Archerisms

Totally stole this idea from my very favourite blog, Camp Patton. Archerisms will feature funny things he says, and will become a recurring post. Archer still doesn’t talk much, but he talks enough, and has some funny little quirks, that I thought it was time to start recording them.

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J gave Archer his old Transformer – Bumblebee (thats a car that can transform into a person for those that don’t know)

Mum: “Archer, would you like me to transform your transformer car into a man”

Archer: headshake “noooo”

{then he crushes it out of car form}

Archer: hands to me to fix “ohhhh nooooo”

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Archersticks tongue in and out quickly, then pretends to go to sleep…repeat

Mum: “yep, the lizard has gone outside to sleep”

repeat 100 times a day

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Archer: “nuuum nuuuum nuuuum!”

Mum: ” ok, what do you want to eat? apple?

Archer: headshake “nooo”

Mum: “toast?”

Archer: stare

Mum: starts getting toast out “ok, toast!”

Archer: headshake “nooo nooo”

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To any site of discomfort/mutilation that he or we may have had in the last two weeks

Archer: frantic pointing “oww! owww! owwwww! OWWWW!”

Cairns

Our big computer, which basically contains my life (most important being all of my beautifully organised photos) is dying. We’ve been able to save everything thankfully, but we’ve been too busy to try and fix it or to organise all of the rescued stuff. no photos means no blogging.

Now that this extremely stressful and busy semester is over (hallelujah!), I’m starting to sift through the debris and get life back to normal…first up – pictures!

Part of this busy semester was a trip to Cairns for a week so that I could complete a required workshop for one of my classes. J was lucky enough to get the time off, so he came with me to take over parenting duties while I put my student hat on. His mum, brother, and step-dad ended up being able to come as well, which was really nice because I knew they were out doing fun things during the day.

We checked out this AMAZING, MASSIVE park on the waterfront the day before my class started. Then they went to check out birds while I was in class the next day.

Class went really well, and I actually really enjoyed the week. It’s nice to be surrounded by like-minded people, and I felt inspired and uplifted by the end of the week.

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1 & 1/2

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Obligatory exclamation of “I can’t believe how fast it’s going!”. Good, now that that’s out of the way, I can tell you about my amazing child!

(Daddy took the pictures for the post while we were playing outside the other day – not bad, Dad!)

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***

Precious Archer,

Holy wow, you are so fun and crazy! You have the brightest, most wonderful little personality, and it is just the greatest pleasure in the world watching you grow up.

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~Eat~

You’re still kind of temperamental about eating. You’ll be stuffing your face and then all of a sudden, you’re throwing your plate across the room – annoying, frustrating, yep. Mostly you’re good though. You much prefer grazing to actually sitting down for distinct meals (that’s when you throw), so I’ve started to give you breakfast and dinner, but then lunch is kind of just two or three snacks throughout the day – much better, and less frustrating for me since I don’t make you a vegemite sandwich, cut it into the shape of a dinosaur, present it to you, and then watch you smash and throw it on the floor.

You’re still pretty into boobs, but I’m really trying to help you cut back. You ask for it, then latch for 5 seconds, then pop off, and repeat every 10-20 minutes, and this has started to really sour my positive feelings towards breastfeeding. I don’t want to end our amazing journey on a bad note, so I’m trying to limit your feeds to morning, night, and one during the day. I’m attempting to do this by excitedly getting your {cow} milk cup from the fridge every time you ask for boob – it’s sort of working, depends on the day.

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~Sleep~

It’s been better, but it’s at least pretty consistent now, I guess. You go to sleep around 7, so problems at all, then you usually sleep all the way through until somewhere between 5 & 7am. If you wake before the sun gets up, I can put you back in your cot and go back to sleep; I think you go back to sleep too, but I’m not sure, you might also just play in your cot by yourself – doesn’t seem to bother you either way, and I usually get to sleep until around 8am, which is great!

The biggest change to sleep in the last 3 months is your naps – we’re down to one! Gee it was hard to give up two breaks in the day, but I think it’s helping you sleep at night. So now you go down between 11 & 12, and sleep for about an hour and a half. It’s nowhere near the 3 hour naps I hear other kids are having (not that it’s a competition), but it SO beats the battle that nap time used to be!

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~Speak~

Still not a whole lot of talking. You have a small vocabulary that you use A LOT. You pretty much follow us around the house saying screaming “uhhhh nuhhh” (oh no), or “muuh” (more). What’s cute is that every word has this similar sort of whiny, dramatic tone – so cute. You {rarely} get in moods where you are willing to try and copy sounds – you try to say Alex, and Archer – you watch our mouths and then you make yours copy while sounding out the sound, it’s so amazing to watch and you’ve come really close! You also sometimes will randomly repeat a word that we’ve just said while taking to you or each other, but then it’s unrepeatable – we think we’ve heard helicopter and pineapple – the theory is that you just parrot it without thinking, but then trip yourself up when you think about it too hard. Who knows, eventually you will be able to say every word – eek!

It’s hard to keep track of your words because you will say something once, or even for a day or two, non stop, and then suddenly never again. But here’s a list of words I’ve been keeping on my phone…

“Ticka-ticka” (tickle-tickle)

hi, huyo (hello)

buh-buh (bye-bye)

yook (look)

apple

mama

dada

nana (not since Brisbane)

uhhh nuhhhh (oh no)

bai-bai! (bike – always said excitedly)

moah (more)

dog, wolf, duck, chicken, snake sounds

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~Loves~

Vehicles: anything with wheels (or wings) is sure to send you into a full freak out; you yell, and point. So cute! You have a tricycle thingo that you ride, like a crazy guy, around the house all.day.long. 

Animals: you perk up towards any barking that you hear, and do the same enthusiastic pointing whenever you see animals

TV: unfortunately, you’ve started to like the tv, we’re trying to limit your tv time, but it does help out when we need to make dinner or need to distract you for short times. Big Ted’s Big Adventure is your absolute favourite – you yell moah after every single episode, and it’s sometimes the only thing that will calm you when you’re really upset.

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~Hates~

Being told no

putting your head under the water in the shower

green capsicum, lettuce

really, there’s not much – you’re a really laid-back, happy boy

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~Signature Moves~

Eye Dodging: when you’re doing something you know you shouldn’t be doing, you try to keep an eye on us, but you seem to think we won’t see you if you don’t look at us, so you try to watch us out of the corner of your eye, and if we catch you, you freeze. You also avoid eye contact AT ALL COSTS when we’re talking to you about why you were put in time out. So funny

Tantrums: hilarious. I don’t go as far as illiciting tantrums by setting you up, but I do thoroughly enjoy them (which sounds terrible). You freeze, then throw whatever contraband you’re holding and run in the opposite direction yelling. After a few steps, you usually completely collapse, like a limp fish, and begin to thrash on the floor. I know it shouldn’t be funny, and I totally acknowledge and respect that you react in this way because the feelings of disappointment and anger are very intense and real for you and you don’t know how else to deal with them, but it’s super adorable to see your meltdowns – mother of the year!

Dancing: you still love dancing and spinning

Cuddling: you’ve gotten a bit more affectionate, and I LOVE it! You give me a hug or a kiss about 30% of the time I ask now (which is an immense improvement from like the 1% it was previously). You wrap your little arms around my neck and lay your head on my shoulder, and I completely melt into a bliss puddle. This is my favourite thing ever.

Crazy: this is the only way I know how to describe this…you get into these CRAZY moods, where you literally run around the house, yelling, then stop, stomp around ferociously, then run off again. This is when you’re most likely to hit, or break things, or just generally not listen to us, but despite that, it is highly enjoyable. You are SO funny when you’re crazy.

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Little man, you are just the greatest joy. You get funnier and smarter every day, and being with you is absolutely amazing. We love you more than you can understand, and we always will.

Love, Mummy

Father’s Day {tutorial}

It’s our first Father’s Day with J home! Last year we sent J his present, but this year it was so nice to be able to kiss him, make him breakfast, and tell him how much we love him in person! We had a quiet day at home because J is recovering from his nose surgery which he had on Thursday (last year his nose was broken, and it’s taken a year to finally get it fixed). 

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I still believe that mother’s/father’s day presents should be something made by the kids, not something store bought, but I also don’t want it to be junk that we feel obligated to hold onto for the rest of our lives (J is a bit of a hoarder, so he would keep everything). 

Coming up with something Archer could make was a bit challenging because he’s still pretty clueless and not very artistic – but I finally came up with an idea I was happy with – a shrink-dink keychain drawn by Archer!

So we bought the shrink plastic, then I went to work trying to get Archer to draw on it – SO hard, he is completely uninterested in drawing unless it’s on the walls or in my textbooks (believe me, I did try tricking him), but I finally got him to hate-scribble (that would be scribble while screaming and throwing markers) enough to make it work.

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So after he had scribbled on the paper, I used a cookie cutter to cut shapes out, punched a hole, and wrote his name.

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Then I baked the hearts, at about 150*C. They shrivel up, then flatten back out, and that’s when I took them out.

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Then we attached one to J’s new motorbike’s key! Perfect, non-scratchy, light keychain for his bike!

I’m thrilled with how these turned out! Now to think about a plan for next year, haha.

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hibernating, photos, and a whine…

We’ve been hibernating and getting back into the swing of things over here. 

Here are some photos we’ve taken lately…

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We’ve been to the park, had a trial with a dog (I’m allergic, so no dogs for us), and been working out some growing pains.

Archer is having trouble venting his frustration in appropriate ways – he hits, throws things, and collapses – it’s all actually quite hilarious, but we’re not sure what to do about it (mostly the hitting, the other stuff is fine – go for it, kid). 

I’m also battling with some mummy-guilt and frustration – I try so hard to come up with things to play or do with him, activities, crafts, etc; I spend all this time collecting the supplies, setting it up, and then he is just COMPLETELY uninterested. So i get frustrated, decide I don’t care and he can just entertain himself, but then I feel guilty for watching tv or reading instead of playing with him – so it’s a vicious cycle. 

Anyway, this all sounds very negative, but it isn’t, these feelings take up about 5% of my day, the rest is spent laughing at the funny little person he is, reading books about cars, or cheering him on as he does Nitro-Circus-esque death-loops around the house on his tricycle. 

Brisbane – July ’14 {photo dump}

 

I decided to go home for the last month of J being away in Malaysia – I figured we might as well spend some time with our friends and family, and I didn’t want to spend my birthday alone. So we headed to Brisbane for about 6 weeks. We enjoyed the cold, got sick, went to Seaworld, hit some petting zoos, and saw lots of people!
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IMG_4174^^^Cousins sleeping after a fun day at the petting zoo^^^

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IMG_4179^^^We went and cheered Nanny on in her first Marathon!^^^

IMG_4198^^^I spent A LOT of time in the ‘big bathtub’^^^

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IMG_4272^^^trip 1 of 4^^^

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IMG_4327^^^more cousin cuddles^^^

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IMG_4415^^^I had a child-free night watching AFL^^^

IMG_4419^^^it rained on us, but was still fun^^^

IMG_4421^^^while we went to the game, Archer hit the Mt Gravatt show with my aunt and uncle – pretty sure it was his best day ever^^^

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IMG_4495^^^Archer cuddled Sienna (who wasn’t a fan) at costco with Meema^^^

IMG_4517^^^Movieworld with Auntie Celia – the stunt car show was a big hit!^^^

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IMG_4594^^^we went to the Ekka on our last day…then flew home that night^^^

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It was a great trip, but we’re happy to be home and reunited with J!!!!

a visit from the Connells

My best friend, Celia, and her hubby came to visit us this week, and we packed a whole lot of tourism into their 5 days!

Day 1

Auntie Celia & Uncle Chris arrived early Saturday morning, so after sleeping, we just had a lazy day. They played with Archer, I showed them Casuarina, and we had a picnic at the park.

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Day 2

We had a slow start, but in the afternoon we showed the Connells the Waterfront, and our pathetic excuse for a city. We also did the WWII oil storage tunnels which were smaller than I expected, but still sort of fun.

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After that, we headed to Mindil Markets, had chinese food, and headed to the beach to watch the sunset. Archer decided he wanted to go swimming, and I decided ‘why not?’, so he swam and rolled in sand – HUGE mess, but he had a blast, and that’s worth a little extra clean up.

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Day 3

We started the day with a jumping crocodile cruise on the Adelaide River. After warning us that the time of day/weather might mean we didn’t see much, we ended up having an amazing cruise! We saw a few little ones, and BOTH of the HUGE ones that we had been warned that we might not see – worth every penny.

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After the cruise, we headed to the Wildlife Park, and Archer showed the Connells his favourite spots.

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After naps all around, we headed to our favourite restaurant – you just can’t beat the view.

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Day 4

Kakadu.

really early start because it takes 3 1/2 hours to get to Kakadu, but we eventually made it, and Archer napped in the car.

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We only ended up being able to really hit one spot, but it was amazing. We just underestimated how huge the park is, and how much you need a 4×4 to get to most of the places. If you had more time, and a 4×4, I’m sure it would be awesome, but I’m happy to stick with Litchfield, which is only 90mins away from us.

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As well as the super cool rock painting walk, we hit a few of the visitors centres. Archer was insane every time we got out of the car because he’d been bottling all of his energy during the drive, so he was running all over the place – cute, but difficult to wrangle.

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After lunch at the famous Jabiru bakery, we headed home and played chinese checkers with Celia.

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Day 5

totally exhausted from our previous adventures, we had a welcome day at home. We all vegged, and played with Archer.

Then we made a feast, put on our gear, and watched Origin game 2. After that painful loss, the main event – Offspring! Celia and I LOVE this show, and we usually text each other during it (made annoying by a half-hour time difference), but we’ve never gotten to watch it together! It was awesome; the perfect end to a great trip.

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We dropped the Connells back at the airport at midnight, and came home and crashed.

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So glad that we’ll get to see them again when we come to Brisbane in TWO WEEKS!!!!

1 & 1/4

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Darling Archer,

Gee you are funny and delightful! Each day you do something new and usually weird, and I’m just blown away by the little person you are becoming. It is a joy to see you grow, sweet boy.

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~Eat~

You are still totally boob-obsessed and ask for it every single time I sit down, even if you only had it ten minutes earlier. It can get a bit frustrating, but I know it won’t last forever, that I’m lucky to be able to still be breastfeeding you, and that I will miss it when it’s gone.

As for solid food, you have gotten a bit better at eating. You still don’t eat much (probably because you’re full of milk), but you’re throwing it on the ground less. Tuna-pasta bake has been the most successful meal so far – you had 3 plate-fulls. You also had your first ice cream, which you loved, and when I gave you a chocolate bikkie today, you licked the crumbs off of the floor, so I think it’s safe to say that you enjoyed it.

I’ve been giving you cutlery each meal, and I think that’s helping to stop you throwing your food, and you’re getting better at using utensils!

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~Sleep~

I don’t want to jinx it. Let’s just say that it isn’t perfect, but it’s WAY better.

(If I put it in brackets, it won’t count, plus it’s boring and really only for me to remember in years to come) (you’re going down for all of your sleeps easily – I just put you in your bed and walk away! – and you sleep from about 7pm until 8am, with a wake ups around either 11pm, or 4am, sometimes both, sometimes neither)

The debate over one nap or two is still going, but it just really depends on the day, and fortunately you don’t seem too bothered with it changing around.

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~Speak~

None.

There’s plenty of babbling, and even words like mama, but they aren’t in context or consistent. You will say something (dada, tickle tickle, bubba) a few times, and then just stop one day and we never hear it again. I did get a video this week to send to daddy, and I asked you to wave to daddy, which you did, and then you said something that sounded remarkably like “hi daddy”, so I think you have the ability to speak, but you’re withholding – one day you’ll just come out with a full sentence.

You do understand SO much though. When I ask you to put something back, you {usually} do, when I ask you to put your baby to sleep, you try to put him into your cot, and when I say that it’s time to eat, you climb up into your chair.

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~Loving~

Outside – you stand at the door waiting to be let outside, or just watching the outside world, pretty much all day. I love that, but it’s SO hot in Darwin (even now in the Winter), so I can’t indulge you and just be outside all day.

Withholding affection – If I ask you to kiss anything (doll, a picture of someone, batman, a car, Alex, etc), you do it pretty much straight away, when I ask you to kiss me you turn and walk away. It’s funny, but it’s also kind of heartbreaking. Occasionally (like once a week) you give in, and my heart soars. You’re not very affectionate, little love, you’re just too busy for that I guess.

Cars – real ones, toy ones, tv ones. any kind of car, you love.

Animals

Water play of any kind

Running

Climbing

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~Hating~

Toads – there is a family of disgusting toads living in a hole in our yard. They jumped out and scared you one day, and since then, you avoid that spot, or you stare and point at it, as if warning me.

Loud noises – you still get scared of things like the blender or the garbage truck. you run for me (which I love), but then you want to investigate the scary noise as long as I’m with you, so really it’s love/hate.

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~Signature Moves~

Dancing – all day, everyday. Whenever music, or really sound of any sort, sometimes imaginary sounds that are just in your head, starts you dance. I love it.

Spinning – this is probably one of the things you do that you do all the time for like a week, and then cease to do entirely, but you spin and it is joyful.

‘Round and round the garden’ – this little rhyme, taught to you by your Meema, is your current favourite. It starts by touching your hand, then walks up your arm and tickles under your arm – you hold your hand out to me all day long, and you even sometimes do the whole thing to yourself (without the words of course, but with a giggle at the end).

Showing your tongue – when I ask you where your tongue is, it shoots out like a lizard, and then you hold it out for a little while – killer cute.

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You’re so wonderful, Archer Beck. You are {mostly} a very good listener, and a curious, happy, hilarious little boy. The few times that you don’t listen well, I have to refrain from laughing while putting you in time out because you’re funny even when you’re being naughty. You continue to injure yourself almost daily, but we have successfully avoided the emergency room since the last time, and we’re getting your energy out with a different activity/playgroup each day. You get quite quiet and observant when we go out, as opposed you your wild, haphazard home self – and this is very interesting to watch – you’re equal parts thinker to doer.

You are pure delight. Your smile lights my heart on fire, and your giggle makes my soul sing. You are my happy place sweet boy. I love you so much.

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Love, Mummy

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lately

it’s busy and stressful over here, so I’ll just quickly compile a list of our latest happenings…

My mum came to visit. It was so nice to have company! We hit the markets, shops, wildlife park, waterfront, and dinner with the birthday twins!

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Our beautiful bunny escaped and was attacked, and had to be put down. Archer loved her so much; he looked for her every morning, and wanted to play with her all day. He went outside yesterday after we got home from the vet, and looked all in her enclosure for her, then when he couldn’t find her, he picked some grass and held it through the fence to try and get her to come (he fed her grass every time) – heartbreaking.

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I have one last assignment, which I REALLY don’t want to do, and then I’m free (until next semester). I’m hoping that once that’s out of the way, I will feel less stressed, but mostly I think this yucky feeling is coming from missing J. Oh well, it won’t last forever.

do i let him hurt himself?

I’m quickly coming to realise that up until now, I’ve really just been a full-time babysitter, not a parent. feed when hungry, cuddle when fussy, change when wet; the first year was really about meeting needs (and having fun), and I mostly found it pretty easy (yes, I was lucky). Real parenting has begun though; now he disobeys (with a cheeky grin), throws fits, and totally tests his boundaries, and for the first time I really feel completely out of my depth.

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Currently the issue is where to draw the line between neglectful, and hovering.

Let me paint you a picture…Archer has suddenly discovered a love of climbing. He walks from one chair to the next, pulls it out from the table with ease, and then climbs up on to it. Usually he stands there, just taking in his new viewpoint, and he’s pretty good at carefully getting down again, but he has fallen. This is a child who injures himself multiple times a day, and has been to ED more than once, and every time that he hurts himself I wonder whether I should remove every chair from our house, or put gates on everything, or even get him a helmet.

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I find myself stuck between my duty to protect this precious little person that has been entrusted to me, and my duty to nurture his creative, adventurous, and curious self.

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At the moment, I would rather suffer more injuries than squash his freedom to explore, and I know that there’s a balance between being too hands-off and too hands-on, and I’m just searching for that fulcrum (check out that use of a 6th grade science fair project – smooth).

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I would love to hear other people’s thoughts, or tips on this, because I’m pretty lost and trying to make it up as I go over here!