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New ABC Kids DVDs + DVD Giveaway

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me

My daughter loves watching shows on ABC Kids. I think the ABC kids’ programming might be one of the best things we’ve discovered since moving back to Australia. It means Cheese is able to watch some really sweet and entertaining programs instead of rotting her brain with her beloved “Easter egg” YouTube videos she and all the preschooler set seem to be addicted to.

We had a very exciting week in our house watching brand new DVD releases from some of Cheese’s favourite shows. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the post and enter the giveaway to win these exact same DVD titles for your own kids.

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me
THE WIGGLES: ANTHONY’S FRUITY FEAST
We have a HUGE Wiggles fan in this house. Join Anthony, Lachie, Simon and, of course, Emma, in 12 wiggly episodes and over 40 upbeat songs. Episode selection includes recent favourites like “Cowboy Anthony” and “Captain’s Magic Buttons”.
RRP: $19.95
RUNNING TIME: 140 MINS

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me
OCTONAUTS: GREAT ARCTIC ADVENTURE
Our other favourite show in high rotation in our house is the Octonauts. This fun DVD features 6 episodes, including a really sweet one with Captain Barnacles helping his sister and her new polar bear cubs learn to navigate the harsh conditions of the frozen arctic.
RRP: $19.95
RUNNING TIME: 82 MINS

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me

BING: SWING & OTHER EPISODES
Bing is brand new to us. It’s an adorable new 10-episode TV series about a 3-year-old bunny named Bing. This playful, energetic and joyful bunny embodies life as a preschooler, and encourages kids to experience the world around them with equal enthusiasm.

Exclusive to ABC Shops and Centres
RRP: $19.95
RUNNING TIME: 70 MINS

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me
PLAY SCHOOL: COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW
The cast of Playschool has changed since I was a kid, but the educational content has not. This DVD explores the wonder of colour in nature, painting, culture, food and experiments. Kids will enjoy following the activities at home such as painting rainbows and staging a piggy opera.

RRP: $14.95
RUNNING TIME: 137 MINS

The kind people at Roadshow Home Entertainment are giving this exact DVD pack to one lucky reader. (RRP $74.80). To enter, fill in the form below and tell me what your kids’ favourite ABC Kids show is.

Entry open to Australian residents only. The most creative answer will win. This is not a game of chance. Competition is open Wednesday June 3 2015 to 11:59pm Tuesday June 9 2015. For full terms and conditions click here.

Thanks so much to Roadshow for the review copies of these DVDs. 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

How (and Where) to Teach Your Child to Share

Teaching Kids To Share #parenting via christineknight.me

Sharing has turned into a contentious issue. How do we teach children to take their turn, share and play nicely with others? With reports from schools and the press telling us both arguments—that we should and also shouldn’t be teaching our children to share—it’s hard to know the best way to handle this sensitive topic. Personally, I have different philosophies on the subject, depending on if we are at home (where my preschooler owns all of her toys) or if we are in a space where equipment or toys are communal. Here are three different ways, in three different spaces, I teach my daughter to share.

At home
When my daughter has friends over, the rule is she must share her toys with her guests. This is hard for a three-year-old to do (particularly one who has no siblings). She enjoys playing at other people’s houses with their toys immensely, but can be pretty bad when it comes to letting other people play with her things. Of course, other kids don’t want to come over and not be able to play with toys, so our rule is that if she wants her friends to visit, she has to let them play with her belongings.

We do discuss first, though, if there are any special toys that she doesn’t want anyone to play with, and I put them away for the duration of the play date. (I find that this generally eliminates most sharing friction, although there is the occasional fuss when two kids want the same toy.

As we are the hosts, I remind my daughter that her friend always shares her toys with her, and that she needs to do the same. This reminder is usually enough for her to agree that her friend can play with what she wants to. I also assure my daughter that the toys are still hers, and her friend is just playing with them for a short time—and that she won’t be taking any home with her.

The playground
This is where it’s a bit trickier to deal with sharing issues. If we are at a playground, several kids might want to use the same piece of equipment at the same time. On the slide, for example, I remind my daughter about taking turns. Everyone gets a go and joins the end of the line for another try. When it comes to objects just for one person (say a swing), it requires a different strategy. If my daughter hasn’t been on the swing for long, and another kid has a tantrum about wanting to get on, I let the other child know that my daughter won’t be long—and that they can have a turn when she is finished.

After my daughter has had a fair turn of the swing, I ask her if she is ready to play with something else, which she usually is, and let her know that she has five more swings until it is the other kid’s turn. Giving her a choice and warning that things are changing usually helps stop any meltdowns. It also helps her feel like she has a choice in the matter and I’m treating her fairly.

Play spaces
Play spaces are hard as they involve toys that do not belong to the kids, but the business. My general rule is if my daughter is playing with something, that toy is hers to play with until she is done and ready to move on to the next toy or game. If another kid grabs it from her, I am always on my daughter’s side. I am showing my daughter that I have her back and that her play time is important. If she is the one having a meltdown over a toy someone else is playing with, I let her know that the other child is enjoying playing with it and she can have it when he or she is finished. In this instance, I’m teaching her patience.

This article first appeared on MommyNearest.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

MCA Light Show, Light Lab & Family Fun Day: Sydney Best Art Galleries For Kids

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Museum of Contemporary Art has continued to surprise and impress us since we moved back to Sydney. Not only does it have world-class exhibits, it also runs kid-friendly labs as part of the exhibits, and a variety of family programing every week for kids of all ages: from babies to toddlers, preschoolers and school kids. Literally something for kids of every age.

mca-18

Because of their family-friendly programs, we have been feeling brave enough to venture back into the gallery with Cheese. She is not that into art thus far, being more interested in running and causing chaos instead. With the MCA’s set-up, it means we can see the exhibit we are interested in, as well as having a way to engage Cheese that she enjoys too – win-win for everyone, and we also hope that by doing this, our child will grow up to share our love of art.

mca-2

The current exhibit at the MCA is Light Show (open until July 5, 2015). Light Show is a spectacular multisensory exhibition by artists all around the world, with the one theme in common – light.  The show features a variety of installations and immersive experiences that are suitable for people of all ages – including wiggly preschoolers like our Cheese.

We did see the exhibit at our typical break-neck speed, close on the heels of our speedy preschooler, but this exhibit caught her interest and we doubled back to see rooms and installations repeatedly at her insistence.

The immersive nature of the exhibit was hypnotic – the three of us were mesmerised by the glittering, twinkling lights, and visual illusions that lead us to believe we were moving, or falling, all by means of clever placement and design of light. We spoke with Cheese about the lights. See how if you move this way or that, the image we see changes? What happens if you put your hand here? Or stand there? When you look at these coloured lights, and then look at the white wall, what new colours do you see? She particularly loved anything interactive, like the dark room with the beam of light that she could dance in, jabbing her wand into the light ray to try and capture it.

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Outside the Light Show is the free Light Lab for kids. Set up into two rooms, one has a light projected onto a wall which captures movement – perfect for entertaining kids and teaching them about their shadows. The second room had UV lights installed on the ceiling shining down into the art works kids were making with simple white paper and highlighters. Simple but enthralling concept: shine the light on paper and it glows. Cheese wanted more and more paper to keep creating her artworks for us, which were quite Miro in style, I have to say.

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Also running when we visited was the monthly Family Fun Day. This free program gives kids activities to perform in the gallery, followed by a craft activity in the National Centre for Creative Learning next to the Light Lab on level 3. The program is aimed at school-aged kids, so around 4 or 5 and up, but there were a lot of younger kids enjoying the activities with their families.

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

In the main gallery area, kids were lying on the floor with their parents, drawing pictures of the outfits worn in the artwork. The “MCA Sketch” sheet they were given with the Family Fun Day activities on it asked kids to find pictures of outfits in the paintings and then draw a new one on their paper. Upstairs in the learning centre was the craft area part of the day (which had a gorgeous view of the Harbour Bridge, by the way). Friendly staff handed kids a tray filled with craft materials and asked them to create their own superhero wearable artwork, like a badge, headband or the like. The art supplies were basic pipe cleaners, paper, sparkles and so on – perfect materials for letting kids’ imaginations run free.

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

We helped Cheese with her outfit of crown, wand, necklace and wrist cuff. Her superpower, she decided, was “freezing” (thanks Elsa), and “flying”. After which she proceeded to “fly” through the gallery, stopping now and then to press a “button” on her cuff to power herself up again. Crazy cute. I appreciated the idea from the MCA staff to help fuel her imagination.

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary Art
140 George St,
The Rocks NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9245 2400
Get Directions

A huge thank you to the MCA for hosting us.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Mummy Make-up: Secrets To Looking Bright-Eyed & Awake

Mummy #Makeup via christineknight.me #giveaway

I’m pretty rubbish at putting on make-up on a day-to-day basis. I always have the best intentions to put on a bit of foundation, but I’m lucky if I remember to slap on sunscreen. Part of the problem is not knowing how to make myself look decent with minimal effort – because, let’s face it, who has the time to fuss with make-up when you’ve got little kids underfoot?

I’ve teamed up with L’Oréal and beauty writer and YouTuber Fadhila Prabu to bring you a simple tutorial on ways to use make-up effectively – and quickly – to give you that bright-eyed and awake look you used to have pre-kids. At the end of the tutorial you can enter my giveaway to win the exact same L’Oréal products for yourself. I love these make-up tips for mums on the go – thank you Fadhila for sharing your secrets with us!

Mummy #Makeup via christineknight.me #giveaway

L’Oréal and Adventure, Baby! are giving one lucky Australian reader the opportunity to win a make-up pack valued at $124.75, containing:

L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation RRP $29.95
L’Oréal Paris Lumi Magique Concealer RRP $27.95
L’Oréal Paris False Lash Butterfly Wings in Black RRP $25.95
L’Oréal Paris Brow Artist Plumper 04 in Dark Brunette RRP $18.95
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Made-For-Me in 235 Nude RRP $21.95

Entry open to Australian residents only. The most creative answer will win. This is not a game of chance. Competition is open Saturday May 29th 2015 to 11:59pm Saturday June 6th 2015. For full terms and conditions click here.

Thank you to L’Oréal for providing the products to create this tutorial. All opinions are by Christine Knight and Fadhila Prabu.

Linking up with Bron.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Tale Of A Lost Dolly

A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me

We’ve had a super sad week over at our house. Cheese’s Dolly, given to her when she was born by my dad, was lost. We can’t quite understand how she was even lost, but the fact remains we can’t find her. My daughter is devastated, as am I, and also my parents since they’re the ones who chose the doll and gave it to her.

Taking it back to the scene of the lost doll. My husband and Cheese took Dolly in the car with her to school. Usually the rule is Dolly doesn’t leave the house just because we’ve been scared of this happening, but on that fateful day, we’d all had a shocking night’s sleep, and when Cheese begged to take her “just in the car!” I relented through pure exhaustion. “How much harm can she come to in the car?” I thought. Alec was equally tired and doesn’t remember much about what happened to the doll after this, other than that when I asked him about where the doll was later on, that he didn’t know.  “She must be in the car”, he said, and went off to look. Nope. Dolly was not in the car. We started to panic as Cheese also noticed Dolly was gone and asked for her at bed time. The next day we drove back to where Dolly might have fallen out of the car and looked around the area. We door knocked the surrounding businesses to see if they’d found her. Nothing.

A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me

My mum made up posters in hope someone might have seen Dolly, which we plastered around the area we thought she was lost, as well as in the bottom of our building just in case.

It’s been several days and there has been no word of Dolly. Just one very sad child who, every night for the past week now, has asked for Dolly several times a night as she goes to bed, wakes up reaching for her doll, and then again in the morning, when she would usually bring Dolly with her into our room. I am hoping beyond hope that the doll is tucked away somewhere in the car in a secret hole we haven’t yet discovered.

Why is Dolly so special? My dad gave me my first doll when I was a new baby, and I still have the doll today. It was a special gift that he wanted to repeat for my daughter. Cheese took to Dolly and after a few months wouldn’t go to sleep without her. Dolly has travelled around with world with us – between Australia and New York several times, to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and more. Dolly had been a constant for my daughter in our life of travel. And now, Dolly is gone and we are so sad.

I found a few pictures of Dolly’s (short) life to commemorate her special place in our lives. Goodbye Dolly, you were well loved!

A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me

 

A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me

 

A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me

A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

7 Friendship Lessons For My Daughter

7 Friendship Lessons For My Daughter #parenting via christinekight.me

I’ve been blessed to have some of the most wonderful friends a person could hope for. Coming from a very small family, friends were essential to my life at an early age from being my playmates to later, my confidants. I pretty much consider several of my close friends to be family now—that’s how important they are in my life. As my daughter starts to form friendships of her own, and comes home from preschool with tails of “Emma isn’t speaking to me today!”, or “Jack wouldn’t play with me!”, I realized that it’s time for me to start teaching my daughter how to be a good friend, so that she might be lucky enough to enjoy some wonderful friendships in her life too.

Listen up
Everyone wants to be heard. Listening to your friends and asking them questions about themselves is just as important as you telling your friend all of your news and woes. Listening is essential to ensuring your friendship works both ways.

Practice forgiveness
We all make mistakes, say things we don’t mean and do stupid things. Often it’s not intentional, it’s just a momentary lack of judgement that is regretted straight away. Accept an apology with grace and don’t hold a grudge—a good friend is worth more than a few slip ups.

Don’t take it personally
It can feel very personal when you’re not invited to a party or a movie outing. Maybe the lack of invitation was deliberate, but you don’t know the reason why. With a party, maybe they were only allowed a few friends, or, with a movie date, it might be that your friend just wanted to spend time with another friend one-on-one. What’s important to remember is that it’s nothing to do with you, it’s likely you have done nothing wrong, so please don’t beat yourself up over it.

You can’t be friends with everyone
Just like you don’t want to be friends with every single person that you meet, the same will be for how people feel about you. Sometimes, you’ll really want someone to be your friend and they won’t be interested—and it will be really upsetting. Try not to take it personally, because it’s nothing to do with you. People like and don’t like people often for no fathomable reason. You can’t force a friendship, so if someone doesn’t want to be your friend, remind yourself that it’s their loss and move on.

Be kind
This is something you should remember with everyone you encounter in life and especially with those you care about. Don’t laugh at a friend when they fall over or do something embarrassing in front of others. Be a shoulder for friends to cry on when they’re sad and pick them up when they fall down. If you’re kind to other people they will, in turn, be kind to you.

Be loyal
If your friend tells you something personal, regardless of whether they said it was a secret or not, keep it to yourself. Absolutely never spread rumors or comment on silly gossip. Never, ever talk about a friend behind his/her back. A good rule is: if you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t say it—period. If you’re known to be a loyal friend, your friends will behave the same way towards you.

Move on
Some friendships go sour. People change and so do their friendship needs. Know when a friendship is over and acknowledge the good times you had, while focussing on your real friends who are going to last.

This article first appeared on MommyNearest.

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Disney Into The Woods Movie Blu-ray Giveaway

Into The Woods Blu-ray #Giveaway via christineknight.me

I love a good movie night. If you do, too, then you’ll love this giveaway I’m running with Disney this week. FIVE readers will have the opportunity to win a blu-ray copy of the Disney movie Into The Woods. This giveaway is open to Australian residents only (sorry US peeps!).

Into The Woods Blu-ray #giveaway via christineknight.me

Into the Woods is a funny and warm musical that follows classic fairy tales with a twist – they’re all tied together by an original story about a baker and his wife. Some big names star (and sing!) including my personal favourite actresses Emily Blunt and Anna Kendrick. I really enjoyed the new additions to traditional tales, and the wonderful singing.

A big thanks to Disney for giving me FIVE copies of Into The Woods for this giveaway (RRP $49.95). To enter, fill in the form below and tell me what your favourite fairytale is.

Entry open to Australian residents only. The most creative answer will win. This is not a game of chance. Competition is open Friday May 22nd 2015 to 11:59pm Thursday May 28st 2015. For full terms and conditions click here.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

9 Things Made Difficult By A Preschooler

9 Things Made Difficult By A Preschooler via christineknight.me

You’d think that by the time your baby had grown into a preschooler, life would get a bit easier. Unfortunately, those annoying strangers who used to helpfully say, “Just wait, it gets harder!” as you were frantically trying to quiet your screaming newborn baby might have been on to something. Perhaps life has not exactly gotten harder, but it certainly has turned into quite the battle of wits. Here are just a few challenges life with a preschooler presents.

1. Being on time
Have you ever noticed that despite your best efforts, you are always at least five minutes behind schedule with a preschooler in tow, if not more? I sure am. Even when I pack the night before, wake up in plenty of time and frantically spend a morning shepherding, cajoling and begging a certain small person to move it along, things always creep at a snail’s pace. Even pressing the elevator button takes an eternity. Speaking of buttons…

2. Pushing your buttons
Not only do you have someone who likes to push every elevator and door button known to man, they also like to push your emotional buttons too. As if you needed to feel even guiltier about going to work or drinks with friends! “But Mommeeeeeeee please don’t goooooo!” Gah!

3. Ownership of possessions
At one time it was your iPad, you phone, your jewelry and your knick knacks. Not any more. Now you are sharing custody of all of your objects with a very possessive preschooler and need to sneak them away if you want to use them after bedtime for yourself.

4. Sleeping in
I think the last time I slept in was during my pregnancy. Mornings where I get to lounge around, read a book or make breakfast in bed are a thing of the past (unless I want some unbridled enthusiasm and Disney Junior’s Octonauts with that).

5. Lying
Okay, so I know, lying is bad, but sometimes a little white lie can help expedite things—as long as your preschooler doesn’t expose you. For example: at the movies, where kids under three get in for free. The ticket seller asks how old my daughter is and I say she is almost three (when she was just over three). My daughter pipes up, “No I’m not, I’m THREE!”

6. Flying under the radar
I’m a reserved person by nature and don’t like drawing attention to myself. Life with a preschooler, however, is about being in the spotlight. A supermarket run will involve fairy wings over the Elsa dress, plus a tiara and wand, with fluttering steps the entire way. Once we are there, if there is, God forbid, some kind of stage or chair resembling a podium, the entertainment part of our shopping trip will commence, usually with a rousing rendition of, you guessed it, Let It Go.

7. An adult evening with friends
Miss three-and-a-half is usually asleep by 7:30pm, so occasionally instead of organizing a sitter we invite friends over for dinner. However, after our last disaster, I don’t think we will be doing it again for a while. Our daughter flat out refused to go to sleep until well after 9pm, by which stage we were all exhausted and ready to call it a night.

8. A relaxing vacation
We travel a lot as a family and, while I love these experiences, I certainly wouldn’t call any of these a “vacation.” They are active adventures where we explore new places and are constantly on the go, searching for the next park, playground or pool. Not a good book or pool-side martini in sight.

9. Being bored
I used to get bored a fair bit and feel like I had chunks of time to fill (hello Netflix!), but life with a preschooler is entertaining, stimulating, exciting and basically one giant non-stop adventure.

First published on Mommynearest.

Linking up with Bron.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Babies Proms, Country Kids: Best Shows For Kids, Sydney

Babies Prom: Country Kids

Today Cheese was introduced to country music for he first time at the wonderful Sydney Opera House’s Babies Proms Country Kids. We’ve gone to every single Babies Prom at the Opera House since arriving back in Sydney, and both Cheese and I enjoy them so much, we always look forward to he next one with great anticipation.

In case you haven’t been to a Babies Prom yet, they are a series of events aimed at kids aged 2 – 5 put on by the Sydney Opera House. Other ages are welcome, and there are usually lots of smaller babies and toddlers in attendance.

Babies Prom, Country Kids, Sydney Opera House #Sydney via christineknight.me

Each Babies Prom focuses on a theme (in this case, Australian country music), and amazingly talented performers teach the kids about that particular style of music through songs and engaging conversation. A big component of each show is teaching kids about the instruments used in that particular style.

Babies Prom, Country Kids, Sydney Opera House #Sydney via christineknight.me

With the Country Kids show, Gold Guitar winning country music artist Darren Coggan was leading the performance, with his band of talented musicians showcasing instruments such as the banjo, fiddle and double bass.

The songs chosen were familiar Aussie favourites, like “Thank God I’m a country boy” and “Waltzing Matilda” – making it the first time for many of kids to hear these classic songs.

Babies Prom, Country Kids, Sydney Opera House #Sydney via christineknight.me

Talented musician Coggan held the kids in rapt attention, and even managed to get the parents and grandparents on their feet to try their hand (or foot) at boot scooting to finish off the show.

Babies Prom, Country Kids, Sydney Opera House #Sydney via christineknight.me

As the show wraps up, the musicians (including Coggan) come down to the floor to meet their pint sized fans and let the kids have a go of the instruments. It’s a great opportunity for kids to touch the strings on the double base, or get up and close to the fiddle.

Babies Prom, Country Kids, Sydney Opera House #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Babies Proms run for 30 minutes, which is perfect for a kid of this age’s attention span. They manage to cram in a jam-packed agenda of songs and education, and kids leave not realise they’ve actually just been taught a lot about a whole new genre of music.

Shows like the Babies Proms are so important for the tiniest kids to learn about music from a young age. Catering to little ones like this program does is pretty unusual in my experience. Many shows cater to slightly older kids and expect kids to sit down and just watch a show. The Babies Proms are so successful because they really speak to the age of the kids and engage with them, and have created an environment where it’s ok for kids to stand up and dance, or run to and from their parents. It’s relaxing for all involved, as there is no expectation on the kids to sit down and stay quiet. In fact, the expectation is the opposite, as children are encouraged to sing, move and often play percussion instruments along with the cast.

Cheese and I love the Babies Proms and obviously can’t say enough good things about the shows. If you’re interested in taking your child to see a Babies Prom, the current Country Kids show runs from Wednesday, 6 May through to Sunday, 17 May with 9.30 am, 10.30 am and 11.30 am sessions available most days from $16.00 a ticket. Tickets are available from the Sydney Opera House.

Thank you to the Sydney Opera House for having us at this Babies Prom. We are huge fans and all opinions are, as always, very much our own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Fear Of Missing Milestones

Fear of missing milestones #parenting #kids via christineknight.me

Before my daughter was born I bought a pregnancy and baby book to fill in. And then found a bigger, better baby book, and then another that was birth to five years. Suddenly I had five different baby books, all staring at my from their spot on the shelf, judging me for forgetting to fill in their empty pages. Did I remember to write down the day of baby’s first smile? Her first tooth? The first time she had a bath, rolled over, sat up and danced a jig?

My half-assed attempt to record everything fell by the wayside when exhaustion reared its formidable head – which it did often. I could barely remember what day it was, let alone to write notes down in the baby books. And then, my fear of missing milestones (hence to be known as FOMM) kicked in, and anxiety forced me to try and write down and photograph every tiny detail in my young daughter’s life.

Turns out FOMM is a powerful motivator. Tormented by Pinterest and its lure of onesies with months counted off on them, I still persisted in my attempts to be the mum who does it all. I constantly questioned though, did I have a good enough plan to adequately document every single important moment of my child’s life? Apparently not, as, with my now three-year-old, I see blog posts and tutorials on hand prints taken every month from birth, and realise I’ve missed the boat. I don’t have any hand prints of my baby thus far. I didn’t video any of her birthday parties. I haven’t put together any scrapbooks or albums to celebrate her life thus far. Definitely no shadow boxes on the wall with outgrown baby shoes and locks of hair. In my role as keeper of her childhood memories, have I failed at my job already? Oh, FOMM, there you are, kicking me when I’m already down.

Then reality sinks in. This new phenomena of the need to make every single moment of your child’s life documentable and beautiful is a new one. The arranging of bedding and props for the perfect Instagramable moment, the casting of tiny hands and feet in bronze for the wall. There are no hand and foot prints on display in my parents’ home, no locks of hair, no family art projects on the walls. And do I wish there were? Honestly, no, I don’t. The truth is I’m far to concerned with looking forwards to dwell in my own past. So if we’re not documenting and photographing for the benefits of our kids, who are we going to this immense effort for?

The rise of social media platforms like Pinterest and blogs have created a new “keeping up with the Joneses”, but in this case, the “Jones family” is a crafty mum with too much time on their hands and loves posting pictures of her clever bento box lunch art. We share and comment on these images, blog posts and pins, marvel at the complexity and the cleverness, but deep down, feel our own lack of creativity and commitment to making our children’s memories magical.

Are we raising our children in a pastel pink shiny world where it’s normal to have parties that are “Pinterest-worthy” and have books and albums videos documenting every single breath they took? And would they want us to? Is FOMM stopping us from letting our kids enjoy just being kids, and keeping us, as parents, at a distance in order to capture these moments?

Are we doing our children favours by implying to them that they are so important that we dedicated ourselves to this documentation, this making of sandwiches in the shape of Hello Kitty to entice them to eat (at the same tie as broadcasting to the world what devoted and clever clogs we are)? I think not.
And yet. I am trapped in the cycle myself. Writing down cute things she says. Photographing every day. Pinning ideas for her next birthday party. Watching from the outside instead of playing, laughing and participating. Maybe tomorrow is a good day to start anew and make memories instead of just documenting them.

Linking up with Bron.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.