end of the parenting spectrum and in my pre-baby days thought the backpack leashes were pretty wrong.

    Cue the Diva turning 17 months and - we have a monkey on our back! She thinks its the best thing ever and I can let her walk next to the "prison on wheels" without worrying she will be mowed down by a shopping trolley or older person in a gopher.

    boo hiss to Wil. He's entitled to his opinion but I am entitled to belittle him for it.

  12. *Applause* What a narrow minded moron! I think your note to him was well intended and very polite. His response however... not so much. You Go Girl!

  13. Some background on me: I'm not a parent however I am a full-time nanny for two boys, one 5 and one almost 2. Okay, so I just asked my friend who is sitting next to me how she feels about backpack harnesses for children and she said she doesn't like the idea at all. I think backpack harnesses could be seen as inhumane by people with little or no experience with toddlers who just want to be independent but definitely don't have the safety skills to do so. The 2 year-old I nanny for HATES holding my hand but is way too heavy for me to carry around. So anytime we go out in public there's this constant struggle between me trying to keep him out of trouble but still wanting him to be able to explore. I think he would LOVE using a backpack harness. Anyway, I love your blog!

  14. clearly he has no idea as he said himself that he's not a parent. so until he is, let's all just ignore his useless parenting 'advice'.

  15. I think you should only write what you know. I have a ten month old daughter, and I am learning so much about parenting, and can finally understand some of the comments my mommy friends have been making for years.

    I was never one to critize a mother for having a screaming child in a park or a mall, but I would think, "she's got her hands full with that one!" Now when I see a child fit happening, I think, "that poor woman."

    Sir, Until your living in the same style shoes as the people you critize, understand you'll have no idea what your talking about.

    I like your response to to him. The panda backpack is cute, kids like it, and they get to be independent, walking along side Mom. I am sure to probably have one in the future too.

    Amanda Jane

  16. Carolyn, you have thought of the most apt solution for Tinker and you. The back pack leaves Tinker to enjoy herself and you are happy knowing that you can keep her SAFE. Is that not what every parent wants for their kid?
    I thought your second reply was better. In your first, you were too kind to him.
    I wish it was around when my kid was that age. We had to forcefully carry her around. Again, the pram was not a solution and she outgrew the seat in the supermarket trolley in no time. If I had to go to the store, I would really be tense. I would just spend a lot of time looking for her and end up walking away without even buying anything. The backpack would have been a blessing!

  17. I'm a newbie to your blog. Lovely btw, funny, real and honest. This is all very interesting. I have 4, yep 4, and I have never used a back pack harness, not my thing. But I 100% understand and support those who do!!
    Non-parent Wil is being a tosser. Stick it to him I say! xox

  18. Before I had children, I was appalled by parents who had the gaul to leash their children like pets... then I had two rugrats of my own and I now have an understanding of the need for these products to exist. Some children are more strong willed than others. It does not mean one parent is better than another, it means one child is different than another. No right or wrong.

  19. he has no business talking about parenting when he isn't a parent. and if he doesn't like seeing children with "leashes", then he shouldn't look. One day this douchbag will be a parent and this will come back and bite him in the ass.

    My Luka has a Elmo backpack which makes all the difference in the world when it come to to shopping and the airport!!!!

  20. HEY, I never had any kids and I think that it is a very good, wise, practical, smart idea to use a harness! People who are intent on accusing of leading your child around like a dog are just uselessly judgmental intolerant people with no sense of perspective.

    If I had a kid, I would buy one of those harnesses and use it. Hey, I would even call it a leash!!!


  21. Good for you Carolyn for sticking up for yourself and your choices. Will Anderson sounds like the type of person who would complain about kids running around trashing cafe and shop shelves and cluck their tongues saying 'children should be restrained and controlled in public', so you are damned if do damned if you don't !!

    I have a 2 year old bolter also and although I have decided not to use a harness buddy, I just pick and choose where I take my 2 year old which is NEVER to the shops or a cafe as I have the lucky luxury of having 2 sets of very hands on grandparents and get set times each week for me time and to browse the shops, which is a luxury not a lot of parents have these days often having to live in another city to their relatives so have no choice but to take their toddler everywhere with them. Perhaps Will Anderson should consider that before he writes ill thought out articles on parenting when he is not on himself?

  22. I'm usually a fan of Wil's (although it seems I'm the exception here) but I do agree that he hasn't got a clue on this subject so shouldn't be commenting. I get the feeling he had to write an article, spotted a toddler with a harness on, and wrote his piece. And pure drivel it is.

    I don't use a harness on my toddler, but fortunately she's not completely against riding in the pram and isn't a bolter so I haven't felt the need. I'd definitely use one if her safety was an issue, no question about it.

    The Oracle - I also wanted to add that it isn't Wil Anderson with the artificial limb, that's Adam Hills & he's a top bloke. I do think your comment was a bit offensive.

  23. Oh so many fabulous comments! Thanks everyone. I agree, before mouthing off he should really have a go, that is why I offered him the chance to meet with me and meet my daughter. How cruel a life she would have if she were always trapped at home. How would she learn about the beautiful world she lives in? She hates the pram a lot of the time, she loves to walk and run. I have two very hands on parents who see her every day. IMagine their horror if I banished them to my house, never to proudly step outside with their only grandchild. How absurd. All children should be allowed to wak or run if they want. Just not in front of cars, crazy shopping trolleys etc. So for my daughter, the panda is the answer. She gets to walk to the playground with me, to the post box with our mail, to our car. Everywhere! I love it.
    I would welcome any advice, for those who are opposed to them. Please let me know how to reason with a little toddler?!

  24. I completely agree with you here but can't help feeling a bit sheepish at the same time. Before I had a baby I was full of very definite ideas about how things would be done in my house... Dummies? No way! TV on when the baby was in the room? Not on my watch! Disposable nappies? For shame you environmental terrorists! Oh the list goes on and on.

    In a few years time I am sure that Will will be trying to dig out your email address to find out where to buy a suitably cute animal leash for Mini Will.

  25. I like the reply, couldn't have put it better myself. As for the harness - should I get a dog or cat?

  26. The Oracle - I also wanted to add that it isn't Wil Anderson with the artificial limb, that's Adam Hills & he's a top bloke. I do think your comment was a bit offensive.

    I-mumma you are completly right it is Adam Hills I should research before mouthing off. My foot in mouth disease has progressed into the advanced stages today. I humbly apoligise.

  27. Fantastic response - he is such a dick.

    As he said "he is not a parent' I bet he is also one of those people who watch from a distance, tutting at a child throwing a tantrum. Especially I like his comment that if he is lucky enough to have children he will bring them up with BOUNDARIES.....isn't that why we are using harnesses, to give them a 1m radius (in other words) - a boundary!

    Good luck to you Will as you verbally harness your child.

  28. You know what, I have said this before and I will say it again... I would rather have my child on a 'leash' thank under a 4WD. I bought my son a monkey backpack like your Tinker's when I had my 2nd child. I found that picking him up from childcare with a baby in one hand, a bag or two in the other, left me no hands to even open the gates, let alone stop him from running into oncoming traffic. Which he has done a number of times. So bugger Wil, I bet he will change his tune when he has a kid. And if he is like my husband and protests about using a 'leash', I am sure Wil's partner will remind him that it is better to have a child restrained and happy than screaming in a pram or even worse disappearing or getting run over. Off my soapbox now. You did well with your emails.

  29. What a c***, I have sent him a scathing email as well. Don't think it will make much difference but worth a try! I didn't get on with reins (as well call them here) but I fully support anyone who does use them.

    He is obviously at the stage pre-parenthood where you just KNOW that your kids will be different to all the others. They will be well mannered, well behaved and need no enforced discipline because your way of parenting will produce perfect little indiviuals *cue all the people who are already parents laughing their heads off*

    Mel x

  30. For goodness sake! I think the whole notion of it being cruel to leash a child is ridiculous.It really has nothing to do with them being treated as's not like we tie the leash around their little necks do we?? It's political corrections gone way overboard. I was harnessed as a child and it hasn't affected me in the slightest. I have 4 children and have used an elastic wrist leash while I had a toddler with a newborn twice over. I got a few rude comments but chose to ignore them. Like you said we are keeping are kids safe. Their brains are not even developed enough to register the danger of being in a car park. Great blog. I love your sense of humour :)

  31. Well my mother had a child harness for me when I was younger too and I turned out just fine...the important part is your happy and tinker is happy.

    As for Wil...until you walk in the shoes...
    I'm not a parent either, but I understand the use of the is not to relate to dog leashes as it is not around the neck, it is a way to allow the child to be "independent" and feel as though they are a "big kid"...if they want to walk, why not let them?

    Obviously he has nails for brain and instead of standing up and proving(not) his opinion through trial and error (the Carolyn Challenge!) he would rather remain an idiot and in the dark...and I would have told him just that!

  32. Will Anderson is a really bad comic - too many lame jokes about boobs, if you ask me. He looks like he needs a good scrib. And he has no kids.

    LOVED both your emails too. Especially the last one - um, I'm sorry if my parenting decisions are making a total stranger uncomfortable. He's an idiot.

  33. Right on! As a mother of two, the so called "leash" seems pretty reasonable compared to being strapped down.

    I can't STAND when people go off on issues about parenting when they have never tried it. Such an idiot.

  34. He said he wasn't a parent.
    He doesn't know what he's talking about.
    I never used the 'leash' on my kids but if I needed to, I would have.
    Nothing wrong with it.
    He's just a dumb ass.

  35. Good for you! You keep on using your harness and feel just fine about it. I really have been considering investing in a few myself. My boys are almost 2 and it is so painful to take them into the store in the strollers these days because they want to get out. Could you imagine the reaction I would get from Will if he saw me with 3 little boys attached to their leashes. That's it I'm coming to Australia:-)


  36. I'm responding to his post too- I just had to!

  37. I have two boys but never used the 'leash'. However, when I was a little girl my mom did and I didn't mind it one bit. I would look up from the end of my harness and saw my mom so the world was ok :) And my name and address were written on the inside of the harness so if I got lost I could be helped home.

    I don't think it's bad or good to have a harness or 'leash', it just depends on the child and the parent. If something works for one parent it doesn't mean it will work for another, and it doesn't make it bad or good. Just different.

  38. i agree completely with you. i never thought that having kids on a leash was cruel, i just always thought it was cute (except for that one time that i saw a guy jerk his kid back like he was a dog). he should not be able to judge, because he is not a parent. maybe he should have kids and see how well they are at staying right with their mommies. i guarantee that he would end up changing his mind about the leashes.

  39. He doesn't have a child. He is without mother (or father )brain. He hasn't a clue what it is like to parent a toddler. Ignore his rants. I am all for the restraint method of caring for ones child. As well as threatening withholding chocolate. Totally disregard his parenting woes (or not, because he has no Parenting woes to speak of). He is a dumbasss plain and simple. Nuff said :) That's southern talk guys!

  40. First off let me tell you that I loved your response to Wil it was very respectable and well said.

    I would like to say that those who are calling Wil names are no better than he is.

    I don't personally believe in using a leash on a child. I think it's laziness (very well could be convenience) on the parents part. I am an only child and everything was always MY way, but my Mom taught me that there was an appropriate place and time to run around by myself and feel "independent". The store and sidewalks are not that place, either hold her hand or sit in the stroller(pram). So I had a choice, and something that made me feel like I was making my own decision.

    I do applaud those of your defending your choice to use the "leash", but you also have to respect those who choose not to. If you are going to call someone closed minded for not agreeing with its use they can call you closed minded for not agreeing with NOT using it.

    Ms. Carolyn I love reading your blogs. I don't have any children of my own (yet), and I am not ready for one at this time (even though I am already 25ish) in my life, but I do look here to see how you deal with situations. I love the way that you stick up for your decisions and love your nickname for your daughter "Tinker" I may have to borrow that name when one day I have my own ;)

  41. Yup. It's all very easy to use this kind of material for comedy - clearly knowing nothing about parenting himself. What a comic genius he sounds! I too need a "leash" for my 2 year old son, for the same reasons you mentioned (either hysteria in the stroller or me running after him like a mad person).

  42. Celia, you think it is "laziness or convenience on the parent's part" to use a harness do you?

    Tell me, how does your mother's approach work on a 1 year old toddler?

    I think you are totally out of line accusing me and other parents of laziness.

    I am the least lazy parent I know. I have an extremely hyper baby, strong willed but at the end of the day she is just a little bub. She isn't a 3 year old she is a little bub who just turned 17 months.

    I can attempt to "reason" with her all I like but at the end of the day she is a baby and she does not truly understand. She does not understand that one slip where she lets go and jolts in front of a car will be the end of her life. She just doesn't understand that. I can make her a book, a puppet show or even flash cards but she is just too young to truly comprehend the consequences.

    It is not laziness it is not convenience it is safety. Plain and simple. I love my daughter more than life itself and the thought of her being injured it too much for me to even contemplate and I find it really offensive that anyone could label me lazy in this regard.

    My mother told me of a friend who walked every day to the shops with her well behaved always obedient 3 year old. They always held hands, never a tantrum never a sulk. One day inside a store the little girl turned and ran and was hit by a car. She was brain damaged.

    In court the mother was told by the judge that it was her fault her little girl was brain damaged, that she should never have allowed her to run from the store.

    I can't begin to imagine what life is like for her now.

  43. accidents happen... leash or no leash.

  44. Celia, you don't have children. Enough said. You have no idea of what you will do until you have children. You have no idea what your future children will be like.
    Carolyn, I applaud you for having Tinker's safety in mind :o)

  45. first of all, i think he created this post purely for entertainment value - he wanted to get a rise and it undoubtedly worked as i am FUMING!

    my son, JT who is two, belongs to the elite circle shared by the most active children on earth. he has no "off" button and will go from sun up to sun up if allowed to do so. prams... definitely out. on a short stroll he might prove co-operative, certainly if he is tired, but he WANTS to be up and running as do i want this for him. i like for him to expend energy, get exercise and explore the world, learning as many new things as possible.

    JT is very well disciplined, if i tell him to stop... he stops, go works the same way. he's very intelligent, understands right from wrong and the consequences for said actions. that being said, HE IS TWO YEARS OLD! he is a toddler and will chase a dog, bird or leaf without hesitation. it is not a matter of discipline or right and wrong, to him it's a matter of fun, and where is the harm in chasing a bird - to him that is? he doesn't fully comprehend the dangers of bolting into the streets because all he sees is the pretty bird that he must touch (granted i would never let him touch random birds or dog, but that only helps to prove his level of comprehension).

    not to mention there are plenty of paces where a harness is more that appropriate, airports, amusement parks, etc etc etc.

    i am very active with my child so it certainly is not being lazy, i run and jump and roll and hop and skip and anything else he wants to do as his growth in all areas of life is my responsibility. i also believe it is my responsibility to discipline my child so that he grows up to be a responsible adult that includes being able to follow direction, listen to criticism and respect others. it certainly isn't convenience because it is just as much work trying to keep JT in line and from wandering, i just KNOW THAT HE IS SAFE.

    while i respect the opinion of those who find it inappropriate, they should also respect our right as parents to LOVE and CARE for our child's development and SAFETY. bottom line, if it doesn't work for you... fine. it is a blessing to me and millions of other mothers around the world. if we are all wrong... so be it, but i bet you none of our children will be hit by a car!

  46. Better on a leash than a milk carton.

  47. I think people need to step back at look at this for vanitie's sake...if you have a headstrong toddler that loves life do I:
    A. Avoid the ridicule or displeasure of others seeing my child on a "leash" ?.
    B. Avoid the chance of my child getting hurt/lost.
    Parents have to make these choices everyday.
    How can you ridicule someone for not wanting to take a chance with anothers life?

  48. First child - no leash

    Second child - considered leash

    Teenage years are around the corner....considering leash....

    Carolyn....Love you blog. Honest. Sarcastic. Witty. Everyone parent has an opinion about the harness, no two opinions will be completely identical. Adults without children? Get no opinion at all....on parenting issues.

    Coming to you from the States...California to be exact. So I have seen A LOT of the harnesses used and abused....Still if it makes your world easier, and everyone who reads your blog knows your world is all about what's best for your daughter, then kudos to you for standing up for your parental rights.

    And as for that dim wit Wil....have a child and then express your opinion...until then, your opinion doesn't count.

    Blog on, Carolyn.....We are waiting.....

  49. Wil Anderson is a twat. Parenting is such a hard thing to do without knobs like him judging people for their choices. There are a million different things that are right and wrong for each individaul child. Parents get enough guilt over their choices.

  50. There's never been a doubt in my mind as to whether I will purchase a little 'buddy' for Oscar when he is old enough to walk. I find it abhorent that parents who are considering their childs safety are been ridiculed for doing so.

    Carolyn, delete, delete, ignore, and continue being a great mum to your little Tinker xx

  51. Aaah. The old leash debate!

    Good on you for standing up for what you believe in.

    Personally, I'm not a leash person. I understand the need for them and the safety element... but they're not for me.

    I think you're a wonderful Mama. Tinker is happy. She loves her little buddy. What more could you want. xx

  52. I really enjoy reading this blog. Issues of child protection aside, it always amazes me that parenting can be so controversial - like there isn't enough self-imposed guilt as it is without pressure and criticism from the wider public. My parenting choices and skills (or lack thereof on any given day!) seem to be on display and open for judgement everytime I leave the house. Of course everybody is entitled to an opinion but I do tire of hearing them.
    Oh, by the way - there is a group who believe that harnessing children into a car seat is abusive. I mean, really?

  53. Carolyn,

    I did not mean to offend you in any way. My apologies. I think your Tinker is very happy with you and your raising her, and essentially that is all that matters.

    I have been a caregiver to many young children (cousins, so yes I cared about their safety and I loved them), even those with disabilities, so I know that I could control them with out using a child harness.

    My Mom simply spanked me if I would not listen. Typically it took only once, then I knew better. Of course she was criticized for that, but it worked.

    That is all I will say, since some of your other readers don't welcome opinions from the other side.