This post is sponsored by Triple Soap and Triple Wash on behalf of Everywhere Agency; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
As many of you know, my son 2.5 year old son Emmett’s first year of life was quite different from most babies experience. At 7 months, he was diagnosed with a catastrophic form of childhood epilepsy that leaves most little ones with severe cognitive and/or physical issues, delays, and other challenges. We are profoundly grateful for the fact that Emmett was one of the few who was able to beat the disease and come out of it completely on track developmentally. In fact, what he went through, and all we endured as a family, has made every milestone and step toward independence feel like something to celebrate. And his latest desire for independence – in his words, to be a “big boy in the bath” – is no exception.
Bathtime has always been an incredibly bonding experience for me with both my kids. It’s the time of day when I have completely stepped away from work, have put away my phone, have taken a break from whatever house work or bills or life stuff needs attention, and am completely focused on them. When they were babies, there was the soothing, calming experience of gently cleaning them in the warm water. When they grew into young toddlers and were old enough to play, it was all about splashing and bath toys and fun together. And now that Emmett wants to do more in the bathtub all by himself, bathtime bonding has become a special source of pride for me, where I am able to remember all he went through and marvel at his independence, while also being able to take time together to sing songs, laugh, and talk. It’s pretty wonderful.
From the moment he enters the bathroom these days, Emmett wants to do it all. He gets himself undressed (albeit awkwardly), gets himself in the tub, and immediately wants to get himself clean. It’s both hilarious and endearing, and truly a special time for me.
After I get his hair wet, the first thing he grabs is our beloved Triple Wash®, and gets to it washing his hair and body. Triple Wash is a super gentle, mild all-in-one shampoo/body wash that is fragrance free and perfect for Emmett’s normal skin, as well as his sister’s sensitive skin. (It was designed for both!) I love that it’s pH-balanced and works so well at maintaining normal skin barriers, especially now in the wintertime when the air is so dry. He loves to sing the “I can wash my hair” song while he’s washing it, and then we work together to rinse it. And because it’s tear-free, I don’t have to worry about it dripping as he washes his own hair.
Next, he grabs his “teddy bear soap,” aka Triple Soap®, an all-natural, mild, safe soap bar embossed with a teddy bear for easy toddler holding. It is safe and gentle for everyday use on sensitive and normal skin, and can even help sooth eczema (which I have), contact dermatitis, and diaper rash. He washes his body with it while we sing more songs and talk about all his favorite things. He also likes to make the teddy bear on the soap tell me how much he loves me. You can’t get better than that.
During bathtime, as Emmett repeatedly says, “mommy look what I can do,” we both beam. Not so long ago, I was told that he likely wouldn’t even be able to sit up on his own, much less joyously bathe himself. It’s something I will never take for granted. This, combined with the fact that both Emmett and I love using products that I can trust (and easily order on Amazon!) from the Triple Paste family, makes bathtime a wonderful experience for both of us, and create memories that I will always cherish.
Who else finds bathtime one of the most bonding experiences you have with your little ones? Have you tried Triple Soap and Triple Wash, from the family that makes Triple Paste Diaper Rash ointment? If not, I highly recommend them as safe, gentle, soothing products for cleaning your babes. Click here or here for a special Amazon promo code where you can grab some of your own for 50% off!
From the Facebook page of Deborah Robin Kafir. I gotta admit, this made me cry. Batteries not included … It is Christmas day today, And all are full of cheer, But I lay freezing on the step, I always sleep right here. I never get to go inside, And join in all the fun, I’m […]
Most modern Westerners find the idea of killing a bear extremely perverse. After all, we’ve all grown up with a bit of that subtle propaganda about their gentle ways. Winnie-the-Pooh, Paddington, and countless Teddy Bears have all given us the impression that a bear is sort of like a rotund dog that lives in the forest on nuts and bears and sometimes wanders down to a river and catches salmon.
But to my ancestors who wandered deep into Appalachia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the bear was both a scourge and a bounty on the land. It was a scourge because many black bears became sheep and pig killers, and livestock was not easily brought over from Europe. But for those who came to trap beaver and hunt deer for hides, the bear was something else: the finest quality red meat that nature provided.
So the Daniel Boones of the world came out into the mountains and hunted black bears as their top choice of meat. I don’t know all my ancestral lines and what they lived off of, but I do know that one of my ancestors was a noted bear hunter.
Variously called John, Jacob, and Jehu Summers, my six or seven greats grandfather was famous for his Appalachian frontier wanderings. He was born in the Shenandoah Valley in settlement that consisted mostly of Germans from Pennsylvania. He was only the second generation removed from the Palatinate, but his father moved the whole family into the deep Alleghenies to roughly the place where Summersville, West Virgina is located. (The name was originally spelled Somers).
Jehu went west into Kentucky and were he made his living off hides and furs, and in the War of 1812, he found himself running with Andrew Jackson through the Deep Southland, and his name is listed among Kentucky militia at the Battle of New Orleans.
After his service, he went back into the Alleghenies, going into the Western foothills, where he trapped beaver and sold a fortune to John Jacob Astor. He made a mistake by putting up a bond for the sheriff of the county, who then absconded, and he had pay his whole fortune to cover the debt. And then he went a bit west, where the bears still roamed in big numbers.
Near where the Clay County, West Virginia, courthouse is now located, it was said that he would hunt the bears very hard. Famous stories, perhaps embellished by country tall tales and lore, claim that he once killed a dozen bears one afternoon.
The story might be dubious, but if it were even half true, it would point both to the ubiquity of the bears in those early nineteenth century days and to his skills as a hunter and a man of the land.
He made his fortune off the beaver, as so many men of the frontier did back in those days. After all, in a world without synthetics, the felt made from beaver fur was the main substance from which men’s hats were made. This fashion is one big reason why European beavers are so rare. They simply had too much demand for the supply.
But by the artifices of contract and law, he was made a debtor and a pauper, it was the flesh of the black bear that sustained him and his family. That rich red meat filled their stomachs and made their muscles hard.
Such figures would be celebrated in lore, but we live in a different era. My grandpa Westfall, who was on the other side of the family, and perhaps had a different sensibility, saw the bear as a great black devil that should never have been suffered to live.
He saw the bear as the thing that might kill him or his dogs while hunted in the woods. Even though only a single black bear has ever killed anyone in the history of West Virginia, perhaps he knew of a few nasty stories of bears carrying off sheep or swine from his grandparents. They were of the farming generation, not wild men of the mountains like Summers clan.
That killer bear, by the way, offed three children while they were out flower picking in the high mountains of Randolph County. They were unaccompanied minors, and the bear was a nice young boar, perhaps just testing out a new food source that he’d never really seen before. The bear was tracked down and killed in short order, so he never became one of those habitual man-eaters of the forest, which we all hear stories about but only rarely see properly documented.
And that one bear meat his demise in that land of the mountain laurel, but countless scores of his of kind have fallen, been skinned, and then placed in smokehouses for the winter.
Fatty bear meat is just what the body needs while trying to make a go of it in the long, frigid winters of the frontier and farmstead, and the grease from the bear is fine for frying all sorts of delicacies.
They were truly the people of the bear, and without the bear, I would not be here. Mine whole line could have been lost on a frigid January night, when the hunger finally slipped in and took away my ancestor into the darkness of infinity.
But we now live in an era in which the black bear is roaring back into much of its old haunts. States, such as New Jersey and Florida, have opened limited hunting seasons on the bear, much to chagrin of the animal rights activists, who think that no animal should ever be hunted.
Never mind that the wilderness is no longer there. Never mind that the bears, when they overpopulate will come into suburbia and tear up things, expensive things. Never mind that the meat of the bear is good and that the hunters pay their license fees to the wildlife departments, which then spend that money on wildlife research and conservation.
Just never mind it all, because we now live in this alienated modern world, which sees man as a devoid of all nature and natural processes. We are a species with a strong sense of what we call morality, but we live in such immoral, materialistic times. Our political systems are broken, yet so much of the population wants to do right. Politicians on the center-left can no longer provide the level of social democracy they once did, so going along with whatever fancy animal rights cause might be a good way to keep the base settled and on your side.
Aldo Leopold wrote in A Sand County Almanac, “There are two spiritual dangers in not owning afarm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
These spiritual dangerous are magnified when one lives without having any knowledge of how hunting works within the North American model of conservation. It is hunting that pays for so much of the wildlife conservation that we all appreciate, but in our urban worlds, we now believe the hunter is the enemy of the deer, the turkey, and the bear, when indeed it is the hunter that paid for much of what it took to have them restored in such bounty.
These dangers are becoming even more hazardous in the era of social media, where we can all have tweeting lynch mob organized when someone shoots an invasive feral goat on an island in Scotland. Cecil the lion got better billing online than all the horrid things Mugabe ever did while he was in power.
And while we’re fighting these little wars online, we’re forgetting that the planet is warming, and it is warming because of us. And that is the real danger for wildlife and for mankind’s continued ease of existence on this planet.
Every second we’re talking about some animal rights cause celebre, we’re not talking about real issues of conservation, and it would be far wiser if conservationists would distance themselves from animal rights issues as they can. Animal rights campaigning might be good publicity, but ultimately, the goals of preserving wildlife and endangered species will come up hard against the fanatical cry of “never kill one.”
And now I think of my bear-eating ancestors. They would be shocked to have found that this country is now so developed, so technologically advanced, that is now fundamentally alienated from the green wood in which they lived and eked out an existence.
They would surely think of us extraterrestrial and strange, for they would have more in common with the indigenous hunters that they ethnically cleansed from the land than the very people who hold their DNA in the modern era.
They would probably marvel at our advancement, but if they watched it for a little while longer, I bet they would mourn.
I know I certainly would. The People of the Bear have given away to the electronic lynch mob.
Which is as sad a development as the felling of the last giant tulip tree of the virgin forest and slaughter of the last Eastern bison in the Allegheny mountains.
It is a passing of something great, that can never be restored.
The Delaware Humane Association is pleased to announce the adoption of Major by Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill. The couple fell in love with the dog after fostering him in their home. According to the Delaware Humane Association Facebook page, “Major was 1 of 6 puppies who were brought to DHA after […]
With about 6.5 million companion animals entering the shelter system each year, half of them cats, adopting a cat may be just about the best holiday gift there is. Plus, we’re all for sleeping in on Black Friday and taking your time visiting your local shelter. But before you go, make sure you’re ready.
Own the litter box. Surprising the kids with a new cat may be half the fun, just know that you’re probably going to be the one responsible for the less-glorious parts of pet ownership. Plan for that in advance, and if older children want to take on these responsibilities you can teach them when they’re ready.
Time it right. A new pet can bring even more joy to the holidays, but if your family will be doing extra traveling, visiting, or entertaining, plan your adoption accordingly. Maybe see if your shelter will hold your adopted cat until the holidays are over. A rescue cat may take a few weeks to get used to your family, let alone a house full of guests.
Plan ahead. Even if the visit to the shelter is a surprise, make sure you’ve got the important stuff at home so you’re ready for your new family member. Cats don’t need a lot, but a litter box, kitty litter, bowls for food and water, and a nutritious, delicious cat food that’s going to help transform them from a rescue to a relative are essentials to get started.