Thursday, May 29, 2008

Being the 4th baby

On Wednesdays we go to a little parent/child playgroup for an hour after we drop Cannon off at preschool. The group meets in a classroom in Cannon's school facility. Laine loves to go, calls it her music preschool. We've been going for most of the school year so the other parents have seen Sommer grow. Sommer is at the put-everything-I-can-in-my-mouth stage. Before she was born I was worried about this time of her life because we have so many little things around the house for her to put in her mouth and because my floors are never clean. It made me sad to think about my sweet baby crawling around on dirty floors. I could mop every evening and sweep a few times a day to avoid this, but I hate moping because all that work gets undone so quickly, and I like to have time to do other things besides cleaning the house. So I've just accepted that Sommer crawls around and the floor isn't sparkling clean and she has been okay. In fact, she has had the most healthy babyhood so far of my children (knock on wood). The dr commented on this fact at her last checkup and said that often babies in big families are sick a lot because they are exposed to so many germs. Thank goodness we didn't follow that trend and Sommer is a healthy chubster.

So to continue with what I was going to say when I started. I am the parent with the most children at this playgroup. One of the toy boxes that is often out for play contains a jumble of 1 1 /2 inch rubber vehicles of all shapes and colors. There are no working parts, they are just formed rubber. Sommer loves to chew on these and since she has grown she can put an entire vehicle in her mouth. I was sitting by the girls occupied with Laine but conscious that Sommer popped one in her mouth and was chewing away when two moms quickly got my attention and said that she had a toy in her mouth. I smiled and said thanks, took it out of her mouth and wiped off all the slobber and moved Sommer a few feet away from the toys. The two mothers looked very worried, like they had just saved a baby from choking to death. I explained to a couple of moms sitting by me that Sommer always seems to have something in her mouth because there are so many little things around our house, but she chews on them and then spits them out after a few minutes. I didn't tell them that I had let her try to eat flowers and leaves while I was trying to get some things done in the yard. Well Sommer wasn't done playing with those toys yet and went back to them, put another one in her mouth and very soon after a different parent warned me that she had one in her mouth. I did the same thing as before and so did Sommer. Finally, the teacher who oversees the group said to me in a worried voice that "she has that whole toy almost down her throat, she might choke." I smiled again and reassured her that I knew what my baby was doing, and this time I moved to the other side of the room more for the relief of the other parents than for myself.

And that's a little bit about being the 4th baby in this house.

9 comments:

Davidsonfieldville said...

I know that they have every reason to be concerned and all but as my sister in law always says
"wouldn't you think that I have a bit more vested interest in this child's safety than you?"
You just know your kids and you know when to watch stuff and you know when other things aren't an issue at all. Its not like you weren't close to her and couldn't hear her gagging on it (if for some reason that happened)- you could have taken care of it just fine.
Anyway..that must have been very frustrating. Go Sommer the mouth learner!

nanamoo said...

I was so pleased when you left a comment on my blog the other day. I check in with you and Lark on a regular basis. One time I asked one of my girls if it would be okay if I commented and they said it would be a little weird. So instead I skulk around on your blogs which isn't weird at all! Maybe now that I feel comment empowered, I might even do it again!

I enjoy watching your family grow and your perspective. One time your mom came over to my house and it was a total disaster area. She looked at me and said that you aren't friends until you have seen each other's house a mess. I actually quoted her at my book club this week on that very point. So I am glad to read that you are doing things other than cleaning house and your babies will be all the better for it too.

Tricia said...

I totally feel your pain. I can't stand it when people look at me like they can't believe my children have somehow even survived this long. I thought Davidsonfieldville's s-i-l has a great approach.

I was not the one who said it would be weird...

K. Laura said...

Don't you just love it when other parents give you those looks or side comments about what your child is doing? Like you are being neglegent. I was once at Target in an isle and Ella was at the end of the isle playing with the placemats. A mom who was coming from the side isle couldn't see me and said "no no baby. You shouldn't play with that. Your mom should be watching you better." I said to the woman I still could not see, "I'm watching her." And she said, "yeah right." I pushed my cart up to where I could see her and said, "Excuse me." And looked at me and said, "You shouldn't let her put those on the floor. People eat off those you know." I said, "People also eat off picnic tables." and with that I scooped Ella and the place mats up and went to another isle. Afterwards I thought of what the perfect thing to say in this instance would have been. When she had said, "Your mom should be watching you" I should have said, "judge not, least ye be judged." and let it go at that. At least it would have been a more "Christ like" thing to say than the combative comment I countered her with (which only filled me with regret latter for not having followed the counsel-a soft answer turneth away wrath). Sounds like you've had your fair share of "this poor mom has too many kids to take care of" comments too. They just don't know what good parents we are!!

Cammi said...

Grrr - I can't stand it when other people think they know how to be a better mom than you to your own kids!! Good for you for being so patient. I probably would have just told them to bug off.... :)

Ronald said...

Paige,
They are the typical "helicopter" moms. We have some in our parent ed classes that just hover and will never let their children learn or grow. One of my teachers asked about helmets fro kids riding trikes and big wheels and if we were going to supply them. I said no! If they want one they can bring it. The big wheels and tikes are small and it is just over the top. They need to see how it was years ago when kids could be kids and they survived very well. You're doing well.

Torrie said...

i think it takes a village, and if someone else wants to watch my kids, by all means take over so i can take a nap!

Pamela said...

Oh how I hated it when other moms would do that to me. Like I didn't have a brain in my head and had no clue as to how to raise my own children.

Grrrrr.

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