Saturday, September 5, 2009

Email From My Dad

Continuing on from the simple baby theme, my dad sent me a really nice email earlier in the year with some of his thoughts on simple parenting that i thought i would share. i hope he doesn't mind if i just go and publish his letters to me! I had already made up my mind to do these kinds of things with Beatrice anyway just cos i remember having so much fun building cubby houses in the back yard with Imogen, Harley and Daniel and all the neighbourhood kids as well. And also, working in schools has made me realise how useless kids are these days cos they aren't allowed to be independent and create and build things and basically just be able to figure things out on their own. So here is the email...

As you're going to be a mother.. here are some thoughts to ponder.. to be honest when you and Daniel were babies.. Mummy and me were young and clueless.. Having made that embarrassing admission.. I think there were a few things we eventually did right- and here's a list:

1. We took you guys everywhere - you didn't get baby sat much.. you learned to fall asleep on people's floors and couches.. we were young and stupid and would take you guys to friends parties etc- I think it did you more good than harm

2. Get a baby pouch.. these only came out when Imogen was a baby.. even then it was a bit revolutionary.. anyhow when you use one of these things the baby is face-to-face with other adults.. and interacts more.. they get more attention and when they make gestures they get reactions from people around them.. I think this is a good thing.. the baby works out that it can "get a reaction out of the world".. and isn't just a jelly-fish floating in it.

3. Get a big (deep) baby bath and bath the baby stomach down.. if you don't know ask Mummy - she can explain it to you..

4. We got a cheap stroller and when the new baby came along the bigger ones had to walk.. these days I see kids of all ages being carried by their parents.. maybe they are a faulty model with legs that don't work??.. anyhow.. walking with mum and dad is a good thing.. it makes kids stronger.. and more independent..

4. I guess I wish I had more time and the inclination to read more books to you kids when you were young.. I did read to you.. I remember the Tiger who came to Tea, Daniel the reluctant Duck and others .. but reading stories is far better than TV.

5. One thing is for sure- you kids had more fun with cardboard boxes.. old planks of wood making cubby houses in the back yard and other stuff rather than expensive toys.. well that's the way I remember it anyhow..

Well that's enough- I better get to my lawn bowls and physiotherapy class with the other old grand-fathers