Safety concerns

Well, visiting with our families now that Keeley is able to sit up and grab things has brought up a mountain of issues. Both sets of grandparents wanted to give her soda this weekend. Really? She’s 6 months old, and my parents, for one complained about how one of my SIL gave her kids soda when they were so small, and the kids had giant bottles of soda when they were travelling from like age 2, and yet they want to perpetuate that with my child when they hated it with the others? Does THAT make sense to you? I kind of had a mild reaction, like ‘oh she hasn’t had anything other than milk, probably not a good idea, or she’ll be after our cans of soda next’–because of the next issue.

Now that she will soon be starting on solid foods, I will also have to supervise her every move at my own parents’ house. My dad gave my niece popcorn when she was 2 or so. She had teeth. Her mother suggested that that wasn’t a good idea and that she’d rather her kid didn’t have popcorn quite so early. She generally overreacts to everything so of course..he was already up in arms about giving Keeley popcorn, several times over he mentioned my SIL and how she didn’t want her kids to have popcorn. Yeah, but dad, THEY HAD TEETH!!!!! Get it? Sometimes I just want to scream, I don’t give a crap what you did with your kids, this is my baby and she’s only 6 months old. You don’t give a 6 month old popcorn, she doesn’t have teeth and she’s never eaten anything other than breast milk. But he’s my dad and I’m not going to yell at him. Yet. Because obviously he’ll bring up the fact that I overreacted, when it’s not an overreaction to object to your 6 month old having popcorn. Then I’ll be the ‘drama queen’ that can’t handle the slightest provocation, thus the mild reaction to everything.

That brings up the other issue. She missed a nap on Mother’s day because she visited Matthew’s parents. No big deal, she slept on the way to my folks and then KEPT sleeping. Through lunch, and it had been about 3 hours since she’d eaten. We were all going to go for a walk, except my dad, and I guess one of my brothers came back because he had an ankle injury, and 2 of the kids. We gave explicit instructions to call us immediately if she made a sound, because she usually eats every 2 hours anymore, and if she goes over that, she’s REALLY hungry. We went on the walk, and finally we decided we’d better head back because surely she was waking up by then. It had been almost 4 hours. Yup, she’d been awake, about 20 minutes. You should have heard the blood curdling scream she gave when she saw me. She was starving. I immediately took her and fed her, she whimpered the WHOLE time she was eating folks, and that’s a first. Now I was incensed and told my mother, who said something to my dad, and I said something to my dad. Then Matthew found out and I thought he was going to blow a gasket. He repeated that we should have been called when she woke up and no one there ‘thought it was a big deal’– yup. They’re not around her enough to get a fussy cry from an I’m starving cry, but believe me, it was not a pretty sound. My husband is pretty mild mannered, but he’s not going to put up with that kind of crap, either. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

So with those 2 things, do I dare leave her with either set of grandparents any time soon? Can they be trusted NOT to give her hunks of food that #1 she’s never eaten and #2 can’t possibly handle? We like being closer so that we can visit on a weekend if we aren’t busy with something else, but if it’s going to be a continuous barrage of ‘don’t feed the baby that, she’s never had it and we’re not close enough to a hospital if she’s choking or has a reaction to it’ speeches? Then there’s fresh food season. Stuff from the garden. Like corn. They didn’t give my neice corn when she was tiny, but they did when she was closer to 2, IE she had TEETH and could gnaw on a corn cob. Will have to face the ‘no, don’t give her a corn cob, she’s only 8 months old speech’ as well? I just don’t know. I hope not, though.

I know all the grandparents read this and probably won’t be very happy with me. But what’s true is true. You can’t compare me with my SIL because I’m absolutely nothing like her. I see no reason to overreact, but I’m not going to let that be the case that I don’t react proactively and reactively when something is offered that should not be. But one thing is accurate, some things, you just don’t do (or you do do) because the parent of the child asks you.


  1. If you are not 100% CERTAIN that no harm will befall your child, you should not leave her with anyone. It makes no difference if it’s a friend, a family member or some daycare center. If you, the parents, don’t feel certain, than you should not leave her.

    It does not matter if someone considers you overprotective, either. This is your child, and IT IS YOUR JOB to protect her, no matter whose feelings are hurt, no matter whose bad opinion you have to suffer through.

    Never back down when it comes to the care and feeding and well-being of your child. Never. You get no do-overs.

  2. She will have plenty of time to eat all those “junk” foods when she is older. You are her mother – and you must make it absolutely clear what is not allowed. Even if your parents think you are over reacting – it is your child and they need to understand that.

    Remind them of all the childhood obesity rates….and there is no reason to expose her to un-healthy food until she is much older. Good eating habits should be established as young as possible. Your parents should understand that.

    (remind me to tell you the story of my MIL’s friend who tried to give my son, Jammin’ a peanut butter cookie when he was 7 months old – I still hate that lady and its been 8 years).

  3. I think it is difficult to leave your child if you don’t think your wishes will be followed. This is a huge concern for us because of Harper’s peanut allergy, but I would worry about it under regular circumstances, too. I feel pretty comfortable telling my parents and in-laws what our expectations are, especially where food is concerned. I know it is hard never to be able to get away, but you won’t enjoy yourself if you don’t trust the caregivers! I hope you can get to a place where they understand or at least accept your expectations.

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