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Love this analogy! They also need to ensure that they don't burn down our grass huts when they are cooking the goat otherwise we'll end up on the highway in a wooden shack along with all our other relatives.... This post really made me laugh out loud!

You should make them cook all their own meals!

You forgot to mention that they have to cook it all on an open fire. Without supervision. Because here in Africa we don't have stoves or ovens.


Toooooo funny!!

Oh LOL! How on earth do you have time to do anything if you have to watch the kids in the bath too!!
You have a way with words, and say it a lot better than me. PMSL!

You forgot to metion that they all must hold down jobs to help with their rearing costs.

u tell them tersh! well done girly.

LOL :)
As I said to you before, I think you need to get Adam & Kate up to speed with the braai, and save you some cooking :D

whahahahaha!....that is lol in afrikaans! every single mom i know...in third world africa that is...leaves her kids in the bath and runs like hell for a cigarette or a sundowner...news flash...we don't frown upon mom's that leave their kids alone in the bath here in south africa...we encourage it...shocking i'm sorry!

we're just playing with ya'll...


I'm in Australia. We just let the kangaroos supervise.

Some people are too much.
My twins are two and I live for bath time. It's the only time I can eat a meal in peace. Don't worry, I keep the tv low so I can still her them.

I intended what I said to be observational, not condescending or critical. Sorry it came across in the wrong way.

Here is where I get the water safety messages:

Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/services/hss/tips/healthtips/safetywater.html

"Maintain constant supervision. Watch children around any water environment (pool, stream, lake, tub, toilet, bucket of water), no matter what skills your child has acquired and no matter how shallow the water. For younger children, practice "Reach Supervision" by staying within an arm's length reach."

Statistics on drowning:

Tertia, I am not the spokesperson for water safety, nor did I mean to criticize your parenting. I thought it interesting that you often are hard on yourself for being a paranoid mom (I *am* a regular reader) but you are not paranoid about the one thing I am paranoid about. I do have feelings too.

AArrgghhh - Angela, everyone has feelings, emotion, opinions and thoughts. You voiced yours, and others voiced theirs... Its not personal (funny, but not personal...) nor are we disregarding the dangers of water..
So settle down, enjoy the humour and relax a little!

You know, I'm willing to bet that if most of the American readers thought reeeeeally hard and tried to remember their childhood, they'd remember bathing alone. AND surviving!

I loved bath time when I was very wee (4ish) because I got to be alone with all that water and all those toys, to say nothing of the bubbles.

My parents would start and stop the water, and I'd marinate in Toy Soup until it started getting chilly. Think about how long it takes for a tub of water to cool off. Again, I survived.

We all used to do a lot of things (bathe alone, walk home alone, play with toys that are now deemed so dangerous they're illegal) and survive in positively ridiculous numbers. I don't think the world has gotten more dangerous. I doubt that US children have gotten that much stupider.

The only thing that has really changed is public perception.

Angela, I'm sure no one was trying to hurt your feelings anymore than you were trying to sound condescending to anyone not "here in the US."
Speaking as someone who grew up in a series of "third world" countries, I think many in the US are simply unaware of how statements that begin with that phrase can come off as pontification from on high and a refusal to acknowledge the validity of anyone else's cultural mores. This is especially the case online, when we can't hear your expression and judge only stark words.
Don't worry, love, I know you were coming from a place of genuine concern.

I'm a bit shocked that everyone is making a joke of this. I'm hoping Tertia meant it as she was in the room doing other things or had Rose or Marko watching them but, leaving two three year olds in a bathtub alone isn't a great idea. Tertia's a very bright woman but, we all have things we think are safe and someone nicely pointed out how quickly this situation could turn bad. I don't know why the posts making fun of someone being concerned? It wasn't said rudely or attempting to say Tertia was a bad mom at all. I think we all do things now and then that in hindsight make us cringe. I know I do. A friend of a friend lost their 4 year old in a drowning accident in the bathtub. It was a total freak thing and this child COULD SWIM! Mom was in the attached bedroom folding laundry. It happens and making jokes about it and saying it is no problem at all to leave them unsupervised isn't funny. If Tertia feels comfortable with that risk she can easily say it's something she's thought about and is ok with but, why make fun of someone pointing out a safety concern?

I hope you just forgot the part about the laundry. They do do the laundry while dinner is cooking, don't they?

Erica, FWIW, I don't think anyone is making fun of the safety concern. I think what people are finding funny is that folks felt the need to point this out to Tertia, especially in light of the fact that she's been mothering two children successfully up to this point. It's hardly necessary to deliver a reminder on water safety, and when someone does, it reads as holier than thou. Nobody needs that.

But erica wouldn't it have been more polite to assume that she has? And well pulling the here in the Us card doe smake me laugh too here in Europe. And this response is just funny...

Mijk who regularly leave kids alone in bath but I command them to sing loudly..

Her kids are almost 3 for gosh sakes! I think that, unless they have some type of physical problem, that they can probably sit up in a small tub of water if they tip over. Yes, drownings do occur but I bet the "statistics" are usually for very small children. I have 2 kids ages 7 adn 5 and leave them in the bath and have for at least a few years. I can hear them talking/playing and I will ask them if they are doing ok every few min and I feel totally comfortable doing this. I think we all know about water safety, and each mom knows their kids and their comfort level.

Horrible bad mother, here. My youngest is only 16 months, he bathes WITH his 3 year old sister, and they do it each night.... alone. I plop them in the master bath, then exit stage left to the master bedroom to fold laundry. Every night. Lucky me they haven't been TOO vicious with the razors and poison shampoos within reach.

Not dead yet, either!

I think the supervised vrs unsupervised in the bath thing is all about age. My twins are only 22 months, and not only am I there with them bathing, but my husband too. With us sitting RIGHT THERE, my sons have thrashed about in play to the point where they have hit their heads on the cast iron tub, gone under the water, gotten lungs full of water by trying to drink with tub toys, and hit each other with tub toys. They are NOT ready to be unsupervised in the tub. However, by the time they are 3 they most certainly may be able to sit in the tub without doing any of those things. (I probably won't let them bathe together, though, I keep thinking "2 go in, 1 comes out"). When I was 4 or 5 or so I can remember quite clearly bathing by myself with the door closed, and my mom just coming in to wash my hair and to check that I cleaned all my parts properly. I think it is pretty obvious that you have to know your own kids and what they are capable of in ALL parenting situations, not just around water. I think at this point it is also obvious that Tertia doesn't condone leaving young babies unsupervised, or that you should leave your kids unsupervised if they aren't ready for it. Geeez!

yes tertia. we are a tad paranoid here in the US. i remember going to Greece and spending time with a new friend, her husband and child. she left her child in the car alone to sleep at one point when we went into a resturant. i remember thinking how that would never ever happen in the US. of course, we were on one of the islands during the non-tourist season.. but even in the safest of places i can see that being frowned upon here in the US. i don't have a child yet, but i hope i can be relaxed about some things when i'm a parent.. though i do imagine that each parent is relaxed about different things and paranoid about others. ymmv according to each person's/parents' personal experience.

When you are offended by comments you have said we should be respectful of each other and treat each other as if you were taking together, say in your living room. Would you have used your comment above to someone who brought up water safety to you in your living room?
My friends' 4 year old is brain damaged from a near drowning incident in the bath when he was two. His sister, four years old at the time, was right there with him.

Um, ever since my kids were 4 &2, they've been bathing alone. Trust me, when there are 2, you KNOW when there's a problem....

As for freak accidents, they happen. Should we live our lives being afraid of the freak things?

I don't think kids should be unsupervised while they are in a tub, well not for any length of time that is...I sometimes walk out but not far and they are always within hearing (kids are 2 and 4). I grew up in SA and while I was probably left alone in the tub and yes did survive, I also never wore a safety belt in a car and survived but that doesn't make it okay now that we know better.

fyi - you can drown in 2 inches of water.

My mother used to let my brother & me bathe unattended. One day she came back to find that he had balanced the t.v. set on the edge of the bathtub so we could watch cartoons. We came *this* close to electrocution.

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean my comment about my brother's & my near-electrocution in the bathtub to be a criticism of letting kids bathe unattended. I just read some other comments and see my comment probably would come across that way. No, I meant it in the "kids do the darnedest things" kind of way. My mother used to trot that story out for laughs the whole time we were growing up. It was one of her favorite stories. (If she had thought anyone could have viewed that story as an example of her negligent parenting, she never would have trotted it out for company as often as she did.) I heard the story thousands of times as a kids and it never once occurred to me to think she was negligent in leaving us alone for a few minutes. I still don't.

I enjoyed the laugh... not most of the negative comments.
A little too defensive, all those with self righteous comments.

Shhhh and relax!!! Lighten up.

BTW: I make my 17 month old twins do the laundry while they bath. No point in wasting all that very hot water is there?!

You South Africans are a tough lot. You let your kids bake bread. What the hell?

LOL at Amy.

Yeah we're a tough lot. The bread thing is way tougher than the lion-feeding. But that you only have to do once a week. The bread thing must be done EVERY day. (After fetching the water from the river.)

You were joking, right??? :)

I don't know how all this ended up going back and forth, but I am finding it funny. I think all of us as mothers find things that we will or will not do with our children and they all turn out fine. I remember letting my DD be in the bath unsupervised, but only as long as she kept on singing.... I also make her sing or show me her shoes from under the stall if we're in public restrooms and I need to use the facilities alone. Paranoid about my cutie being snatched.

But then the other day she learned how to ride her two wheeler with no training wheels. She asked if she could ride down the street to her friends house. It took me a minute to answer. I was worried if she would fall and hurt herself and I wouldn't be out there with her. Then it hit me that if she fell, she'd have to do what I used to do when I fell off my bike... pick myself up and go home to Mom. I told her she could go.

I'm a little surprised at the backlash at Angela, too. I was thinking the same thing when I read Tertia's original post. Despite what anyone says they did or their children do (and are "just fine!!!"), it IS dangerous to leave 2 year olds in the tub unattended. As attentive and concerned and focused as Tertia is, I too was taken aback. Maybe there's something about her setup we aren't aware of (e.g. she's watching the kids on a monitor), or perhaps the cultural norms are different in SA - doesn't mean it's safe, though. The American Academy of Pediatrics explicitly recommends against it:

"Don’t leave your child alone in a tub, even for a moment. The bathtub is a source of severe scalds and also poses a potential drowning hazard. If the telephone or doorbell rings, don’t leave your child alone or in the care of another child, even for a moment."

(from http://www.aap.org/family/TIPPGuide.pdf)

And Tertia, you are generally so kind to your commenters, even those that disagree with you. This post seems out of character for you.

Had to add my two cents worth. Have been reading your blog for ages Tertia and really enjoy it. Also thought your post a bit out of character but that's not my main point. I am a South African as well (although no longer living there) and have two kids and I would never leave my children alone in the bath. The most I do is pop my eldest in the bath (he is 2) and run to the nappy bin to dispose of the nappy and then run back. Don't think it's a cultural thing at all I think it's a personal choice thing. Wouldn't be able to confirm this (haven't googled it or anything so could be wrong) but I believe it only takes a minute or two to drown. And it's so easy to get distracted - I just would not want to take a chance. Maybe I am a bit neurotic? My husband would probably say I am......

My twins are 2.5 (Tertia's will not be 3 until January, they are just 3 weeks younger than mine). I never leave mine unattended in the tub. But, that's me.
I'm a pretty "laissez-faire" type of mom. Extremely "Type B", yet, i have a serious fear of accidents happening and drowing in the tub. I have heard those stories about the freak accidents and the toddlers drowning in the tub for my entire life and all i can say is there are plenty of times when i can get a minute's peace away from my kids where they are not in any danger.
My kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to splash and dive under the water in their bath. They both can hold their breath under water and took swim lessons every day this summer. Yet, with all their bouncing around I KNOW in my heart that one day one of my twins will BONK his/her head on the faucet, or, the molded ceramic soap dish that sticks out of the wall just above the tub line and go under.
This much i know.
Don't ask me how i know it. I just do!
And, no matter how many times i caution my children to be careful in the tub, they are still just 2.5, so, i stay with them. I will certainly leave my kids in the tub alone when they are a bit older, but, not yet.

Anyone here see the movie, "Map of the World"? That child was playing with 3 other older children inside a house and not anywhere near water and she ended up drowning when Sigourney Weaver stepped out of the room for a minute....
I think it happens more than we are aware of, or, talk of regularly.
Just here on this blog, there have been 2 women posting about such incidents with 1st-hand knowledge.

I take this very seriously. I think we all should.

That being said, my closing thoughts are:
1. Your kid, your risk always. Not my place to judge.
2. Better safe than sorry.

DUH! I meant to say, Tertia's kids are 3 weeks OLDER than mine.

I loved bath time too, untill my 18month old learnt how to pull the plug out...little monster ;-) anyway it was great while it lasted... my mom still gets tense when i stand and chat to her in the kitchen which is ten steps away from the bathroom and leave him in there alone. I also have friends who disagree with my 5 minutes peace and quiet but then again some who do the same - each to there own.
Very funny comment thanks for the 'light' side of parenting i think more of us need that!!

I am a member of the "make 'em sing," clan. Sometimes I forget a towel in their bedrooms, or the phone rings. I also agree that with 2, it is easier to tell if there is a problem. I have issues with drowning, and I still thought this whole thing was comical... I usually bring a book, sit on the toilet and let the boys throw toys, splash, and otherwise make a mess of the bathroom. Even with the phone and a book, sometimes I have to leave the room for a brief moment and the singing lets me know they're breathing. :-)

I do think parents have different safety hang-ups. I walk down the hall and check the e-mail while my 6-year-old and 3-year-old are bathing together because I can still hear them, but I won't send my 6-year-old to school with grapes or carrots in her lunch, because I'm worried she'll choke in the cafeteria and no one will notice.

I guess now I can see why your sister is scared of your reactions sometimes! It was funny though, esp. the first time.

Okay, my two (other cents)? I'm very glad my journal doesn't attract this kind of attention. It would eat my brain to have so many people scrutinizing my parenting all the time. The seemingly offhand becomes a major issue, where twelve different people have to chime in with the "no, seriously. It's not safe." And
have I mentioned "really not safe"? And also, "you can do it if you want, but *I'd* never take that risk".

Don't let the judgement do you in. Respecting your choices is something that we should all do, but even if we, your readers, fail at it, you shouldn't let that make you fail.

I stay with my kid in the bathtub (he's two and a couple of months) because he is working very hard on learning to turn the faucet on, which could cause a pretty nasty burn. I'm not terribly worried about him drowning, mostly just hard-boiling himself.

Did you ever think you'd hear so many people being judgey and condescending over what happens while your kid's in the bath, or have such little sense of humor about it when you poke fun at them? Blah.

I'm so proud of myself for not posting yesterday - I knew it would be taken care of. But, I have a friend whose son drowned, and he wasn't quite 3.

I didn't leave my kids alone in the bath until closer to 4. That is the one thing I'm paranoid about.

Hahaha! Now that's what i call humour. Brilliant post indeed!

I agree with Pat. The "here in the US" part is awfully condescending; and let me remind you that here in the US, children also die due to numerous causes and accidents, including drowning. Tertia's response would be very appropriate in my living room, by the way...

I'm an Australian too, Megs's comment has made my day - I'm getting me one of those kangaroos too, I bet their pouches are useful for all kinds of things!!

hell....i knew i was doing Something wrong.... what a waste of precious resources!!

THEY chould have been doing the laundry!!

According to Angela's posted statistics (!) the majority of children who drowned in a bathtub were under age 1. I think we can all agree with the fact that a child under age 1 should not be alone in the bathtub!

But the keep them at arm's reach thing? Really? Have you ever taken your kids to a "zero depth" pool? It's a wading pool that starts out around 1 inch deep and goes to maybe a foot or so deep, made for toddlers. You ever try keeping your kids within an arms reach in one of those things? I guarantee your child is going to get a snoot-full of water at some point.

Hi Jeanne, yep, I was joking. Or I think I was... :)


This was a local death, with a sibling in the tub.

I put my kids (3 and 6) in the bath and then watch Oprah in the NEXT room.There is not a minute of silence in that bathroom... the kids laugh/shout/giggle /sing.If there was silence from either one for a few seconds i would get up and check on them.Its not like i go out jogging while they bath..........

Bahahah I can't stop laughing. My sister wont even let her baby sit on the floor because there are feet that touch that. And has plastic sheets she puts on tables at restaurants because "you don't know when they clean those rags they wash the tables with"....yeah not even kidding.

You know, I think I have to agree as well.. It seems that people that felt that their children should be in the tub alone are being treated as if they are daft or just silly for fearing that something could happen when their child is left alone in a bathtub. Tertia, I have to say that its a little upsetting that you are mocking the people that fear leaving their children in a tub of water alone. Its fine that you dont think its important but really.. Havent you said over and over that people here should be polite? There is nothing mock worthy of people fearing for their childrens safety so Im not certain why the posters also think its funny when its clearly not.

oh my so many panties all in a bunch! I'm sure those who made "be careful" comments did them with the best of intentions, just like my Hubby does. And just like T I come back at him with a sassy reply. I mean come on it goes without saying that I'm going to take the 2 year old down to the beach and just let him go out and play in the surf while I work on mt tan, we live on an island shouldn't he be learning how to swim?

Wow. I am really genuinely surprised at the flippancy shown towards safety. Huh.

Sigh. Can we all just get along?

I have to say, I'm really not surprised by all of the posts concerning safety in the tub. My twins are 5 years old, and I only recently (past 6 months or so) have felt comfortable leaving the bathroom during their bath time. The have always bathed together - (by the way, how old is too old for boy/girl twins to bathe together???), and I have always worried about them drowning each other. Looking back, I realize that my fears were way overboard. They make sooooo much noise in the tub, that if I were not to hear one of their voices for more than 10 seconds, I would be running in there so fast that I would scare the crap out of them!
Honestly, based upon the "millions" of Tertia posts that I have read, she is far from a careless mom. I too found it insulting that others would assume that she was unaware of the drowning risks. Certainly, Tertia would NEVER put her children at risk, and to imply that she would is just f'*ng stup*d.

I don't think the point of Tertia's response was that she mocks water safety concerns. Seems to me her point was that just like you know that she doesn't let them "play unattended with household cleaners and paint thinners," you can assume she is also not letting them bathe unattended. What her definition of "attended" is--clearly there are many many definitions. That's honestly her business, and she doesn't need to define it for us. She has the basic competencies of motherhood, and therefore probably didn't need the information that water can be dangerous. I'm guessing she knew that.

Yeah.... I know I'm not supposed to take my eyes off of the kidlets in the tub for every one second...but I do. I run get stuff all the time - more soap, towels, the camera, etc. Or if the older two are in the tub, I'll run check on the sleeping (or now awake) baby. People here in the Southern US would be appalled that I stopped looking at them for anything, but you know? Sometimes you've got to take a breath and just live a little. And if its just the oldest (four), I let her alone quite often. The door is open, and I am just right outside...but with the two younger ones I just don't have enough eyes to keep one on each child every minute.

I guess for disclosure I don't feel comfortable leaving the room while my kids are bathing, or, and I know this is paranoid, turning my head and taking two steps to reach into the hall cupboard to get a towel. I have done so, but I try to be quick. Especially watching their antics I am afraid my four-year-old's exuberance would knock my 20-month-old into the water and the older one wouldn't know what to do to help. I realize this is paranoid of me. While swimming my kids have gone under several times but I was always there to pick them up (though not always right within arm's reach). They are fine. I did not comment yesterday (I rarely comment anyway) even though I noted that that was what Tertia's story meant because it was none of my business and she knows what she is doing.

Anyway, I really wanted to make a comment about prefacing something with "In the U.S." I don't think that it signifies to those of us actually in the U.S. what it does to those outside of it. I understood it, actually, as a qualification trying to soften what she was saying. As in, her conscience bade her say something, she knew it would be construed as criticism, so she was trying to communicate it as simply a possible cultural difference. I don't know. It sounded better in my head. But while I'm sure Tertia is aware of water safety it is entirely possible that she was not (until now) aware how very obsessedly paranoid we are about it here in the U.S. And we really are.

It's kind of interesting now that I think about it. When I was pregnant with my first child I took a little class on baby-proofing (I think it cost $5 or $10) and they talked about water safety and the dangers of drowning for a good part of it. Took it incredibly seriously. Talked about drowning in pools and how it is the "silent" killer because kids don't splash and flail and call for help like you see in the movies, they just slip under and they're gone. Later my sister-in-law tells me she'd heard of some kid, a friend-of-a-friend type deal, that drowned in the melted ice in a cooler at a party. Great, I thought, one more thing to worry about. You can probably guess I am super paranoid that they will die. It's a problem I have.

Honestly like I said, it was none of my business. Even if I thought (I don't) that Tertia was putting her kids in serious danger every night I wouldn't have said anything because there is no good way to say "hey, you are either ignorant or willfully neglectful, but you are putting your kids in danger! Blowtorches and machetes are not toddler toys!" But really, are people sure that perhaps they are not bringing negative connotations about the United States into their perceptions of such a phrase? I mean, would it have been construed as pontificating if she'd said "Here in the UK" or "Here in Brazil?"

When I read your last post, I pondered the bath tub thing for a moment, but my attention was focused on your intentions for the post way above bathing alone. However, after seeing some comments about the apparent "overreacting" of others, I would like to point this out: http://www.wfsb.com/news/14277594/detail.html

This is in no way directed towards Tertia - no, not at all! - but just as a point of interest. I have no desire to be in on a debate, but I think that everyone should be willing to look at a situation from all angles, before making a call. It's silly to generalize "Americans watch their kids and other countries don't", because obviously that is far from the truth. Whatever the case, that doesn't mean that leaving children unattended, regardless of how capable you feel they are, is okay.

Look at the date of that story. This is not a far off, rare occurrence. It's a sad reality.

I often say "here in Australia" because, as Mare said, I'm trying NOT to sound pompous. Just acknowledging that things are different in different countries.

Water safety is a huge, huge issue in Australia. Kids learn to swim as babies. But I've got to say I've left my kids alone in the bath, within hearing range and often withing sight, since they were about 2 and a half. I check frequently and run in if there is silence. It might not be right, but it's how I do things.

I've also found leaving kids in the shower works, no water to drown in. We put non-slip mats down.

Tertia, lion saftey is a serious issue and should not be mocked. I know a 3 year old who was badly injured feeding her family's pride unsupervised. I think there is a law against kids under 5 feeding lions (except teeny tiny ones) but they are allowed to feed elephants from 2. Just thought you should know.

For all of those with no sense of humour- come on people.
I think the comments aimed at teaching Tertia about water safety are
extremely condescending. Well done for having a laugh Tertia!!!

"For all of those with no sense of humour" I think its a bit silly to attack people for not having a sense of humor because they are fearful of their childs wellbeing. I dont think that anyone hear says that Tertia is a bad parent because she leaves her children in the bath.. I just think a lot of people feel that shes being insensitive for making fun of the people that dont feel thats the right choice...

Anyone smell something? Hesitantly she opens the lid...Shock horror!...she forces the lid back on...

It's a blog post gone bad!

about the sense of humor thing - I know Tertia is often humorous like this but for some reason I couldn't decide if she was just having a laugh or she was actually being...mean? about it? I don't know if that is the right word...just whether or not she was at her screen in a good mood, in a irreverent mood, or whether she was really upset and hurt by the comments. What I used to love about Tertia was that she was always so sassy with her naysayers, and lately I get this feeling that she's just biting back. Maybe nothing has changed and I'm just nuts. I am sorry, Tertia, for talking about you like you're not here reading what I'm saying. It's really none of my business to even say stuff like this.

Anyone smell something? Hesitantly she opens the lid...Shock horror!...she forces the lid back on...

It's a blog post gone bad!

See, even the server is not liking it...perhaps it's time to call in the blog police! Anyone have the number on them 'cause Telkom thinks I'm crazy!?

jodi, your lion safety thing is the kings bikkies. i love it!

well, I'm sorry - while I found the blog itself very entertaining and amusing, I was taken-aback when I discovered the children aren't even three yet. Come on, people - no matter what anyone says, it is NOT right. And I'm NOT American, I'm South African. My boy of 11 recently (in winter) fell asleep in the bath. He's actually big for his age... and it was in the middle of winter, I did not make a habit of checking up on him (for years), but there he was, in ice cold water, busy turning around face towards water. So, please don't tell me it's right. Cos it's not!

You all way too sensitive, i mean tertia fought long and hard for her babies and i highly doubt she would EVA put them in danger, for those out there that think that i bet you have never done anything wrong when bringing up your children!!As for the hole she is being mean i dont blame her read wat you have said and think how you would react!! she has to fight back some how cause you all judging her!! to all that are keeping the joke alive good on you guys!!!!!!!!

Tertia you gret and dont stop doing wat you doing!!

meant to say Great


To me kid stories is about the enormous love a mother feels and has for her children. Talk about reading between the lines and getting them totally knotted.

Here in Connecticut, there was a case this past week of a 2 year old left unattended in a bath (for how long I'm not sure). He slipped, hit his head and drowned. It has not been determined yet if the cause of death was due to drowning or head trauma. The grandmother who was responsible for watching him that day committed suicide. So sad.

I can recall back when my son was a toddler leaving the bathroom for a minute or two (on occasion). I'm sure many of us have done it once or twice. This post is not meant to criticize you at all. It just made me stop and think that only a few minutes of unattended bathtime can sometimes result in tragic circumstances.

What's funny is that I remember my mother being taken to task for this same issue when by our neighbor, when I was a kid - 5 or so, with a 1 yo sister.

I'm as paranoid as the next person, but my kids are alone in their bath. If there's just one in there, I'll be listening, and I'll call out or go check if it gets quiet. With two, it's never quiet enough to even think about worrying.

I agree with mimi smartypants, too - no use interrogating the little snots! I tell them, the next time either of you does XXX, you're BOTH out of the tub / in to bed / to your rooms - whatever. All for one and one for all!

Tertia, you rock.

Tertia, your love for your children comes across loud and clear, we all know that and it is fantastic to see!

Absolutely nobody is perfect, nor are they perfect parents, children, husbands, wives or friends. (Or commenters ha!).

While you may do something one way, I'll do it another and someone else will do it yet another. Doesn't make any of us wrong, or more right than the others.

With regards to your post, I think you were trying to explain the magnitude of your love for your kids. And it was fun and whimsical.

However after re-reading Angela's comment that started all this, er, 'healthy debate', I have to say I thought she was polite and 'perhaps' had a point. I say perhaps because it was true what she said, but the context of your post didn't warrant it (if that makes sense). So it would have been a valid point if you'd said "so I left the kids in the bath and skipped off to the shops".

We all do things we know would be frowned on by others (not saying that you did in this instance) and this has all come too soon after you'd opened your heart and soul up to commenters about Adam.

Nobody is kicking you when you are down.

Chin up Tertia, you are brave to write so openly and honestly about your life, I certainly appreciate it.


All I can say after reading everyones comments are...Holy C**p! When did this go from a blog to a debate team final?!

Sorry - I know mine was one of the comments that set you off. I should know better than to post when I am short on time. Honestly I think i misread what you wrote - I truly thought you meant they wre in the bath and off you went to cook dinner (I mean...have a glass of wine??) Anyway...as far as the xenophobia goes...i actually do have a friend from Europe who was astounded when I told her it wasn't a good idea to leave her kids to play in the backyard pool when nobody was around (her twins were 2 at the time, I shit you not). So you never know who really does need warning!

Your posts about being a bad mother do make me laugh because I am right there with you. My DD is a year old than your twins and still has a pacifier, only drinks warmed up milk out of sippy (no different from a bottle)...we all need not to be so hard on ourselves.

My post was not to make you feel bad...more from the "trying to help" angle as you mentioned, sorry if I blew it - your blog is one of my favorites. I didn't mean to start a "mommy war!"

Damn bathtub drama. How bout you just put them in the shower :)
I am on the stay in the bathroom side because three two year olds in one bathtub turns bad pretty fast. Last week, they flushed a Hot Wheels car down the toilet...

I fell in the shower, konked my head and nearly knocked myself unconscious when I was 35. At what point should supervision end?

I actually wanted to comment on the last post, because that was the one that included the bit about those of still trying and wondering if it's worth it, how it is absolutely. I'm still catching up on all the posts I've missed, but having just decided to give up on IVF, it was a very powerful post to read. Bathtub debate aside, of course.

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