in the distance

There are so many ways to raise a child.  No one way is right.  What the key is, the experts are fond of saying, is consistency.  What ever your method of parenting, be consistent in the rules and in your discipline.

With my general observations of human behavior I tend to agree.  All people seem to want to know is just what is expected of them, be the standards wise or not.  From there we are able to organize our own thoughts and behaviors.  Children, in particular, like to have the rules and consequences set before them in black and white.  With a clearly marked target it makes it easier for them to push the limits and drive you mad develop their sense of self.


Consistency is a nice, easy word to say.  But life, oh dear, it is messy.  Ofte, the focus is in one sphere and all goes well there, while, in the background, the real action is happening. The periphery, where attention is remiss, is where values conflict.

What to do when the rules, and the values the drive them, collide with one another?


In my home, creativity is king.  But, Don't Be Wasteful is queen.  When creativity involves wasting (money, the earth's precious resources, time), I have to have a sit down and figure out which value trumps. 

I will admit I am not a quick thinker. I am, however, quite flexible in my musings, and able to come up with all sorts of tricky, bendy rationalizations to justify this decision or another. My fondness of generations and grand sweeping declarations go only as far as my joy in seeing a nicely outlined target.  Exceptions, peculiarities, and extraordinary circumstance are the bread and butter of my parenting.

I am quite consistent in my eccentricities.

Creativity vs. Waste?

Whatever. Because I know twenty minutes of a toothy grin is worth a buck fifty in clear tape.


My children love being the focus of my attention.  But they make full use of my periphery too, where the borders are less patrolled and there is more freedom from the penetrating gaze of adult judgment.  A little benign neglect on my part goes far towards helping my kids learn about the world.

The outcome is a reminder that honoring the dearest values leads to the development of skills (okay, and coping mechanisms) and not just giving us the guidelines for living. Reframing a situation - a bit of useful parenting dexterity - means we can appreciate an unanticipated blessing instead of getting all angst-y over what's best and who decides anyway.

It is not a mess, it is a Composition.


Beautiful work.


  1. Hear, hear!

    I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and have been faithfully reading and enjoying every post (and some of your archives, too). I'm a huge fan! Seriously, you're awesome and your blog is a nice change from all of the depictions of blissful family life that leave me feeling deficient. I can totally relate to you and I love it. Thanks so much for putting it out there.


  2. Great post. I can definitely relate to the creativity vs waste debacle.

    It's funny how a quick 'reframe' can change a potentially cranky, damaging situation into a celebration of curiosity and creativity.

  3. Well said. Thoughtful and interesting and creative all at once. You take everydayness and make it awesome and real enough to reach. Today I decided that my 16 month old, who loves to eat crayons and chalk, gets to draw with pens, marks on me, her, the desk, be damned, it was awesome...

  4. Wow. Ask and ye shall recieve. You're the third Crafty Momma on all these blogs I read that has said something today that I really needed to hear. It was this:

    "A little benign neglect on my part goes far towards helping my kids learn about the world."

    Right to my overparenting heart, that went. Thank you. Xx

  5. Hi from your newest follower. I stumbled upon your blog tonight whilst I was looking for different sewing projects. It's now 1:15am (I'm in Australia) and I should have been asleep hours ago. I've poured over your blogged and enjoyed it immensly. I've come to realise I need to sleep if I want to be able to deal with life and a 13 month old tomorrow. Thanks for the entertainment. Can't wait to visit again. :)

  6. As someone else especially concerned about waste, I recommend to you the ReUse Centre next time you visit Edmonton. $5 for all you can carry out the door-- stuff all diverted from the landfull. My daughter is particularly fond of the used greeting card selection.

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  8. in any case they seem to be happiest of the world!

  9. This is why I LOVE your blog. These posts bring me back to the roots of parenthood. Thanks!


  10. Absolutely brilliant. I agree.