Diaper Duty

Erin and her son Lincoln

Diaper Duty - Join Erin on the journey of a lifetime.  Along with her first born, Lincoln, (born in 2010), Erin is learning the "art of being a baby mama"




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Would you defend your baby against a bully?

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Last night I was witness to the first (I assume) bullying my daughter has ever had to encounter. It was uncomfortable, sad, and infuriating.

The bully was about seven years old and my daughter is -- 17 months old. Yes, a SEVEN YEAR OLD was picking on a baby (toddler if you want to get technical about it).

I first blew it off because it’s so ridiculous (right?), but he wouldn’t stop.

He was calling out to her.

“Hey you baby. You’re a BOY. You’re a BOY. Little BOY.”

I thought that he was just confused. Perhaps confusing my daughter in all pink with a pigtail on top of her head for a boy. That’s cool. It’s happens. My son had long hair until her was two and got plenty of compliments on what a pretty little girl her was. I’m not new to this.

But, things got offensive and uncomfortable. Like, seriously. Commenting on her skin color and such. I’m not going to go in to detail on that.

Did I mention he was SEVEN and she’s A FRIGGIN’ BABY!?

We were in a store, and I was desperately wanting someone (his parents, perhaps?) to help me. “Shut that kid up!” I kept thinking. The little girl he was with kept telling him to stop and saying he was being mean. Thanks, little girl.

A store clerk came over and told the kid to behave. He was also throwing shoes into the cashier area and much too old to be corralled in the play area he was shouting from.

Reagan just kept looking at him. Of course, she had no idea. I was also on the edge of saying something to him, but didn’t want to feed the fire. I had told him earlier she was girl when I thought he was confused, and he fire back, “Na uh. She’s a BOY.”

Like I said, he was in a tiny play area with another girl close to his age and a two year old. There were three adults on their phones in the corner of the store near by this space. They were doing nothing – not even shopping.

I never reacted. I never said anything. My hearts was pounding, my eyes welling up with tears of frustration, and I was pissed. I wanted to tell him to shut up. I wanted to scream at him. I wanted to smack his parents who obviously weren't paying attention to him or the employees who were trying to calm him down. I also wanted to hug him because I felt bad for him.

I checked out. I left. I felt bad I didn’t defend Reagan. I don’t care if people think she’s a boy, but he meant it to be mean.

What was I going to do, though? I’m 34. What would I say to that kid who obviously wasn’t shutting up for anyone?

What would you have done?

 

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Really? Sick again? REALLY?!

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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It’s been one thing after another with Reagan these last few months.

She’s has had a cold, then a fever, then a yeast infection, then a boil on her privates (yes, that’s what I said), then a cold again. Honestly, when will it end!

I know it happens to everyone; Times when it seems like everyone is sick. In this case, it’s just one little 16-month-old who’s taking the hits. Poor girl.

I’ve actually been scared of the next day for fear that my girl will have something else going on. Through it all, she’s been so great. I repeat “this too shall pass,” and the repeat it again…and again. I'm waiting...

What do you do to keep sane when illness is running thought your house or with one kid? It’s so hard not to go crazy, isn’t it!?

 

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Do you have kids?

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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When did this become an unwelcome question?

Answers range from “yes” to “NO! I HATE KIDS!” and those in between are, well, awkward to say the least.

I always get to this question. Always. Even before I had kids. To get to know a person, you ask about them. What do you do? Where are you from? Do you have kids?

Lately, though, I feel like this is an immediate “eye-roller” question.

No, it’s not an excuse for me to talk about my kids. I literally want to know if you have kids, their names, etc. If you don’t have kids, cool. Now I know, and we move on getting to know each other more.

I don’t know what people are thinking when I ask and they answer strangely.

Do you ask people if they have kids? Do you ever get a weird response?

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Always do the right thing. Always.

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Little eyes and ears are watching and listening to me interact with others constantly. What I do has a huge impact on what my kids will do and that is a responsibility I take very seriously. (Usually) I'm polite, respectful, cheerful, empathetic, and all the other things I hope my kids will be. I have to be aware of my reactions so much more now than ever and be a guide that practices what I preach.

So, when my son took two little green thing-a-ma-bobs from the Carnegie Science Center (by accident!), I had another opportunity to do the right thing and get him involved. I wasn't taking it for granted.

My son was upset he took them. When he realize what he did, his saucer eyes looked up at me and he confessed,

"I...took...these. I TOOK THESE FROM THE CENTER! These are not mine! They are the center's!"

First, I told him to calm down. (His reaction reminded me so much of what I would have done at his age in that situation I felt bad for him.) Then, I told him it was not big deal because we would return them with an apology.

I sat with the boy and wrote a short letter of apology, tucked the two green thingies in an envelope, and mailed them off.

"Why didn't you just drop them off?" my friend asked. "You work right by there."

"Because Lincoln wouldn't be involved in the process," I explained. "He made a mistake, and he had to be involved in doing the right thing to try to fix it."

I suppose a "normal" person would have kept them or thrown them away or taken them back next time. I don't know. I've never been called "normal" (at least not to my face). To me, mailing them back as soon as I could was the right thing to do.

What would you have done? Is "doing the right thing" a priority in the lessons you're giving your kids? How have you lived up to it?

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Are you a worrier? Questions to kill (some) of them.

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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My top three worries right now are:

  • My kids will be taken.
  • A vehicle will drive through a building my kids/myself/my husband are in.
  • Reagan (my one-year-old) will choke on the huge amount of food she constantly shoves in her mouth.

My mother is a worrier. She worries about everything. EVERYTHING. Growing up with a worrier was, well, worrisome. When I was little, I worried I would worry like her, I was confused about what to worry about, and I worried that my mother would kill herself worrying. (I still worry about that last one.)

I saw the following quote one time:

                Worrying about tomorrow robs today of its joy.

Or something like that.

Every time I worry, I repeat this or tell myself that I’m out of this moment, reel it back in, and to move on. No one wants to be around a vocal worrier, and, honestly, no one wants to be a worrier. I’m confident of that.

In order to combat worry and not drive myself (and my loved ones) crazy, I evaluate my worries. Oh yes, I do. I HAVE to. When a worry pops up, I ask myself some questions:

1. Is my worry valid/true/realistic?

At this moment, in this country/state/city, with all we’ve done up to this point, is this thing I’m worried about a possibility? If yes, move on to 2. If no, let it go. (Weeeeeeeeeeeee!)

2. Why am I worried about this?

Was this on the news? Often? Did this happen to someone I know? More than once?

The news (and social media) give me so many new things to worry about. Thanks so much! The news often introduces something I never even knew I could worry about (for example, the car into a building thing). I worry for about two seconds about most of that stuff then think “Come on! A small private plane isn’t going to crash in to my house! Silly news!” Let it go!

Something happening to someone I know brings it closer to home, but I’m given the gift of an “expert” to discuss prevention and preparation. Move on to number 3.

3. Can I control the situation to avoid what I’m worried about?

My FAVORITE! If you cannot control it, don’t worry. If you can control it, do something about it, then don’t worry. This is usually the first question I ask myself. Can I do something about what I’m worried about? If no, move on to number 4. If yes, fix it NOW. Duh! Then, don’t worry.

4. What is the effect of what I’m worried about? How will I deal with that?

SPOILER ALERT: The actual effect won’t be nearly as horrible as the effect you think up to answer this question. In any event, it’s best to be prepared for what may come. For example, my kids will get sick, and it may be severe. I can’t do anything about it aside from washing their hands and some other prevention things, but I can’t stop all sickness. I like to think I’m prepared for it when it happens. I have a great pediatrician, medications, natural remedies, and live in a place with hospitals that offer amazing medical care (God forbid!). That’s what I’ve done. I’m OK with that. I don’t worry (constantly) about this situation. Moving on…

5. Can I talk to someone about this?

I hope you have some awesome friends like I do. I have people I can talk about anything with – and I do. Nine times out of 10 I feel so incredibly better about life afterwards. Now, those people may tell you you’re silly. Don’t get angry about that. They’re your friend, yo!

Dealing with a worry by answering these questions about it has really taken down my stress. Some things I’ll always worry about, I can’t help it. People get sick, people die, people get hurt, people lose jobs, etc. Also, some of my worries will be silly to others. I don’t care. They’re MINE! I’m not embarrassed to tell you I’ve worried about a zombie apocalypse more than once (Question 1 helps kick that one to the curb). By being prepared as much as I can for those things that are likely to happen, I feel better, my worry dulls, and I don’t feel the need to talk about much of my worries to anyone.

Do you worry a lot? Is it a problem for you? How do you get past your worries? How do you deal with people who tell you your worries are silly (in my opinion, a huge insult)?

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To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.