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Anyone read "3 shoes, 1 sock & no hairbrush"? Views please

16 replies

Moomin · 02/02/2003 16:39

Dd is 16m and we have started thinking about when to try for 2nd. Head says wait until next Christmas so dd will be at least 3. Heart says life's too short, somehow we'll cope, there's no guarantees that we'll succeed straight away anyway, etc etc.

Read the book and generally thought it was v interesting although maybe a bit academic and a smidgeon negative? Any thoughts from other who have read it and/or others who thought along simliar lines to me about their 2nd?

OP posts:

pupuce · 02/02/2003 16:47

Hi Moomin
Do a search... we've talked about it often and the author was also invited for a chat on-line..


Marina · 02/02/2003 18:57

Pupuce is right about it being discussed before. And really agree with it being negative (more than a bit IMO ).
If you want a much more positive book on the subject Jan Parker and Jan Simpson's new book "Sibling Rivalry, Sibling Love" covered the same issues more helpfully and I think it was Jan Parker who came and did the online chat, not Rebecca Abrams. (Jan is one of the Mumsnet resident experts).


KMG · 02/02/2003 19:02

I read this book when I already had 2, and agreed with it wholeheartedly - didn't think it was very negative. Just pointing out that having two children is very different from just having one. Two small ones is definitely hard work. Things like going swimming are a huge challenge, and even just getting out of the house. but that stage doesn't last long, and it makes you appreciate life all the more when you have got over that bit!


Moomin · 02/02/2003 19:04

Thanks. I know that R Abrams DID do a chat thing as I did a search as pupuce suggested. Will now also hunt for the other info and probably buy the book as well.

It's silly really, isn't it: Every pregnancy, every child, every family and every circumstance is different, but I do put so much sway on what other people's experiences and opinions are!

OP posts:

Hughsie · 02/02/2003 20:58

Moomin - ds1 is 22 months and 2nd baby due in three weeks - we 'planned' a slightly larger gap but only becaiuse we fancied a summer birthday but are now excited at the prospect of the new arrival - I know it wont be easy but I dont think there is ever a perfect time - follow your heart - children are not an exact science!! Good luck


Lindy · 02/02/2003 20:58

Must admit that I saw it in the library & wanted to take it out, in a way to help 'justify' (not that I need to) my decision to stick at one child - but I was too embarrassed to take it out as I know the librarain & thought she might assume I was having another !


Demented · 02/02/2003 23:08

IMO horrid book! I started to read it when pg with DS2, I found it so negative I was really starting to panic (had not found Mumsnet at the time to calm me down). I did not quite finish the book as it was making me feel very negative and unhappy about the decision to have another baby. My experience of two has been no where near as bad as the book makes out (so far), in fact I would quite like no 3!


bells2 · 03/02/2003 10:27

Afraid that I too found it far too negative to the extent that I didn't finish it. I also think she doesn't focus nearly enough on the positive aspects of having 2 (i.e. baby being entertained by toddler etc).


Moomin · 03/02/2003 10:44

Must admit - one of the biggest reason for not trying right now is the extra weight I gained with preg no1. Ideally I'd like to shift at least a stone before piling a load more on with preg no2! Must go - dd is tantrumming with lack of attention as I sit here tapping away....

OP posts:

clary · 03/02/2003 11:13

Agree with Demented and Bells, book was so negative and depressing if you took it to heart. Not my experience that having 2 tinies tied you to the house. Frequently take my 2 swimming on my own and as long as you allow lots of time it's great fun. Also DD learns so much from DS so really it's been a pleasure!


anais · 03/02/2003 23:24

Ok, Clary, How DO you take 2 littlies swimming??? Ds is 4 now and dd coming up to 2, and we are just about beginning to find the swimming thing a bit easier. I usually go with my Mum. How do you manage on your own?


Enid · 04/02/2003 08:04

More than slightly negative, and actually worried me a lot while I was pg with dd2.

The only good things I can say about it is
a)It finally taught me not to believe everything you read!
b)I feel like Superwoman every time I take my two out together


KMG · 04/02/2003 19:57

I've always taken two swimming, but it is very hard work. You need to get good buoyancy aids, so they are both supported safely, and make sure they have clear rules and obey them. Keep them close at all times in the pool, and have three pairs of hands in the changing room .... It DOES get easier!

Our swimming pool have just said that Under 8s have to be accompanied 1:1 in half term hols. Can't believe it! I used to take mine when they were 1 and 3, now they are 5.5 and 3.5, it's a breeze - but I'm not allowed!


soyabean · 04/02/2003 21:49

Our local swimming pools all insist that under 5s have to be 1:1 with an adult at all times, so I cant even take a 3 yr old and a 7 yr old. Its completely OTT IMO. It means that anyone with more than one child under 8 can't take them both/all swimming. 5 to 8 year olds can be 2:1, then once theyre 8 they can suddenly go by themselves wether or not they can actually swim! Excludes swimming as an activity for the vast majority of parents who are on their own with children during the week. I know its for safety reasons but its so excessive.


clary · 05/02/2003 13:51

Soyabean and KMG that does seem unfair tho I have heard of it elsewhere as well. My local pool puts the limit at 2 smalls per grown-up (not sure what we shall do when No 3 comes along...) Anais, how I do it - changing-wise, my ds (3.5) is very good and will get undressed and then I help him change; DD meanwhile is wandering about quite happily (big open changing room); get her ready then self very rapidly; all into pool. When DD was very young I used to either just hold her or have her in a swimseat while I helped DS. He was gaining confidence anyway by then (2 yrs older) and with enough floats/rings etc was happy to be bobbing about on his own ie without me holding him. Now he's great, just swims off (uses float vest which I recommend - arms are free and it's very supportive, impossible to sink) so I can deal with DD. But in fact she's now so confident too that she wants to be "unheld" to coin a word and swims about on her own with armbands, leaving me sometimes just watching/helping them jump in/on hand to deal with splashing incidents! It's fine, really. Getting changed at the other end can take a while but it's OK as they are usually so tired that they are quite subdued! Wrap them in towelling robes to get them dry/keep them warm and do first one, then the other. Worth taking drink/snack to keep the second happy while dealing with no 1. Sorry, what a long answer, but it's no problem and a brilliant thing for the kids; I do think it's a shame that some pools are effectively banning any mum of 2 from taking theirs swimming, such a vital skill and fun too.


Moomin · 07/02/2003 16:24

I spose, in the book's defence, it did say that every circumstance was unique but that certain common sense-type things applied. e.g. if your dh/dp was a hands-on dad with a good relationship with child no1, life for mum was easier when no2 came along. Plus, personality of no1 rather than age gap, had more effect.

Perhaps Rebecca Abrams was trying to point out the poor attitude of society in general (in UK)towards small children and to illustrate that you don't get as much leeway or attention 2nd time round.

I found what she had to say about working mums very interesting; to the point where I wrote a personal letter to my boss this week thanking him for the flexibility he's allowed me since having dd.

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