Parenting 2.0

Archive for the ‘Health and Safety’ Category


Avoiding germs, especially this time of year, is pretty well impossible. However, spreading them, or preventing the spreading of them is something I have been trying to instill in little Niko. The two at the top of our list?

1) Using tissues to blow your nose.

2) Covering your nose when you sneeze or cough.

He’s about 50/50 on both.

So this morning, after a rapid fire of sneezes during breakfast, about half of them shielded by his tiny bent elbow, I reminded him about the importance of covering his nose every time. By then he was done eating anyway, so I helped him out of his booster seat and he continued about his morning routine – which really just involves playing and more playing -, while I put Daddy’s lunch together.

Of course, when he saw me pull out the apples, he wanted one. And I obliged his request. So now he’s scampering underfoot with his cars and his apple (yes it can make for a bit of a mess, but I’m just happy he’s eating fruit), when he comes to me with a chewed piece of apple skin on his finger. He’s in the habit of spitting out what he doesn’t like, and handing it over to me: be it apple skin, chicken or whatever. Which I guess is better than the alternative of spitting it out in a secret spot, only to be discovered by me, hours or even worse, days later. So toward me he trots with a relatively small piece of what looks to be apple skin stuck to the tip of his finger, all the while, calling “Mama, Mama, garbage.”

I retrieve the gooey peel from his tiny pointer, only to discover that it wasn’t apple skin!

“Niko, please use a Kleenex next time”. But like I said, we’re still working on that one…

Don’t worry Daddy, I washed my hands before I proceeded with your sandwich!


Niko is becoming evermore affectionate by the day. He freely kisses and hugs us, and while at times it takes a little coaxing, more and more he is loving us out of his own volition. And doesn’t it feel so great to have those tiny little arms wrapped tightly around your neck, back, leg, or whatever the chosen “love spot” of the moment may be. So yes, we welcome his affections.

However, this does not mean we want him to extend this love to all living creatures. After a visit to the Experimental Farm the other day, we realized how quickly his affections can be outletted, and perhaps that we need to monitor him a bit more closely. While at home, he may be the victim of our lovable poodle’s wet tongued smooches, we don’t necessarily want him to be the bovine delight of the day. Thank goodness for hand sanitizer (turned face and lip sanitizer when the time calls).

How does that mantra go? He’s building his immunities. He’s building his immunities…


This situation took place a while ago, but seeing as it’s remained in the forefront of my mind, and seeing as I am over the initial shock, I now feel ready to share its full and hideous glory with the blogosphere. Will it serve as a cautionary tale? Maybe. Will it change the world for the better? Most definitely (just as the rest of my posts do on a daily basis). When it happened, I was too repulsed to write about it; I mean when your baby ends up with a live and unidentifiable bug in his mouth, it’s not something you necessarily want to keep as a permament memory. But you know what? As time passed I’ve had many a good laugh over the whole thing. So, here it is.

A few weeks ago, Little N Bomb was sitting on the floor playing with toys. At this point in his wee life he was still pretty stationary. So while he played, I stepped in to the kitchen to battle dishes or something housewifey like that. When I checked on him just a moment later, he had the strangest look on his face (one of puzzlement, verging on disgust), and a stream of drool that gave Niagara Falls a run for its money. I also noticed that he was moving something around in his mouth, and at this point I got a little worried. So I gently pried open his tiny jaw and scooped out a “wild blueberry”? But we didn’t have any blueberries in our house. Upon closer inspection I realized this “blueberry” had eight tiny wriggling legs and a hard shell. Ugh. I opened the front door and tossed it, never having seen the likes of it again.

It wasn’t until today, that I actually had the courage to Google this mysterious bug. And despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find an image of it anywhere. The best pics I could find were of a VW Bug, a wooden spider and a DC comic book character (and obviously none of them are what I found that day). I guess the closest one is the wooden spider, but the one Niko had in his mouth only had one body sphere, not two. And who knew there was even a comic book character called the Blue Beetle?! Geesh, the things you can learn on this wild and wacky interweb.

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Things that don’t mix well: one tennis ball, two people (me and Niko), and three dogs (Frasier, Jupiter and Percy). You’d think that swimming in the lake and sitting on the dock on a sunny day at my parents’ cottage would be a recipe for fun, and for the most part it was. Niko had his first ever dip into a lake and although it was still a touch cold and I only went in to my knees, he seemed to do relatively well with the whole experience. It must be all the swimming lessons he took this past winter.

Anyway, we were alone at the cottage, waiting for my parents to get there. Lena‘s Grandparents have a cottage next to us and they were up, but when we headed to the dock there was not a soul in site, not even a furry one, well, except for Frasier. Anyway, after our swim Niko and I lay out a towel and just sat around for all of about thirty seconds. Basically we were like a magnet for the two other pooches that belong to Lena’s grandparents. One of the doggies came with a ball and all of sudden Niko and I were surrounded by three big dogs. The ball was dropped and proceeded to bounce about a foot from where we were sitting. This proved to be too much temptation for the three furry beasts and they all scrambled to get their teeth on the tennis ball, which also prompted a bout of snarling, growling, snapping, baring of teeth and even got Little Niko knocked over on his back.

Now in general, Frasier loves dogs. But seeing as he’s a timid pooch and depending on the personalities of the other dogs he encounters, he can end up being cowed. In most cases I do what I can to protect him, but in this case, when we were confined by the limited space of the dock, and Niko was knocked down I had to focus my attention solely on my baby, and couldn’t put an ounce of help out there for my pooch. So with my maternal instincts in full swing, I planted my feet firmly in a wide stance, bent over, hip checked the snarling dogs out of the way, swooped up my baby and got the heck out of there. Leaving the three furry guys to fend for themselves, which in the end worked out just fine. Although, Frasier’s confidence did seem a bit damaged, but I’m sure he’ll get over it.

PS – Niko was just fine too.

Note: I will add an actual picture of the weekend, once I find my camera cable, which is still MIA since the move.

Update (July 6): I found my camera cable. 🙂 The pic below is post dock trauma and as you can see the Little Man seems to have recovered quite well and is enjoying the company of Gramma and Grandad.

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The hunt is on. I am now fully engaged in the process of looking for daycare for this coming September. (Although I try to comfort myself by remembering that I still do have a full quarter of my mat. leave left. That’s a lot, right? Right. Right?!) Anyway, now that we know where we’ll be living this Fall, I’ve started looking for a daycare provider in that area. But there’s something about leaving my helpless little babe (OK, by then he’ll pretty much be a toddler, but still…) who can’t talk and tell me if something’s wrong, with a complete stranger for half his life, that just doesn’t bode well with me. Yikes! I guess this is just the way the system works: it’s a little unnerving. I mean, I’m sure most caregivers are perfectly fine, but it’s the horror stories that float through my head. Maybe I need to reprogram that tape, and remind myself that he will have fun there and probably make some friends. The socializing will be good for him… It’s OK Mommy, it’s OK.  Really, I’ve been fortunate to have a full year off with him, as I know in the States this is not the case: sometimes it’s just a few weeks and at best a few months. But still, this does not make the process any easier for me.

So, we’ve got three appointments lined up this week and I’m hoping that one of them will pan out. One thing’s for sure, I am not settling for daycare. If for whatever reason I don’t get a good feel from any of these places, I will not be sending my little monkey there and the search will have to continue. Ideally I want to find a caregiver that I am happy with and that Niko is happy with. We want him to be stimulated, well cared for, to bond with this person and I want to be able to trust her completely. Is this possible? I sure hope so.

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You see the “moose danger” signs all over Highway 60 but hardly ever actually see any moose. Those signs are everywhere though, but the only moose I ever see (which ends up being about one a summer) are drinking water not too far from the highway. (Well, except for that one time we saw the dead on one the side of the road, but that’s another story.) And you usually know the moose is there before you even see it yourself, because there are cars stopped on both shoulders and people out with their cameras snapping away. I also hear that every year people have fatal collisions with these massive beasts, but again, this is something (thank goodness) that I have never experienced first hand.

The closest I’ve ever come to a moose, or for that matter colliding with one, happened last weekend. Borys, Dziadzio, Niko and I were piled in to our hatchback and traveling toward my parents’ cottage. Seeing as our friends Jamie and Chris were getting married at a place called Port Severn lodge and we were coming from Ottawa, we decided to split up the drive by staying at the cottage on Friday night, leaving us only a two hour drive for the day of the wedding. Dziadzio graciously tagged along as our in-house babysitter. So while Borys and I were at the ceremony, dinner and dance, Dziadzio and Niko were hanging out in the hotel room. It was actually really convenient because everything was within walking distance and Borys and I could easily check on Niko (and Dziadzio).

Anyway, back to the moose…

So as we were nearing the cottage and time was creeping close to midnight, we could see a figure up ahead and off to the side of the road. As we got closer we had to completely stop our car on the highway: thank goodness there was no other traffic, otherwise the results could have been tragic! Anyway, we came to a complete stop and the moose was about a metre or two in front of our car. It was as if we were having a standoff: our eyes peering out (and up) at hers and she squinting into the headlights and right into our car. Then she backed up so she was square in front of us and turned to face us directly! For as second we all thought she was going to charge, but I think she was probably just stunned from what was going on, as well as by the high beams. Anyway, she broke out of her reverie (didn’t charge us) and clambered off to the side of the highway! Craziness!

Note: The picture of the moose below is not the actual moose we saw, just a random cute pic of a moose with her baby.


You know sometimes when you do something that seems like a good idea at the time, but in hindsight may not have been the best choice. This is Niko’s and my reality right now. Last Friday the Little N Man and I had an adventure at the grocery store: the adventurous part being that he got to sit in the grocery cart like a big boy for the first time. When I put him in there, I couldn’t help but think about all the hands that had touched the cart and that probably it wasn’t the cleanest of things for my little babe to be touching. Especially considering he’s at that stage where everything goes in his mouth, so even if he doesn’t have any toys to munch on, it’s his hands that eventually end up there. So yes, my little baby was touching the grocery cart handle, then putting his hands in his mouth and repeating this for the entire grocery “adventure”. I just tried to keep my mantra in mind; he’s building his immunities, right?

Well, it turns out that my senses were right! There was something nasty lingering on that grocery cart. That day he developed a small blister by his mouth, which eventually burst and turned red, only to get bigger over the course of the weekend. But seeing as we were on another road trip, going to my friend Jamie’s wedding, we weren’t in a position to get his face checked out. To make us first-time parents feel a bit better, my friend Leslie, who was also at the wedding and is a nurse, looked at his face and wasn’t too concerned. She suggested it could be impetigo and that we should see a doctor when we got back to Ottawa. So, today Daddy and Niko (yes, Daddy became inflicted as well) headed to the doctor’s office where they were both diagnosed with … impetigo! Anyway, they’ve been prescribed this antibacterial cream and hopefully it will do the trick, because Niko’s supposed to go to two birthday parties this weekend, and unless this is clear he won’t be able to go…

Note: It’s now imperative that I keep Niko’s nails short: despite the qualms I have about cutting them! Out of necessity I must keep them trimmed. (Actually, I just clipped them yesterday, so kudos to me!) The reason for the necessity of this maintenance is that impetigo is highly contagious and can spread to openings in the skin, like the ones that sometimes happen when he scratches his face because his nails are too long!


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