Family Friday: Jo Jo Crossbody

I held out on the crossbody trend for a long time but finally have realized that, now that I’m past the diaper bag stage, I want something to carry my wallet and phone and lipstick but don’t need something big enough to fit snacks and toys and diapers, etc. The crossbody bag is my new favorite because it’s easy to throw on and go, and if you’re shopping at the grocery store or elsewhere, you don’t have to worry about leaving your bag in your cart. If you don’t like the look of them for work and you’re only buying for the weekend (the playground, weekend errands, even a vacation where you’ll be walking a lot), this is a good bet — it has tons of great reviews, it’s sturdy, and it’s made from recycled materials. The bag is $25 at Zappos and $19 at Amazon (which has even more colors). Dakine Jo Jo Crossbody

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  1. I’ve been really impressed by my Dakine bag. I have one that is a Longchamps shape and made out of recycled water bottles and that thing has worn like iron.

    • +1. I loved my Dakine tote, with one caveat – if you get one with a PU strap/ handles, it starts to wear and flake after a few years and long before the body, so get woven straps.

  2. Fun plans this weekend?

    We’re going on our first date post-baby (well, if you don’t count our trip to the grocery store followed by a cup of tea at the garden centre) tomorrow. Lunch and a show. And then Sunday is Mother’s Day so we’re going to brunch with my dad.

    • avocado says:

      Sounds like fun! We have zero events scheduled this weekend for a change, so kiddo is working on school projects, I am doing the taxes and some drywall repair, and then we are going to see A Wrinkle in Time.

      • I like those productive project weekends. We were snowed in last weekend and managed to get a decent amount done.

        • I’m in need of a project weekend. Tips for occupying a 2 year old so the projects actually get done? Ha! I really don’t like the idea of letting Daniel Tiger run all day, but I’m considering it soon!

          • My baby is much younger but is there a neighbourhood teen who might want some babysitting experience and would be happy to hang out? Could you trade days with a friend?

          • Anonymous says:

            Confession: my son watched videos (downloaded from YouTube, not even Daniel Tiger-quality) all day long for several weekends when we were DESPERATELY trying to finish renovating our new apartment. He was 4 at the time and emerged completely unscathed as far as I can tell. Obviously a sitter would have been better but we were in the process of spending approx 30K more than we had in the bank on the renovation, so…

          • Marilla says:

            The only way it works for us is to divide and conquer – one leaves the house with 2 year old, one stays home and gets stuff done. That’s our plan for this weekend actually – going to send my husband and kid to the indoor playground all morning so I can make a solid dent in Passover kitchen prep.

            Sometimes we’ll ask MIL or other family to take her out so we can get stuff done together, but that’s easier in the summer when they can go to the park. We try in the evenings after bedtime but lately I’m a giant pregnant couch potato after we put our daughter to sleep so not much gets done together then.

          • mumumum says:

            +1 to Marilla – getting baby out of the house is the only way that works for us. I do also make full use of evenings for laundry/tidying/cleaning and smaller projects/tasks.

          • Everlong says:

            YMMV but my 2 year old loves helping with house projects. My husband is really good about coming up with safe ways for him to “help”. DS is certain that he’s painted multiple rooms in the house, hung pictures, repaired the washing machine, etc. For example, when painting, DS is allowed to stand on a low step stool with a paint brush and brush against a wall that hasn’t been painted yet. He’s even helped me get through a backlog of shredding by handing me the papers that need to go in the shredder next. Is there anything you have to do that you can allow your 2 year old to participate in?

          • +1 to Everlong. My 3 year old loves to “help”. He has his own tools, broom, rake for the yard, etc.

            Also, those Melissa and Doug waterbooks are fantastic, but won’t last terribly long.

    • Anonymous says:

      Off topic, but I had a moment of sheer panic when I read that this weekend was mother’s day, until I realized you’re in London. Phew!

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I’m pretty pumped for this weekend! Next week I’m traveling the whole week, so I’m soaking up kiddo time, mostly.

      Tomorrow I have a massage booked and then I’m taking kiddo to Build a Bear (pray for me?) and maybe also a lunch date? On Sunday we’re going to go to my Grammy’s in the morning, and then in the evening there’s a party for a neighbor that’s maybe going to be black light themed! And somewhere in there, we’re going on an ice cream date too. <3

    • Everlong says:

      My mother takes care of my kids when husband and I work. The unintended consequence of that is we only talk about the kids, never fun things anymore! And I don’t see her outside of childcare obligations. We’re going for manicures and pedicures tomorrow and I am so excited!

    • Attending a birthday party with 15 4-year-old boys. It will be amazing or terrible (or likely, both.)

    • We have a St. Patrick’s Day parade going by our house on Sunday. (It’s always scheduled for the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day, which doesn’t usually work out as being a completely different weekend.) Ever since Mardi Gras, Kiddo has been obsessed with parades, so it’ll be fun for him to get to see it. We’ve invited some friends and family over to watch with us.

      I told DH that I needed some “me time” on Saturday, then 2 minutes later, told him I wanted to clean out the garage. He pointed out that that cleaning the garage out doesn’t sound like “me” time. So maybe “me” time this weekend and garage next. Except there’s another St. Patrick’s Day parade next weekend in front of my SIL’s house :)

    • Ooh! I’m getting some new headshots taken (if the weather cooperates) and we’re going to see Dragons Love Tacos the play!

  3. Turtle says:

    I’m hoping to get a necklace that is very simple and that I can engrave. I’m thinking stainless or white gold. I’d like to engrave my wedding date and my first child’s birth date on it but also have room for adding future children. I want it to be a nice piece of jewelry but also subtle. This is something I would likely wear daily.

    One thought is a simple chain with two small ring-like pendant/charms on it, each engraved with a date. I am having no luck finding what is in my head, but I am also open to any other ideas you might have. TIA!

  4. Bananas says:

    I have this same dilemma. My girlfriend, a mom of 2 says the upside to letting the tv run is they get sick of it, and then it doesn’t feel like a treat. That’s a plus, right?
    I usually just get a sitter. Or ask dad to take the kids to the park down the street.

  5. AwayEmily says:

    My MIL wants a gift idea for my soon-to-be two year old. She has rejected my “experience” suggestions (zoo membership, etc).

    Any ideas? She’d prefer to give a “big” gift (like, actually physically large) so I want to steer her towards something that’s at least somewhat useful (ie, not the easel that she was considering). We don’t have a huge house so not a lot of room. I was thinking maybe a beanbag chair? That seems pretty versatile but I have no idea where to find a good one. We already have a small play kitchen.

    • Anonymous says:

      Aww an easel sounds great! A balance bike maybe?

    • A wobbel balance board. It can be used as a track for toys and for play for kids and adults.

      • Or along these lines, a learning tower?

        • Marilla says:

          +1 to learning tower – we built our own because we’re cheap but you can buy really nice ones and they’re pretty pricy, so good for a grandparent gift.

        • Butter says:

          Our learning tower is the best thing ever. We bought ours second hand because they are expensive, but kiddo has used it nearly every day since he was ~18 months and adores it. He likes to help us cook and prepare food and sometimes snack up there. We have a small galley kitchen and I don’t even care about the space it takes up.

        • AwayEmily says:

          This is such a good recommendation but we have a learning tower (a previous gift from MIL, actually). I agree with Butter — I adore it despite its huge footprint. Weirdly, she will try food while standing in the learning tower helping to cook that she would NEVER eat if she was served it at the table…

        • Yes! This was a 2 year old grandparent gift and we’ve loved ours.

    • Amelia Bedelia says:

      micro-mini skooter. my 16 month old MASTERED that thing quickly and it is awesome. we let her use it in the house — but, you might not want to do that.

    • Cornellian says:

      I am indignant at how much time/energy we seem to spend on managing our SO’s family members’ wishes and feelings.

      My neighbor has an inflatable ball pit that she uses for everything. It’s almost like a little kids’ pool. She throws her kid in there for art projects or water play, and also has actual balls she uses sometimes. I guess the bag of balls takes up space, but the actual pit is pretty small when not in use.

    • Anonymous says:

      We got a LOT of mileage out of the Little Tikes First Slide. We live in an apartment and have only used it inside. It is very light, comes apart in 2 pieces and stores flat. We keep in upright the closet and used to just put it in the corner when my son’s room didn’t have a closet. He’s 5.5 and can still use it.

    • All the above suggestions are awesome. I just want to say that we have an easel, and we like it. Our almost 2.5 year old got it for Christmas. Right now we mainly use the white board side with letter and number magnets, but will likely expand our magnet collection. It also has a paper roll that she can color on, but her favorite thing to do is have us trace the letters on the paper and then match them up with the magnets. It really doesn’t take that much space, and we anticipate that she’ll get many years of use out of it with the magnets/white board/chalkboard/paint cups. A play kitchen is also a good one to grow with.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Yeah, kiddo got an easel her second Christmas, and it still gets daily use 2 years later. She LOVES art projects though, and it’s a wonderful, non-messy way for her to scratch that itch without much input from me. We have one that has a white board on one side and a chalkboard on the other, with a roll of paper below. I hung a roll of paper towel off the side too, because kiddo prefers that to the eraser.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      For “big” gifts – kiddo has a pop up tent and tunnel that collapse to flat. They came from Ikea and she uses them a lot. I think the easel is a great gift, actually – see my comment above. Kiddo has gotten a lot of mileage from a little kid’s scooter. Also, do you have a kid’s table and chair set? I wish I had splurged on a better one; I got a simple Ikea coffee table and some stools, but the stools are really unstable and I think kiddo would use it more if we had stable chairs.

      And I’ll take flak for this, but my parents gave kiddo a Kindle for her birthday a few years ago, and it’s great. I have an Amazon Prime membership, and there are lots of free games and kids books and shows. The nice thing about games is I can cut it off after 10 minutes, unlike a tv show which has a natural ending point. And there are books with audio so I can actually set kiddo up with a kindle reading her favorite books to her. Bonus that it doesn’t take up much space and the battery lasts much longer than my iPad.

    • AwayEmily says:

      These are all such good ideas that I never would have thought of. I think we will go with either the balance bike or the scooter. ideas on which is better?

      And NewMomAnon — I actually think the Kindle sounds like a great idea for a toddler. Maybe I should give her my old one…

      I like the easel in theory but it would be slightly redundant because our present to her is a big magnetic whiteboard in her room. In my one and only attempt at being a crafty mom I’m making “family magnets” to go on it — I’m using adhesive magnet sheets to make magnets out of photos of her friends and family. She loooves the Christmas cards we keep on the fridge so I’m hoping it will be a hit.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Awww, I love your family magnets. I might steal that….I tried to make a big felt board calendar for kiddo, but her primary use for it was swiping all the pieces onto the floor. Maybe I’ll try a magnet calendar.

    • Anonymous says:

      My mom got my son a “train of the month” subscription from here: and he loves, loves, loves it. He gets so excited to open his new train car every month, and he plays with them constantly. So sweet. They’re super sturdy– he crashes them all over our apartment– and beautiful.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      Magna Tiles – they are big in price and my son is almost 8 and still plays with them 4-5 times a week.

      • Marilla says:

        Oh great call. Expensive but a hit. My kid plays with them at home and at daycare and hasn’t gotten bored of them at all.

    • +1 to Kitchen Tower, Little Tykes slide and a play tent if you have the room.

  6. Balance bike?
    pop-up ‘castle’ (like what they sell at Ikea?)
    Wooden train set?

  7. Best Crib Rail Cover says:

    Suggestions for best crib rail cover for teething protection, or is this a hopeless endeavor?

    Would like to keep the front rail nibble free so that if/when we actually convert and use it as the foot board there aren’t gnaw marks all over it. It is a fairly wide rail, so needs to be on the larger side.

    Ideally something more minimal / neutral, but if there’s a product that works, don’t care overmuch what it looks like!

    • anne-on says:

      Ha, I could not find one so the footboard in our au pair bedroom has obviously been gnawed. I find it kind of adorable and truly, if it is a guest room bed will anyone care?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you actually already have nibbler, or are you asking proactively? I ask because neither of mine have ever chewed on their crib. I know many do, but it’s not necessarily a foregone conclusion that yours will.

      • Best Crib Rail Cover says:

        Not yet nibbling, just trying to be prepared before we are yet more sleep deprived – seemed like if there was a definite winner product easy enough to order and stick in a drawer til needed.

        Good to know we might get lucky!

    • I looked and looked for a professional solution, but did not find anything that was safe and looked nice and actually did the job. What worked was getting fleece from the fabric store, cut to fit and tie together between each crib rail. You can search the words (not phrase) “no sew fleece crib cover” and pull up some blog posts. Very cheap, did not take that long, and you can coordinate the fleece to the room.

      • Marilla says:

        This was my plan when it looked like my daughter was starting to chew on her crib, but after one experimental nibble she never really did!

    • AwayEmily says:

      Mine never nibbled either!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am completely irrationally worrying about the size of house we are currently building. We deliberately chose to build a smaller house than we could have to not have a huge mortgage. We deliberately chose to pick a neighbourhood where smaller houses are the norm so my commute would be manageable. Logically I know these were the right decisions for us, but when I go see the house, I panic a bit. It will not be small: 1900 square feet. Family of 4. We were previously living in 900 square feet with 3 of us so again, I don’t know why I am worrying.

    I’m not sure what the point of this post is, as I recognize it is completely irrational, but I feel silly worrying about it out loud!

    • anne-on says:

      Can you start thinking about (or have your builder add) things that will help you maximize the space? We did all of the closets (local kraftmaid type dealer, not california closets). Ditto with fold out corner shelves in the kitchen. I also built and added steel racks to our basement and attic but would have LOVED to have floor to ceiling shelving in both of those spaces. Uh, and hauling stainless steel baking rack type things up into an attic in summer when we moved was SO not fun.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you. I am definitely going to start thinking about closet organizers. Happily we have already built a bunch of built-ins into the contract, and have decided to swallow the cost of additional built-ins in the basement because I worry if we don’t do it now, we will never do it!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hugs. Moving is a Big Deal and building a house offers even more opportunity to second guess yourself. Can you just sit with those insecurities and fears for a while? It’s OK to be nervous about a big change.

      Also – it sounds like you did a ton of thinking about this. For what it’s worth, I bet you made great decisions. Will you sometimes regret them? Probably. But they were still great decisions.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think this is normal. My 1 hour commute never really bothered me when were renting, but when we bought an apartment that is approximately 100 yards from our former rental, all of a sudden it started to be a PROBLEM in my mind. I think it is because it feels so irrevocable and permanent now that we own. But logically, you are going to double your square footage: it is going to feel huge at first. And if you hate it, you can sell it – it really isn’t irrevocable.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you. Yes, my husband’s answer to this is simply that if we outgrow it, we will move. But we have literally spent 3 years planning this build, are currently living with my in-laws to make it work, so I would REALLY like this to be our forever house!!

        • Anonymous says:

          It is impossible to know the future – forever is a long time! Just surrender to uncertainty (ha, easier said than done!) and try to draw strength from your competence: you did researched and planned and made the best decisions you could. If you have problems, you will draw on those same strengths to solve them, whatever they are.

    • This. This. This. Hubby and I are finalizing building plans and trying to decide what size makes sense. We too would like to live below our means. But we also don’t want to outgrow the house in 5 years. We’d like to be in this house until our daughter graduates high school in 16 years. Our current big issue is whether to add bonus space above the garage. Because of the structural issues involved in that space specifically, there isn’t much in between cost-wise. We could save a little money upfront by only finishing part of the space now, but it isn’t linear – most of the cost is structural and not finishing. It’s really putting a standstill on everything while we figure it out. Two weeks ago we decided no. And now I’m back to yes, and husband is in the middle.

      • Anonymous says:

        What is the downside to adding it and not finishing it, other than cost (which of course can be a significant issue)? Even if you never use it, if you can avoid having to heat or cool it, it shouldn’t be an ongoing cost once built, and might be really attractive to you or a future buyer some day. I can see how extra unused space within the house could be annoying – having to heat/cool/clean/decorate it – but if it is a seperate-ish space that can be closed off…?

        That said I live in NYC and the idea of “too much space” is just really hard for me to wrap my head around.

    • That sounds really smart and like a perfect size. We bought a 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bath house with a basement shortly after we got married. It is 2400 sq ft total and I feel like it is too much house. I may feel differently if we have a second kid, but we currently have a guest room that we have used maybe 4 times in 4 years, and we use like 20% of the basement. It feels like a huge waste.

    • Big House says:

      We bought a 3,800 square foot home last year. Not a typo. It is huge. I hate it and we are thinking of selling less than one year later (for lots of reasons–the only thing we like about the house is its location, it was hard to get into this neighborhood and we really wanted to be here for commuting and childcare reasons). I have determined that 1800 square feet is my ideal, perfect house size.

      If it makes you feel any better, I think your house sounds perfect and am jealous right now. It sounds like you are doing built-ins and have been really smart about this purchase, so I think it will work out great.

      Just curious-did you look at the house with just the studs/framing up but no drywall yet? It is really common for people to panic when they tour their house with just the stud walls and framing up–something about that stage in the build just makes the space look really small. Once the walls go in it looks much bigger. So trust your design plan, I’m sure the square footage will be just right for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, I did just look at the house with framing only, no drywall, which is when I panicked! Thank you

        • Big House says:

          Sounds like you will be fine then–it was just the stage of the home when you viewed it.

      • In House Lobbyist says:

        I agree! We have a 5000 sq foot house and it is so hard to clean and has so much unused space. We love the house and got a great deal on it but we will probably sell in the next few years and look for more property and less house. We literally have one huge room that has a sitting area and a 14 foot dining room table and two huge china hutches. My kids just refer to it as “the big room”.

  9. How did/do you structure your baby’s awake time when they are little? I’m on maternity leave and my daughter is a little over two months. I feel like I spend ALL of her awake time feeding her or trying to get her to sleep. On a good day, she averages about 14.5 hours of sleep, which is below the recommended amount and honestly she seems tired a lot but getting her to actually sleep is so hard. I feel like it doesn’t leave time for tummy time (which of course she hates) or reading or anything else. When are you supposed to do the activities?? Right when she wakes up from a nap? After eating when she is sleepy (but apparently not sleepy enough to actually go to sleep)? Why is this question driving me insane?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Aww, I remember having these concerns. At 2 months, baby laying on your chest is an “activity.” And if you are talking to her – bonus. And tummy time can include baby laying on your chest, on her tummy. Do you babywear at all? I found that to be a good way to get kiddo to sleep.

      Also – solidarity. Kiddo was a very curious, engaged baby who HATED sleeping. She was also easily overstimulated, and that made it even harder. I didn’t really understand what was happening until she was much older. In retrospect, I should have worn her much more in a wrap to reduce stimulation and worried a lot less about “activities.”

      • mumumum says:

        +1 to babywearing to help with sleep. From about 2 months to 5 months, it was the only surefire way to get my son to sleep (except at night when he would go down in his crib if he was swaddled and fed to sleep). I was worried that I was creating a monster who would never sleep on his own, but we sleep-trained successfully at 5.5 months using the Ferber method and he has consistently slept through the night since then. It took longer for us to sleep-train him to nap in his crib, but he started doing that consistently at 8 months.

        I really didn’t do any activities until my kid was 4 months and sitting up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you looked at the EASY routine? Eat, activity, sleep. The idea being that it separate eating from sleeping. It worked pretty well for my kid, but I know all kids are different. I think talking/narrating aloud and playing music while you are doing other things are great exposures for language. You don’t have to have seated story time if it doesn’t work for you.

      • This. I did this too and it worked really well. I didn’t want to be in the habit of always nursing him to sleep, even though that’s what I did at night. My son did not take long naps until he was about 5 months old. When I was on maternity leave, I was lucky if he took at 30 minute nap.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, in hindsight I regret worrying about anything but keeping myself and the baby alive at that age and trying to find a few minutes to do something I enjoyed. You will have plenty of time to read to her when she is older. It starts getting much easier to figure out what they want/need once they start moving around on their own and then walking and talking. And I think all babies hate tummy time. I’m certain we never did the recommended amount.

      If it makes you feel better you could try reading to her when you are rocking her to sleep. I think I did that a bit, partly to stave off boredom. But maybe read a grown up book you enjoy, not a picture book.

      • Anonymous says:

        This. You do not yet have to start reading Llama Llama to her (I mean, you totally can and those are adorable and great, but you will have YEARS of reading that ahead of you… for better or worse). You can totally read a small infant US Weekly or a legal brief and it is fine. You’re getting the benefit from that, too.

      • Marilla says:

        +1. 5 minutes walking around the house narrating what you see (like being a tour guide for your little baby is what I used to do) is all the activity they need for now! It’s just eat, sleep, maybe a couple minutes tummy time, chill in the bouncer, eat some more. Stroller naps were also great – if she has a fussy period where she won’t nap and she seems tired (mine was in the early afternoon and also all the time, but early afternoon was my best walking time), go walk around the neighbourhood.. 2 minutes of “activity time” when she’s awake in fresh air and then a little nap.

      • +1. I found a productive use for all those baby sleep books, which were completely useless for us. Instead of throwing them across the room I read them to the baby to help lull him to sleep. I also read him the Economist, had dance parties to Spotify kids channels, and made up ridiculous songs.

        LB – solidarity! My kid was a curious, engaged, frustrated, angry baby who did not like sleeping longer than 20min at a stretch and was not happy until he learned to crawl, basically. Once he could move on his own, he turned into Mr Sunshine.

    • Hey there. The total amount of sleep is totally OK. If you want to get really scientific about it, download the BabyConnect app and sign up for the NYU baby sleep study. Then you can compare your baby to hundreds of others. I thought we were on the low end for sleep too, but turns out my baby was pretty normal. The older sleep charts and recommended hours did not have a lot of data or research behind them. Also, I think you might be able to look at the NYU study charts without signing up for the study if you like.

      A few other notes:
      *You may have a baby that needs lot of soothing time to go to sleep and you may be spending a good portion of your day helping her go to sleep. That was me. Nothing wrong with it. Not all infants doze off easy peasy and sleep is important, so you do what you have to do. I focused on awake time (e.g., after 75 minutes my baby should be going to sleep and it took me 15 minutes to get her to sleep so I would start our soothing and bouncing routine at 60 minutes after she woke up). I like schedules, obviously.
      *Some babies take a really long time to eat. So maybe you are spending all your time helping her eat and then getting her to sleep. That is totally OK and not at all abnormal.
      *Tummy time can be added in at any time. If you want a schedule, try to do 1 minute at every diaper change. Or 2 minutes after eating. Or at a specific time each day. You can choose what works for you and your baby.
      *Try to go outside once a day for your own sanity. Fresh air for baby is a bonus. Use a stroller or babywear or just carry the baby, whatever you are most comfortable with.
      *Babies don’t need activities until much older. Just existing is activity enough at this age. Focus on yourself. Nothing wrong with putting on your favorite music and swaying around with baby. Or plopping down on the couch and watching a show on Netflix while baby nurses or naps. Or using headphones to listen to an audiobook (just be mindful of the cord for you and baby). Or reading your own Kindle.
      *If you really want activities, I recommend the WonderWeeks book or app. It talks about stages and development and different things that might stimulate your baby. I remember one week my baby was really interested in smells and I would hold up different things for her to smell. Another time she was fascinated by watching me dim and brighten a lamp for her.

      You are doing great and sound like such a great mom!

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t need to ‘do the activities’ at this age. Just being alive and watching the world around them is plenty of activity and stimulation. Do what you want to do – try a mommy and me yoga class, go for a walk in the park, take her to starbucks for an hour while you drink a hot tea and people watch.

      I generally put my babies on their belly for a few minutes after each diaper change while I went to wash my hands. Work up from there.

  10. Rainbow Hair says:

    I’ve been pondering consequences lately — mostly the timing, and how to set boundaries without being disproportionately punitive.

    Yesterday my kid (just turned three) hit her teacher. The back story was, Teacher A told her to clean up the mess she made outside, Kiddo didn’t, Teacher A said, “ok, if you don’t clean up, you can’t play with magnets when we go inside.” They went inside, Kiddo tried to play with magnets, Teacher B said, “you can’t play with magnets because you didn’t clean up when Teacher A told you to.” Cue meltdown and hitting.

    Here’s the thing. Apparently — Kiddo is the only one who told me this — as a consequence for hitting, Kiddo was told not to bring a book for book-sharing time (which they always do on Fridays). Book sharing is like, her favorite thing, so this is a serious consequence. And on the one hand, I think it’s good because hitting is not OK. But on the other hand, if they/we keep taking away everything she likes, isn’t she going to be miserable and hav a harder time controlling herself?

    Is a consequence that happens 24 hours after the bad act too far away for a three year old?

    • Anonymous says:

      I tend to agree with you – I think it is too harsh, not a logical consequence, and too separated in time from the offense. I also agree that taking away everything she likes is ultimately counterproductive, and if the kid is having an out of control meltdown, what she really needs is help calming down and dealing with her emotions appropriately in that moment. This is where a timeout can be useful – an immediate space to calm down.

      Is the teacher drawing more lines in the sand than is necessary? No kid likes cleaning up. At my son’s preschool one of their clean up tricks was a reverse psychology game: the teacher would say, “I’m going to close my eyes and when I open them I don’t want to see any of this mess cleaned up. I want to clean it up ALL BY MYSELF with no help from kids.” And then the teacher closed her eyes for a few minutes while narrating how much she was looking forward to cleaning up by herself. The kids understood the game and would clean up to “trick” her while her eyes were closed. I realize this may not be feasible if they need to get inside fast, but another strategy would be to say, the longer it takes for you to clean up the less time you will have for magnets inside.

      On the other hand, discipline is really hard. I struggle with these decisions all the damn time – am I too soft, too hard, too inconsistent? So much compassion for the teacher. Also, you might see if the teacher’s story matches your daughter’s – I didn’t feel like my son was a reliable narrator at that age.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Thanks for these thoughts!

        Part of the problem is… I’m big on firm boundaries and quick consequences and no negotiating. I like the idea that you know what to expect. So, “If you don’t come in here right now and brush your teeth, that’s fine, but then I won’t sing to you before bed.” And so it’s in her control.

        BUT sometimes I will say, “OK, you’re not here brushing, so no songs” and then my husband will respond to her tears with like, “oh I’ll help you do it” and then having her apologize to me and ask for songs back. And uuugh that’s not the point of consequences? If the lesson is, “you get consequences, except if you cry a LOT and negotiate and then eventually compromise — then you might get what you want.”

        Or maybe I’m too mean? I don’t know!

        • anne-on says:

          I’m with you – we have clear, nonnegotiable consequences too and I would be REALLY annoyed at my husband and have an after bed talk about that kind of behavior on his part.

        • Can I ask how exactly you implement this? I’ve been trying to do something similar with my 2 year old but I’m not sure where to draw the line, and so I think I sometimes end up acting like your husband. For example, do you ask her to brush her teeth once and if she doesn’t do it immediately, she loses songs? Or do you ask a few times? Or ask once and just wait a few minutes? Often I have to ask my son to do something 4 or 5 times before he listens, which is frustrating but I don’t know if implementing a “you only have one chance to listen” rule is too harsh at this age.

    • Anonymous says:

      For you at home, sure. I’d like a swifter consequence. But for a school I think this is reasonable. They aren’t taking away everything she likes forever. They are imposing reasonable proportionate consequences.

    • I don’t think the consequence is necessarily too harsh, but I do think it is too far away in time for a 3 year old.
      I also find it a bit strange that if this is the consequence, the teacher would not call you to discuss or send home a note. I’m not suggesting that your daughter is dishonest or an inaccurate reporter, but if you usually help kid select book to bring in for book sharing, it seems like the teacher would want to tell you that she shouldn’t bring one in? Maybe the teacher just had a crazy day and forgot to communicate this to you (we’re all human), but seems like the type of thing a teacher would usually communicate?

    • Anonymous says:

      Consequence isn’t necessarily out of proportion (though it would be for how things are enforced at my home/daycare) but the timing issue is very surprising. I’ve had three kids through daycare and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 24 hours or next day type consequence for that kind of one time issue. Definitely does not seem developmentally appropriate, and more about ‘punishment’ than discipline. I would definitely talk to the director about it.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Man, I am second guessing, now. Like maybe Kiddo just concluded that she couldn’t bring a book to share. Because the reminder on the app was definitely “bring a book to share!” …

        I know that in the past she has had a consequence of “if you don’t stop being disruptive during book time, we won’t read the book you brought” which is fair enough, and I wonder if she just extrapolated into “I got in trouble so I can’t bring my book!”

        She’s usually disturbingly accurate in how she recalls and describes things, but I could see her getting wires crossed on this. Or maybe that’s wishful thinking.

  11. Anon for this says:

    How do you guys work treats into your lives? My day to day is currently a grind (typical stuff – job, commute, kid, pregnancy, random energy sucking life events), and I have been using food treats as a way to get myself through it, but it’s becoming unhealthy. What are alternative treats when you have no free time and very little extra energy, so the typical manicure/massage/yoga, etc options are out. I don’t mind spending some money, but on what? I was considering a subscription box of some kind, but ultimately that just sounds like extra stuff in my house that I will have to deal with. I’m just looking for a little hit of pleasure from something that doesn’t ask anything of me.

    • CPA Lady says:

      I get the sephora box, which I really like (but I’m into makeup and skincare). I acutally use the products though, so they aren’t just cluttering up my house. I also get sugary iced coffees once a week.

      I did something new last week that I really enjoyed, which was taking a bath while listening to a podcast, with a sheet mask on my face. I normally hate baths and find them boring, but the podcast made it a pleasant experience. I listen to a lot of comedy podcasts.

      I also force myself to make time for myself when my husband is in town and go out for dinner with my friends.

    • shortperson says:

      vacation planning online. we took a big international trip during my maternity leave that i planned every inch of during my awful work period in my third trimester. then it was all ready to go. i had even forgot what i booked, it was like a travel agent had booked it.

    • I really like doing 5-10 minutes of yoga/stretching before bed. Feels good and helps me sleep. I also really like taking a hot bath with a book + tea/glass of wine. And if there’s any way to make the daily grind more interesting, I’ll do it: listen to podcasts on the way to work, watch John Oliver or similar while cleaning up, catch up on crap TV while folding laundry, stuff like that. Feels like a treat but I still get stuff done.

    • Tfor22 says:

      I know exactly what you mean! When I feel ground to the nub or trapped by everyone else’s schedule I often give myself food treats.

      My other treats may seem a little silly, but here goes. I have some lovely hand lotion at my desk at work and a containers of silk vanilla to use in my coffee (makes the Keurig coffee so much better). I drink a lot of seltzer and sometimes fancy herbal tea.

      I’ve managed to rework our Monday morning schedules so that I can go to boxing class at the gym at 545. This is one of my favorite things. I also like running along the canal when I can fit it in. And hanging on this site!

    • What about a magazine subscription you can look forward to every month? And when you get a free few minutes, you can leaf through it.

    • I totally give in to treats. Maybe I’m just more into food than others, but it truly feels like a slice of me time heaven when I have my Starbucks or eat my Reese’s egg. I just (mostly) work them into an overall diet plan because I know I can’t give it all up. The food I eat is generally either very healthy (lettuce salad with chicken and poached egg for lunch 90% of the time) or very unhealthy – the dessert that follows lunch. I also get a grande Starbucks mocha with no whip every day. I don’t fault myself for the milk, so it’s really about 100-150 calories of “treat”. I just have a plan where I get my mocha and a few treats per day. I try to be around 80% healthy / 20% whatever I want for calories so I have freedom. I do best with more small treats (think 3-4 Dove chocolates per day) plus my mocha than one big dessert. I’m just not into most of the experience treats. I also want a treat every day and not one manicure every couple weeks or something.

    • I got the ipsy box, which is like Birchbox/Sephora Play box, but with a focus on makeup over skincare. It’s really silly, and makes me really happy. I don’t go into it thinking “this is the month I find a perfect black eyeliner.” I think “I’m going to be silly and frivolous and I’m going to test out some silly sparkle eye shadow just because it’s fun.”

      It also has updates throughout the month (here’s what you’re getting! it’s shipped! this is how you use what you got! review what you got and we will take your recommendations creating next month’s box!). You can ignore the updates, but I like them, because it really stretches out the treat to take over most of the month. It’s also $10, and you get 5 things, so if I hate anything I just throw it out guilt-free – each item is only $2.

      Another idea – I had a coworker who had a friend who would buy a $1 scratch off lotto ticket in the morning (maybe just on Fridays?), and then either scratch a little off throughout the day or wait to scratch if off at the end of the day.

    • Anonymous says:

      listening to podcasts while i do chores, etc., reading trashy romance novels (from library via Overdrive app), playing candy crush, going out for a walk at work and having tea or a seltzer

  12. Image in presentation question says:

    I’m preparing a presentation for a national industry conference. This may be an elementary level question but it’s something I’d prefer not to mess up. I want to be able to use pictures in my presentation that are not mine. If I filter a Google Image search to show only “Labeled for reuse”, am I OK to use those photos in my presentation without citing a source?

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