Archives for July 2006

Hot Weather Resolutions

We just had a major warm snap in our neck of the woods.  Living in a temperate rain forest, we generally don’t have the same temperature extremes that the rest of Canada experiences.  However, we just had 4 days in a row where the temperature was over 30 degrees by noon.

These heat waves always elicit the same response from the masses without air conditioning, like ourselves.  “Next year, for sure, we’re getting something put in.  This is the last year I’m suffering through the heat.  I’m putting my foot down!”  We make grand pronouncements, we price out our options, and then come September it’s forgotten.  Until the next heat wave hits, when we make another grand pronouncement about ‘next year.’ 😉

Child-Unfriendly

I was listening to the radio this morning, and they mentioned something about high chairs and booster seats being removed from the downtown location of a prominent restaurant chain.  The message being, “Kids are not wanted here.”  The restaurant chain itself isn’t particularly child or family oriented, but it’s also not extremely high-brow, nor is it a pub or sports bar.

Children don’t belong everywhere.  There are many activities and locations that are effectively (if not officially) adult-only, like bars and rock concerts.  And, even in places where children are welcome, parents ought to keep an eye on them, to ensure that they don’t get hurt, damage property, or injure others.

However, I think that a lot of people just don’t want to see, or more particularly, hear children.  They feel that they should be able to take a flight, go out to eat, attend church, and buy groceries without being subjected to mess and noise.  But is this really reasonable?  Is it really OK to say that children, and their parents, are not welcome in larger society?  Is it OK for businesses and community groups to establish themselves as pristine, adult-only enclaves, simply because they would rather not deal with children?  Absolutely not.

Sure, nobody wants to hear a baby cry, or clean up some kid’s mess.  And believe me when I say, nobody is more unhappy when my kid freaks out in front of others than I am.  Nobody is more embarassed, or upset, when she makes a mess on a restaurant floor.  Nobody, but nobody, is more anxious about how she will behave on an airplane.  But sometimes it’s to no avail, and babies cry.  Sometimes kids are too fast for their parents, and knock things over.  Sometimes, parents need to buy groceries, and the kids are cranky.  That’s life, and if you don’t like it, you need to get over it.  Really.

I think that it’s ridiculous that, as a culture, we feel that we need to be somehow isolated from the youngest portion of our society.  We do not have the right to exclude others on the basis of our own comfort and convenience.  We are not more important, and our rights are not more legitimate, because we are older.  Children (and parents) need the support of their broader society.  It does take a village to raise a child, and sometimes that means that you will be dealing with someone else’s mess.  By exercising patience and offering a helping hand, you are building good karma in the same way that you would if you do anything kind for another human being.  Would you be impatient with someone in a wheelchair accidentally knocked over a stack of magazines?  What’s the difference when a 2-year-old does it?  In many ways, toddlers have less control over their own actions than mobility-limited adults.

As for the restaurant chain, I imagine that their suburban locations will be negatively impacted by the decision of this one location.  After all, the one thing we families have going for us is our spending power.  If we parents are cash-strapped, it’s because we’re spending so much money on our kids, not because we’re sitting at home and pinching our pennies.  A smarter business would want to attract that money.

Still Breastfeeding?

I’m still breastfeeding my 17-month-old toddler. I’m doing this for a number of reasons.  Many medical bodies, such as the Canadian Pediatric Society and the World Health Organization, recommend breastfeeding to age two and beyond.  Hannah still gets a significant portion of her nutrition from breastmilk.  And, it helps to protect her against all the germs that she’s exposed to at daycare.

At this point, I think we both still gain a lot from our nursing relationship.  Since Hannah was a preemie learning to breastfeed was a real struggle for us, and we’re not going to give it up anytime soon. 😉

Somebody’s Getting Married!

James&Sara

It happened last week in Anaheim on a trip to Disneyland. Brother James had bought the ring, snuck it past an enquiring customs officer, and set the stage at a nice restaurant with a table for two. Luckily for him (and for us), Sara said yes. The news waitied until they got back from California. All of us in the Strocel Family are so excited for both of them. Congratulations!

Little Climber

Look what someone learned how to do today. I was only gone for the afternoon, and look what happens 🙂

Web Designer

So, here’s what we’ve been up to for the past few days.  We’ll probably hire someone to do a professional website, but for now at least something is up there. 🙂

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