To ask you for help to decide if I am neglecting my dc?

(63 Posts)
misspontypine Thu 17-Oct-13 19:21:30

I had an unusual childhood, I would like to describe it as vibrant and haphazard but there are aspects of it that now I have my own dc I see possibly neglect.

For example we didn't own pyjamas, we just slept in our clothes. We were given lots of freedom, I was allowed to do as I wanted, me and my dm were looking through childhood keepsakes and we found a note I had written, it said "at mars bog an brover wif mi luf misspontypine" it should have said "we are at Mary's, my brother and the dog are with me. Love from misspontypine" I would have been 5 or 6 when I wrote the note, my brother would have been 3 or 4, the dog was a huge alsation mix, Mary's house was over a mile away and we rode there by bike (alond a cannal.) Another example is when I was a small baby we lived on a commune which was on a farm. My mum would leave me with the goats and then go off and do her jobs on the farm. We were left in the kids field at glastonbury for hours at the age of 4/5/6.

We were never emotionally neglected, we had lots of love given to us and our interests were supported, it was very much the practical side of things which were less than ideal.

My problem is that I find it hard to judge if the things I do with my son are ok, I would love your honest opinion as to if these things would be seen as negligent.

Licking shoes. We have a shoes off house so we lots of shoes by the door, ds likes to play and sometimes lick/chew the shoes (especially wellies) he has lots of lovely toys but they are not as interesting as the old shoes.

Playing with the pushchair wheels. Same issue as playing with shoes I guess.

Eating things from the floor. We hoover daily but we are doing some baby led weaning so there are often small bits of old food we have missed. Ds finds these bits of food and eats them. I try to get them out but his 3 teeth are very sharp and his jaw is very stron!

Drinking bath water. Ds loves to suck his flannel, we offer him water all the time and try to take his flannel away and give him a sucky cup with water but he only wants the flannel.

Ds co-sleeps, we have his cot attached to our bed with one side taken off and at the same height as our bed, We put him to bed asleep and make a wall of pillows. Ds has a sleepingbag. He could theoretically crawl/climb out of the bed but so far when he has woken he just shouts for us to come in. I think we would hear if he tried to climb out of the bed (we have a monitor --my mother advised us we didn't need one, baby do cry you know, you don't need to hear them--)

All advice appreciated. Sorry if they sound like stupid/obvious questions. It isn't the sort of thing I feel like I can talk to my friends about.

kotinka Thu 17-Oct-13 19:57:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I used to suck the bath sponge till I was about 10 confused
Also had a thing about biting rubber.
I turned out relatively normal smile

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 17-Oct-13 20:10:42

Licking shoes/Playing with the pushchair wheels - I'd try to stop him doing it as they really are revolting, but if there's nowhere else for the buggy & shoes and you can't physically keep him away, then I'd give up & hope his immune system is up to it!!

Eating things from the floor - meh. Once again, I'd try to stop him, but wouldn't stress too much - more of a choking concern than a 'germ' concern - for me.

Drinking bath water/sucking flannels/eating sponges - disgusting & revolting, but all kids do it and after a while you just kind of give up & leave them to it.

Ds co-sleeps etc - sounds fine to me. I'd spend time with him in there when he's awake and 'teach' him to get off the bed backwards.

It makes such a refreshing change to read something like this smile Don't change!!

Your childhood was pretty wild grin but you survived it! You were loved and yes, your parents were ummm relaxed & their parenting style was certainly not of the helicoptering variety, but I wouldn't call it neglect given the era. You should read about Sarah Beeny's childhood - very similar!

misspontypine Thu 17-Oct-13 20:12:24

I worry because one of my pregnancy cravings was to suck freshly washed clothes. I would sit and suck a flannel after every wash when I washed ds's newborn clothes. mmm they tasted so good!

purrpurr Thu 17-Oct-13 20:18:50

Wow, total flannel flashback. Man, they were tasty. Did we all use jam for bathfoam or something?

TheWazzock Thu 17-Oct-13 20:20:19

15mo DD likes to dip her hand in muddy puddles then suck her fingers. Yum smile

purrpurr Thu 17-Oct-13 20:20:51

Miss, my major craving when pregnant was to lick my car's interior. My mouth would water like crazy. I don't think that means my daughter will run around licking cars; although, based on Mumsnet threads it wouldn't be unusual if she did.

SweetSeraphim Thu 17-Oct-13 20:23:49

You are perfectly fine grin I like the sound of your house.

Sounds like my house. I do try to keep them away from shoes (I live in London so really not ideal to be eating them!) but the rest sounds pretty normal. I also rpfrequently forget to wash their hands before they eat. And pick up toys from the pavement and give them straight bepack (to be chewed). Twins are 8 months and the picture of health.

Finney2 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:31:01

All the same things go on here with my 11 months old.

We have the exact same cot side issue and I just have the monitor on, and when I hear him I absolutely leg it up the stairs to keep him from crawling off the end of my bed.

BMW6 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:31:08

You are perfectly normal, don;t fret!

(You triggered a memory on sucking flannels tho - can even taste it now!! - lovely!!)

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Thu 17-Oct-13 20:31:18

My DS loves to suck a flannel. Thought he was the only one. And he tries to eat the cat food.

Don't have a problem with the odd bit of old food - baby bel crops up often here.

I'd rather he didn't suck/lick shoes though. And I would stop that just in case of dog shit on the shoes. But we have older DCs too who sometimes forget to wipe properly before they discard their outdoor shoes.

LifeOfPee Thu 17-Oct-13 20:36:26

Your house sounds almost identical to my house except for the teeth, my DS has none yet.

DS was interested in my slippers the other day(they have tassels) so I let him have one. It went in his mouth, like everything else he gets hold of - he's a baby, that's what they do.

He has the flannel in the bath if he wants it and that goes in the gob too. His flannel has emolient on it too, lucky DS (bleurgh!)

We also have a bedside cot and use a pillow as a guard against him falling out before I go to bed. If he woke up enough to manoeuvre himself up the lip of the mattress, across into the bed and down towards the edge where he might fall out he'd most certainly have called me by then.

Your childhood sounds like your parents weren't very practical about your physical safety and didn't see the possible dangers they put you in. IMO you're doing fine with your children, the things you've mentioned are in no way neglectful and the fact you're questioning yourself shows you are concerned about their welfare.

I'd be wary of the pillows by the cot and the shoe eating but the rest is fine. Obviously you can teach him not to eat from the floor once he's older!

LadySybilPussPolham Thu 17-Oct-13 20:41:33

My DS is 4 and he sucks the bath flannel when he thinks I'm not looking and still licks the occasional shoe...

lborolass Thu 17-Oct-13 20:43:49

My parenting style is pretty relaxed so don't see anything too wrong in what you're doing but I would be a bit wary of licking shoes and wheels just because either could have animal poo/wee on which is a bit yuk.

bigkidsdidit Thu 17-Oct-13 20:45:03

Sounds normal! I would tidy shoes away if poss as I would worry about dog poo, though. My DS is obsessed with the pram wheels too confused and with drinking bath water. Even straight after telling me he's done a wee in it <sigh>

Loosingthebigkickers Thu 17-Oct-13 20:50:04

everything you describe is how I am with dd..so if you're doing it wrong so am I blush

Dawndonnaagain Thu 17-Oct-13 20:50:17

We were clean, not allowed to play in the coal bunker and totally unloved after Dad left. I'd much rather be in your house, OP. It sounds lovely and loving, relaxed and fun. I think you sound like a lovely mum.

misspontypine Thu 17-Oct-13 20:54:37

Thank you so much for reassurance. I don't have any negative feelings about my childhood but I at least want to be aware of the social reactions to the way I parent.

It is so silly, I have huge parental guilt if ds watches an episode of in the night garden ( we had no tv when we were children) but when he uses shoes as teething toysthat feels fine.

gerbilsarefun Thu 17-Oct-13 20:58:12

I don't know how old you are, OP, but your childhood seems pretty much like mine. I would say mine was conventional, for a child growing up in the 70s.I was a services child, one place I lived was in married quarters in a large park, with a river running through it and woods. We would be allowed to go out all day. I was 6 or 7 at the time. We went to butlins when I was about 7. I was allowed to go off on my own all day, although not off the site. It was just a normal way of parenting back then.

I agree with the other posters about your son. It all sounds normal, babies are always putting things in their mouth. It's how they explore and find out about things.

josephinebruce Thu 17-Oct-13 20:59:53

If you want to really worry about icky things going into a mouth....buy a labrador lol!!!

bigkidsdidit Thu 17-Oct-13 21:00:22

I didn't have a tv growing up either and I understand that guilt. I've got over it since having ds2 and needing DS1 to be kept entertained though!

dietcokeandwine Thu 17-Oct-13 21:02:55

I grew up in an oh-so-conventional (but lovely and loving) household OP. But I have an almost identical take on parenting things as you bar the co-sleeping (have coslept periodically in the past but baby now sleeps in his cot).

My gorgeous 9mo DS is a mahoosive fan of sucking flannels in the bath grin Two flannels at once if he can get away with it!

I think a bit of grit and grime should be part of every normal childhood tbh. My mum was a very conscientious mum in many ways but she will cheerfully recount how my DSis as a baby would invariably, even if plonked in the middle of the lawn, crawl to the edge of said lawn and eat dirt! We were also often found bathing our teddies by putting them down the loo grin We have both grown up happy and healthy. I am sure your DS will too.

aturtlenamedmack Thu 17-Oct-13 21:04:42

Your house sounds exactly like mine!

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