Playing with guns

With Fiona now an almost speaking, toddling one year old, it’s been nearly impossible to just do nothing.  Actually, I think my days when I could just do nothing have probably come to an end.

These days I find myself with a calendar that’s probably filled 70% with activities for Fiona, and the remaining 30% everything else.  Including sleep (and I mean sleep for me because even Fiona’s naps are on the schedule).

Anyway, for most of this past year, Fiona’s activities were mostly classes.  We tried the playdate thing but the fact is that unless the kids are old enough to play and/or you REALLY like the other moms it can be painful. For me sometimes it was.

But now that Fiona is so active we are back to embracing them.

Our previous playdate experience was fairly straight forward: since babies hardly move you don’t really have much to worry about.  You just kind of sit there and watch them stare at each other.  If you are lucky, they’ll be crawling around and you just watch them explore hoping they won’t take a toy from another baby so you don’t have to have a talk with a potentially overzealous mom who has different ideas about sharing than you do.

(Yes, that happened.)

But now things have changed and I kind of wish that all I had to worry about was difference of opinions in regards to sharing.

Now that the kids are mobile and curious I have hesitations about letting Fiona go play at a home where there are firearms.  Yes, we are at a point in life where the moms are there while the children play, but soon enough the kids will be a little more independent, maybe even a little sneakier, and not knowing the difference between a weapon and a toy, something disastrous could happen if they were to find a gun.

But how does one have this conversation?

So far in my experience I’ve found that people take less offense if you ask them if there are drugs in their home than if they have a gun.  Apparently having the right to own a gun implies that I should automatically be okay with there being one around my child.

I think that anyone who intends to have children around needs to keep their weapons (if any) unloaded and locked up in a safe, and furthermore, needs to be as forthcoming about their firearm possession as they would be about someone in the home being sick.

Hell, I find it ridiculous that there are moms out there who feel more threatened by a healthy unvaccinated child, than a loaded gun on a coffee table.

(Yes, I’ve seen that.)

I also take issue with conceal carry in places where children are the majority.  Unless it’s an officer of the law or an active member of our military, I don’t believe there is any reason why anyone should go into a park, library, or Disney World with a weapon.  If you are so paranoid about the need to protect yourself while taking your kid to the swings, you probably need more therapy than a gun.

But this is the kind of world we live in…one where we need to think about these things because in America you are more likely to be shot by a toddler than you are to be killed by lightning.

And if we can’t have stricter gun control laws (though I have to acknowledge Obama’s attempt at a step forward), I can at least try to make Fiona’s sphere of being a gun-free zone.

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Babysitting Woes

I don’t know how moms can trust strangers with their babies.

When she was about two months old I tried to leave Fiona with a babysitter.  My husband and I were going to an opera preview at a friend’s house not far from where we live so we called a friend (former nanny) to watch her.  I was so stressed out that I had a miserable time and ended up coming home like an hour after I left. I couldn’t stay gone.  The thought of my little baby daughter alone with someone who was not me, freaked me out to the point that I just couldn’t handle it.

So I never left her alone again.

Needless to say, my social life took a massive hit.

Anyway, Fiona is now eight and a half months old and this time Hugh and I have a wedding to go to next weekend.  I am already having an anxiety attack.

So I have to ask, when does one become okay with leaving their child with a babysitter? I know that people do it all the time but I can’t imagine that they were always okay with it.  Is it the age of the child or the trust you have in the sitter?

This also leads me to the next point:  I am thinking of going back to work.  What happens then?  I know that most moms do go back to work and so they have to make alternate arrangements for childcare; but how do they? If I don’t feel ready at nearly 9 months to leave FIona with someone other than me, I don’t know that I would have been able to survive leaving her at 12 weeks…

Am I being crazy?  Is there something I don’t know?