I am excited to be writing my first post for Mee a Bee bags! Let me introduce myself and my small person. I’m Kamsin, a stay at home mum to one gorgeous, energetic, funny little soon to be three-year-old named Euan. We live in Yokohama, Japan, a big, busy urban area an hour south of Tokyo.
The little man has two big passions in life: trains, and insects. Dinosaurs, diggers, cranes and cars all capture his attention too. You know the boy stuff. I prefer quieter things; writing, reading and photography fill my time when I’m not being a mum.
A Troubling Incident
Living in urban Japan we have to take buses and trains a lot. Public transport is crowded and can be stressful with a small child, a stroller and all the extra stuff you need to carry.
At our local station, the gap between the train and platform terrifies me. It was only a matter of time before something fell onto the tracks. Perhaps it was inevitable that his favourite Thomas toy would be the victim.
[Caption: Most of his toy Thomas was on the track, under the train behind him ]
The station staff have long pincers to retrieve things that have fallen. But even though he got his toy back the whole thing was quite a shock.
What he needed was a bag to make sure the same thing never happened again. And so a collaboration was born with Jacqui Miyabayashi of Mee a Bee bags.
A New Bag and the Beginning of New Responsibilities
His new bag arrived earlier this week. We were off to an indoor play area and lunch at the mall that day. So we took E's new bag out for a spin.
When he saw the bag, he loved it, and it is the perfect size for his frame. He put his Thomas toy and a couple of other things in the bag and ran towards the door. But toddlers are unpredictable.
When we reached the front door he decided he didn't want to take it with him. What happened while he was running down the hall?
Perhaps my explanation that a bag would help make sure he didn't drop things made him anxious rather than reassuring him. He seemed to be worried about losing it. He's also used to Mummy taking care of his things for him.
He's independent when he wants to be yelling "I do it" with gusto. But he also likes to be dependent on Mummy, sometimes refusing to do things I know he can do if he thinks I'll do it for him.
I tread a line between encouraging independence, and I worry I'm overindulging him and allowing him to be the little boy he is who still is very dependent on his big people. I try to follow Montessori principles of helping the child to do things by himself, but sometimes I meet resistance from Euan.
When do you let a toddler make the choices and when do you push a little?
As he'd been so enthusiastic moments before, I decided what was needed was gentle persuasion. He seemed to be dealing with The Irrational Fear of Something New, and perhaps he was resisting being more independent and responsible for his own things.
Talking about The Thomas Falling on the Tracks Incident made things worse. E decided he didn't want Thomas in the bag. Thomas came out and some different trains went in. But that Irrational Fear was still there, so they came out too. I was wondering if it was best to leave the bag at home.
Then it occurred to me that a packet of his favourite furikake and a small tub of jelly might help him forget about whatever was making him anxious. I added two plastic sushi too, because why not? He got excited about this. Off we went.
Once we reached the mall, he walked around proudly, tapping his new bag on his hip. He showed it off to people we passed and was happy to have the furikake and jelly to add to his lunch plate.
Perhaps when you are two, nearly three, new things are exciting, but they can feel Big and Scary too! Especially when there’s a little bit of growing up to do.
Euan's bag is the Dinosaur Toddler Messenger Bag. He's almost three years old and is wearing the 2-4 year size. Get yours here: Dinosaur Toddler Messenger Bag