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Having an attached toddler AKA Stranger Danger


Peter with my parents: Papa Bruce and Grandma Kathleen (during a visit in March)

I can list the people who have watched Peter on two hands: my SIL and BIL, my parents, Jacob’s parents, another set of BIL and (now X)SIL, and another SIL… I also forgot my grandma watched him and will never again watch him (it was 2 hours).

That’s 10 people. 10 family members.

Jacob and I have 6 siblings together (Jacob 2, me 4) and I would trust any of them at any time to watch Peter. Jacob’s Dad has back problems and is on a lot of pain killers, so we don’t feel comfortable letting him watch Peter alone (especially after I was on my pain killers for my gall bladder). My mom and dad are wonderful with him and since we are living with them, he’s most comfortable with them right now. Both sets of grandparents have watched Peter overnight for us a couple times. However, we haven’t had someone outside the family watch Peter. It’s not because we are anti-having friends watch Peter (not even a little), it’s because he’s started to get stranger danger at 5 months. (Normally it happens around 7-9 months.)

AND then it never stopped. Now we are in our hometown and I’m getting offers from my friends to watch Peter and I’m spending more time with these friends with Peter. I’m not going to just drop him off. I think he really needs to get used to my friends, know they are safe, before leaving Peter with them.

It’s a painful very slow process. And it goes sometime like this: The first time we go over Peter’s scared of almost everyone and I maintains contact with me at all times. Everyone must keep a distance. The second time we go over Peter’s willing to play in the same room as me. The third time we go over Peter’s willing to play in the house. The fourth time we are over he’s willing to go with my friend to play (outside) while I stay inside. Peter remembers every place I’ve left him. Seriously. He can figure it out from the outside of the house!

We haven’t left Peter with Friends yet. We haven’t had the need. We’ve been away from family for so long they want to spend every moment with him. But I know the day is coming when I need someone to watch him and our family is busy. Also, I know when Jacob’s gone I may just want an hour by myself and my family is busy.

So we’ve laid some groundwork. He knows (Missy and Vicky) are safe. He likes their kids and mostly gets along with them. While their parenting doesn’t match up exactly with ours, I know for a couple hours, it’s a safe place for him. That makes the long process worth it.


Jacob and I are loving the date time. We’ve gone to the movies twice this week, and exercised together, sans Peter. I know that he’s having fun Grandmas and Papas time when we are gone.



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