Archive for the ‘Activism’ Category

At the beginning of the September, the principal at my older boys’ school called me to ask if the baby and I would be interested in participating the Roots of Empathy program in my oldest boy’s classroom. Having never heard of this program before, I asked for some more information and promptly signed us up.

Roots of Empathy was founded in 1996 by Canadian educator, Mary Gordon. It is an organization that bring mothers and their babies into contact with school aged children as a way of teaching children empathy, understanding and compassion for others and themselves. It works on the understanding that raising emotionally healthy children results in emotionally stable adults — that this emotional education will stick with these kids, making the world a better place for everyone one child at a time.

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I have been feeling deliciously guilty about the rather decadent (in my opinion) diaper stash I’ve accumulated for boy #3. I totally splurged on one-size bamboo fitteds, a few snazzy Gen-Y covers and a variety of pockets — some new, some clearance, some like-new or gently-used. I also bought a handful of bamboo and hemp inserts to replace the microfibre inserts in the pocket diapers. I knit several pairs of wool shorties and soakers, something that would have cost me a fair amount to purchase but only cost me $$ in yarn to make.

Yes, I was feeling almost naughty about the amount of money invested in the diaper stash, at least until I read this: Battle For Baby’s Bottom. I’ve always known that cloth is cheaper in the long run — I work in a cloth diaper shop, for crying out loud! I deal with the numbers every time I’m at work. I know that a child can be cloth diapered from birth to toilet training for an outlay of around $400, including the “extras” needed (wet pail, travel bag, Snappis, etc). I am also intimately aware with the resale value of cloth diapers that have been well cared for over their lifespan, having bought and sold used diapers myself. For some reason, though, this article made me sit down and do the mental math on the true cost of our stash.

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Apparently pre-packaged toddler meals, sold by Gerber, Heinz and various other companies, aren’t actually that great for kids.

Color me not surprised.

What I find most surprising about the sudden media coverage of the nutritional content in these meals is that everyone is suddenly appalled.

Seriously? Have people never read the labels? Have they never tasted jarred baby food? Has it never entered the realm of possibility for these folks that feeding their children actual fresh, healthy food isn’t that hard? Or that it’s actually a lot cheaper than the commercial alternatives?

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I am the first person to admit that I have issues regarding my personal space and who has access or “control” over my body. A lot of these, I’m sure, could be traced back to unfortunate encounters in relationships and otherwise when I was a teenager but some of the most profound ones stem from my last birth experience — something I like to think I’ve mostly gotten past, but wonder if I’ll ever really get over.

That said, I have always given consent for student doctors to be present in my medical care. There was a student midwife present for my previous pregnancy and birth; #2’s regular CHEO appointments are often attended by students, and have been since before he was born; I’ve had two “fascinating” gynecological surgeries to deal with endometriosis — one when 19wks pregnant — that have been observed and followed up by residents; and add to those a few handfuls of other specialist appointments for various things.

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