I don't know about you, but that whole Nanny Modern Parenting Crisis Article has me all bent out of shape.
I'm all for giving parents good parenting information, but I'm really sick of hearing about "crises" regarding parenting. What we have are multiple problems, some of them related to poor parenting skills that contribute to the lack of perspective and patience in children. That isn't to say that children should not be taught to be patient, respectful individuals who follow instructions, but I get irritated whenever I hear parenting as the only reason that children behave this way. It disregards the societal and cultural reasons parents may be behaving the way that they are - not to mention one of the biggest influences on parents today: their own childhoods.
When we solve some of the more pressing crises I'll feel better about putting even more pressure on parents regarding the behavior of their children:
1) Housing costs that require both parents to work full time and multiple jobs
2) Childcare that costs as much as a mortgage every month
3) TV commercials aimed at children with no regard for age appropriateness
4) Healthcare costs that force families to work longer hours/additional jobs
5) The widespread availability of guns
6) A federal government that prioritizes military action over education and infrastructure
7) An economy that is more focused on consumerism rather than on supporting the family unit.
8) The high cost of mental health services
9) Lack of mental health services in public schools
10) The lack of community parenting support. Every parent feels like they have to reinvent the wheel.
I could go on and on.
Furthermore, I doubt that any generation of parents has had more focus put on their parenting skills.
Let me know when our local and state governments start making legislative changes to support all families and I'll start giving more parents hell about their parenting decisions.
I think this is the fastest knitting project I've done in years. Years! The Yorkshire Tweed Beret from One Skein Wonders (albeit knit with Zealana Luxuria Air Marle) is finished. I could not wait to finish this thing. It's just been so long since I've had such a quick knitting project finished. Perhaps it's time to knit more hats? Part of it is that the Air Marle was so ridiculously soft that I could not put this knitting project down. The other reason why I couldn't stop knitting this hat was that the pattern was super simple and easy to remember. I might be on a path to do a series of hats of Yarn Harlot proportions (how many Tulip baby sweaters has she knit?). I might have a bit of a beret binge. I already have a yarn in my stash in mind to knit another beret.
Oh, so you see that provisional crochet cast-on up there? (it's in the purple). You might recall that I was a little iffy on the provisional cast on, but it turned out to be a lifesaver. I did not have enough yarn to do the garter stitch at the bottom of the hat and having the provisional cast on gave me the flexibility to do whatever bind off worked. In this case it was a jenny's surprisingly stretchy bind off, which may have turned out too stretchy, but I gave the hat a little seam in the back to shorten the circumference of the hat and make it fit better. Personally, I like knowing where the back of something is so now this hat has a "back side".
Here's another look at the Air Marle. The amount of fuzz I think is from the possum, which makes my knitting have that soft felted feel, but without the lack of stitch definition.
I am so happy with the finished product (especially since I have super short hair right now and hats are what make me look cute these days).
Mitered Block Blanket (100% done.)
Hannah Hat #2 100% done
Christmas Socks #2 (100% done)
Pepperberry Knits Hat (100% done)
Holden Shawlette (100% done)
Christmas Socks #1 (100% done)
Dahlia Cardigan (100% done)
Luxuria Air Marle Beret (done)
What's new with your knitting?
It's Yarn Along again. Time to see what knitters are knitting and reading all around the interwebs. It's a great way to find new knitting blogs and get people to find yours too! We've been doing this a while and you can see our progress on our knitting for almost the past year!
Alright, back to the old sharing what I'm knitting and reading right now. I'm on another high fantasy kick, what with the long wait ahead for George RR Martin to finish the next installment of Game of Thrones I have to distract myself with something and I think we've hit pay dirt with Brandon Sanderson. My husband is also a fan of high fantasy novels (oh the paperbacks in storage -oh my) and had purchased the first books in two of Mr. Sanderson's series -the Mistborn Trilogy and the Stormlight Archive.
The cover from The Mistborn sat tempting me on the top of the bookcase next to my side of the bed, catching my eye each time I headed to sleep to the point where I couldn't resist reading it. How could I not start reading this book? There was a strong heroine on the cover who wasn't overly sexualized to get young men to purchase the book! In fact there's not a whole lot of sexuality in the book itself, which is kind of refreshing for the high fantasy genre. That isn't to say that there isn't a fair amount of romance, or that a chaste-ish kiss wouldn't be in order but I was completely charmed by the entire story arc, even if there was some awkwardness with some of the exposition early in the book. This bad exposition fu did derail my reading for a time, but I liked the characters so much that I became determined to continue reading and that determination paid off. The last paragraph of the book was one of the most satisfying I've ever read in any book.
I kinda overdid it with the Mistborn book to the point where I'm not quite ready to read the second one in the series (especially since I don't own it yet), but the Way of Kings is already in the house (as it were) and I'm looking forward to pouring myself into that hunk of a novel soon, but there's knitting to be done. Summer is well underway and aside from the myriad unfinished projects hiding around I do want to finish my summer pullover to wear while it's still warmish, or in time for the Bay Area's version of summer, also known as October.
What's your favorite high fantasy series to read?
A few months ago when my family was in the middle of the big move to Oma's a kind soul sent me some yarn to try. It wasn't just any yarn. It. Was. Cashmere. Not just any cashmere, but a cashmere blend. I'm not talking wool. I'm not talking cotton. Not talking silk.
Check out this ball of yarn. It's a beautifully fuzzy black and white marle. What could it be?
It's the kind of fuzzy that you hold closely to your face, you know when life is giving you trouble and the only thing that makes it feel any better is the potential held within a ball of... cashmere.
As I mentioned this ain't any ball of cashmere. There's a special extra somethin' somethin' that makes this yarn extra fuzzy. I mean can't you already see the halo of goodness above? How can cashmere, a fiber that's already so soft be made even softer? Lemme give you another hint:
It's Zealana Air Marle and It's freaking possum. Possum, an animal that I once heard screeching outside a window in Melbourne, Australia in the middle of the night, a creature that once limped across the road in front of my car after a fight with a rather large housecat. I had no idea that such a fierce being could have such deliciously soft fur. So soft and light that I carried it in my handbag for weeks waiting for the time and the project that would be worthy of its glory. A reminder that good times lay just ahead...
Well that time has indeed arrived. We are settled into the house. Husband has been employed for two months. Youngest son is almost completely potty trained and I am seeing a future where I have two mornings a week to write. Can you feel the giddy goodness?
Here's what I have planned for this single skein of cashmere-possum blend from Zealana Yarns, Air Marle to be exact:
This, my friends is a hat from the first book of One Skein Wonder projects, the Yorkshire Tweed Beret by Kathryn Connelly. I think I might have just enough yarn in this one ball to make this whole hat and seeing that I once knit the Pepperberry Knits hat with a single ball of cashmere it does seem possible.
I've already done the crocheted provisional cast-on (I questioned it, but decided that the designer probably knows what she's doing), albeit on the wrong needle. I need a 16" size 7. I'm sure it's around here somewhere. If only I had some superhero knitting eyes that allowed me to see the location of every knitting notion I owned.
So yeah, my favorite kind of knitting: the cashmere-possum kind.
What's your favorite kind of knitting? Say something in the comments.
I know you're normally here for knitting, but I'm not doing so much knitting right now... because I'm on constant potty patrol. So I know some of you also have young children and thought maybe what I've learned in trying to potty train my overly sensitive youngest son might be helpful or maybe not -stay tuned for more knitting content soon.
My youngest starts preschool soon and he's supposed to be potty trained to attend. He's almost there. Kind of. He's a very determined, independent little boy who does everything on his own schedule (some people like to call this kind of temperment "spirited"). This is a kid who liked nursing so much that he didn't start eating solid food until he was nearly two years old and I had to take him to food therapy. Talking? Only just started in the last six months. Walking? He fought that tooth and nail too so of course potty training has been a challenge.
This is a kid who would throw a fit if you even mentioned the word potty, despite having wowed us all with 80% potty success on his first day! Maybe potty training was a little too much for him. He soon became averse to potty training with big tantrums anytime I tried to get him to sit on the potty. I've had to scratch my head to figure out how to get my spirited introverted boy actually sit on the potty again. Now that we've got the ball rolling I wanted to share what I've learned about potty training the finicky toddler.
Chances are if you're potty training a sensitive and stubborn child that sometimes when you ask them to sit on the potty that they have a giant tantrum and is completely resistant to anything related to the potty. As frustrating as this is it's best to give your child space. He or she might not be ready. Give it a couple of days or weeks before you try again. I find that watching videos and reading kids books about potty training when my spirited child isn't actively toilet training make me feel like I'm doing something towards toilet training. Some kids need ideas repeated many times before they get them and movies and books do a great job of keeping the topic alive.
There is one major secret to the boy determined not to use the potty: Find his motivation, the one thing that compels him to start potty training. For my first son, he saw his best friend using the potty and he wanted to do it himself. Not so much for my introverted independent younger son. So if not friends or siblings what are the things that might make your sensitive child start toilet learning? For my kid it was the right combination: the right treat, the right potty and the right underwear
We tried treats and it got to the point where he would want treats for not sitting on the potty and would throw a tantrum if we didn't give them to him so we took a break on potty training. The next time we tried he had learned that he had to sit on the potty to get the treat. The treats that were the most effective were marshmellows, but we also used jelly beans and more frequently, Mott's Fruit Snacks. I didn't feel so bad giving the kids fruit snacks as treats because they weren't as sugary as candy or marshmellows and they have vitamin C.
We read stories, we watched videos and they were kind of helpful at building some sort of awareness around toilet learning, but they still didn't necessarily inspire my youngest to go all crazy on the potty training. They were great at informing my kid about toilet learning, but like many things with toddlers he didn't fully understand what was going on in the potty books even if they featured his favorite characters like Elmo or Daniel Tiger.
This book is super cute, features a train and gives kids an understanding as to why it's better to use the potty rather than diapers. Better yet it doesn't have a bunch of annoying sounds to distract kids from the task at hand -potty training. The train theme worked really well for my youngest son. It's a great book to introduce the concept of underwear.
Kids love the funny sounds, but I found this book to be a little too vague as to the specifics about using the potty. It's great for kids who either are too young to understand or who already know about going to the potty. The sounds are a great motivation to remind kids about flushing the toilet and washing hands. I prefer The Potty Train over the Elmo Book.
My sensitve son LOVES animals right now. He also loves watching animal alphabet songs on youtube (Five Little Monkeys jumping on the bed, anyone?) and so Go Potty Go was the perfect choice for him. He watches it once a day. I wish they could be a little more specific about going pee pee and poo poo. They focus more on where people go to the potty and using potty chairs and underwear instead of diapers, but youngest still likes to watch it and pretend he is in the big kid parade.
Potty Power is produced by the same folks as Go Potty Go and features more humans and kids than animals. This one kind of bores my youngest, but probably because there aren't any animals in it. I know a lot of kids who LOVE Potty Power and it did a great job of introducing youngest to the concept of a potty chair.
The great thing is that many of these potty training videos may be available at your local library. I'm going to see if the Elmo potty dvd is available there.
We have four kid potties in the house. I've only paid full retail price for one. The others were given to us by kind friends. This has given us the chance to try out all of the potties to review them. Here are a few things I've noticed.
I was really disappointed in the Thomas Potty. It looks cool. It looks like something out of the Thomas and Friends line of toys and it does make a train sound when you go pee, but there aren't enough interactive things about it to encourage the kids to become more familiar with the potty. My son seemed pretty confused about it. I thought because he liked Thomas so much that it would be enough to get him excited about toilet training, but it wasn't. It might work really well for kids who are already motivated to potty train, but not so much for my finicky son.
I thought maybe a very plain potty would be more appealing to Liam because it was simpler and straightforward. It's a nice potty to have around and its tall stature gives this potty a lot of stability.
The Froggy Potty was our potty for our first son and it did the job admirably. Just a simple potty with a little frog on it, but I think it creeped out Liam with the big eyes on the front. To him it might have seemed more monster than froggy.
This was the key to Liam's toilet training progress and we only got it on a lark. My friend was selling hers at a garage sale and she just gave it to us because youngest son was enchanted by it. He played with the flusher that made noise, plus he loved the music and sounds that the potty made when he pulled the seats up or down. This was the first potty that engaged my son to the point that he wanted to sit on the potty all by himself -without any tantrums!
This is why sometimes toilet learning can stall for months. If your kid has been not using the same potty maybe especially for the sensitive ones there's reasons why they don't like it, or there's not enough interesting things about the potty for them to take interest -so of course they don't try it even if it's hanging around. Be sure to take some time in between trying new things so that potty training feels new to them again instead of feeling like they're being pushed to try something new.
For my finicky son, the regular super hero or thomas the tank engine underwear was not motivation enough to sit on the potty. I didn't realize that my son had stopped caring a little bit about Thomas the Tank engine and started caring more about animals, especially elephants and giraffes. Lucky for me I found the Blueberry training underwear, which has a super soft absorbant lining to catch pee just before your kid makes it to the potty, keeping your kid's pants dry. They will only catch a small amount of pee so they're not really an extra diaper. As soon as my youngest started wearing these underwear he seemed to care more about keeping them dry and became motivated to put pee and poop in the potty instead of in his pants.
Here are some other training pants that worked for us:
It may be that my son doesn't get fully potty trained and even regresses a bit and in that case it's important to have a backup plan. I'm fully prepared to pull my kid out of this preschool if he doesn't get potty trained in time. Having that backup plan makes me feel like there's no real failure, just a different path, a good path for my son whatever that is. That took the pressure off me to make sure he gets potty trained in time for preschool. Kids can notice when you get stressed so whatever you can do to make potty training stress free will help you potty train faster.