Don't Retract Pack

Slow Down Mummy

By R. Knight © 2011

slow down mummy, there is no need to rush,
slow down mummy, what is all the fuss?
slow down mummy, make yourself a cup of tea.
slow down mummy, come spend some time with me.

slow down mummy, let's pull boots on for a walk,
let's kick at piles of leaves, and smile and laugh and talk.
slow down mummy, you look ever so tired,
come sit and snuggle under the duvet, and rest with me a while.

slow down mummy, those dirty dishes can wait,
slow down mummy, let's have some fun - bake a cake!
slow down mummy, I know you work a lot,
but sometimes mummy, it's nice when you just stop.

sit with us a minute,
and listen to our day,
spend a cherished moment,
because our childhood won't stay!

~ R. Knight


Rebecca Knight is a creative, Christian mum from Guildford. Aside from her passion for all things creative, Rebecca enjoys traveling, socializing, art, writing and trying to be all that she was created to be. She is Mom to three daughters, Jessie-Jane and Ellie-Faith and Giorgia-Evie, and married to James. They adventure together discovering the purpose and joys of everyday life. Read more from Rebecca’s at her site, Reflection Space or find her on Facebook at Shine Like Stars.


Baby Sleep Positions

Andy at How To Be a Dad recently wrote about the blurry eyed, early morning (or late night!) wake up to a little one staring you back in the face. In his diagram (3rd below) he calls this the "Stalker" sleep position. Anyone who shares sleep with their baby knows that there comes a point, usually right around that first birthday party, when nighttime acrobatics become commonplace in the family bed. We've laughed about it, cried about it, and ultimately, come to truly treasure these fleeting moments with our children who quickly grow up to want a room of their own. Looking over these sleep positions, there may just be a couple you recognize as well.

For more on safe sleep sharing, visit the Safe CoSleeping page on Facebook, and look into research cataloged on the Baby Sleep Resource Page.

If you have a photo you'd like to contribute to the How CoSleeping Happens album, we'd love to hear from you. Write to This can be a photo of your sleep sharing set up only, a photo of cosleeping 'in action', or both. The gallery will serve as a snapshot of how families around the world share sleep with their little ones - a sociological reflection of our present time in history.

Love is the Color of a Rainbow

How would you describe the colors of the rainbow to a child who was born without visual sight? If her eyes had never fixed on the colors of the world, or the contours of her momma’s face ~ if she had only seen the world through her many other senses, and as you splashed together in the puddles one rainy afternoon she asked you to please, “Tell me what the rainbow looks like…”

How would you respond?

In her beautiful new book, Love is the Color of a Rainbow, author, Kathy Parra, replies to this very question in a way that is both deeply involved and simple to understand ~ using our many senses to describe the blues, reds, greens, oranges, yellows and purples. Reading her words, if we close our eyes and imagine, or gaze upon the blissfully warm illustrations by Candace Keach, we can feel the rainbow’s colors coming alive around us.

Willow and her momma go out to splash barefoot in puddles and catch raindrops on their tongues (something my own son is thrilled to know other children do with their parents too!). The two of them hold a small snail, and feel the roundness of his shell to discover a rainbow’s shape. They stroll under the branches of a willow tree and feel the gentleness of green; and taste a fresh tomato off the vine to find that red is a color very much alive! Willow and her mom gather up wildflowers and breathe in the sweetness of orange and purple; and then feel the warmth that yellow brings with the summer’s sun, and the peace of the vast blue sky around us.

After their day’s adventures together, Willow wraps her arms around her momma, just as the rainbow wraps her arms around the earth, and Willow decides that a rainbow is colored very much like love.

The construction of Love is the Color of a Rainbow is softcover and printed by on recycled paper. I greatly appreciate this symmetry between the manner in which Parra presents herself and her story - her own respect for the earth and life around us - and the physical makeup of her book. A portion of the proceeds from Love is the Color of a Rainbow also go to support nature and environmental organizations.

The one aspect of this warm and colorful book that I wish were slightly different is the size of the text. Larger text in future editions would make it easier for parents and grandparents hard-of-sight themselves to read with their little ones, and easier for learning to read children to follow along.

Today was a rainy, cold, winter day here, but we did have a splendid time sharing Parra's book at the mall playground. Children gathered around and were eager to listen to all that Willow and her mother experienced on their own rainy day together. "Read it again!" came the requests, and in the words of my three year old, “This is The Beautiful Book!”

Read more about Love is the Color of a Rainbow and pick up a treasured copy of your own at Connect with Parra at her page on Facebook.

~ Give-Away Happening Now ~ 

Kathy Parra will be graciously giving away a signed copy of Love is the Color of a Rainbow to two peaceful parenting families who also have a heart for helping children connect with the natural world around them. If you take special moments to invest in a child's exploration of nature, to spend time outdoors, to talk with the plants and animals around you, to help little ones understand where their food comes from, or any number of other ways we come to understand love and compassion through the natural world, we'd love to hear from you.

To enter:

1) Skip over to Kathy Parra's Facebook page and say hi ~ tell her you came from peaceful parenting.

2) Send us your story (and a photo if you wish) of something you and your child(ren) enjoy doing together in the natural world, and how it meshes with gentle family living. Email to If this is a previously posted article on another site, you may email the link.

Two winners will be chosen at random on Feb 28th by (numbers assigned in the order entries are received). All entries will be read by peaceful parenting editors and are eligible for potential publishing at Please include a brief author's bio if you wish.

We look forward to hearing from you, and as Kathy would say ~ Dolphin Love! 


20 Ways to Bring Goodness Into Your Life

By The Dalai Lama
Read more from the revered and internationally known, Tenzin Gyatso, at his homepage:

Photo © 2012 peaceful parenting mom, Aliya Martinez, and her precious son, David. ❤

1) Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2) When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3) Follow the three Rs:
- Respect for self,
- Respect for others
- Responsibility for all your actions.

4) Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5) Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6) Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

7) When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8) Spend some time alone every day.

9) Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10) Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11) Live a good, honorable life. 
Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12) A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13) In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation.
Don’t bring up the past.

14) Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.

15) Be gentle with the earth.

16) Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17) Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other 
exceeds your need for each other.

18) Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

19) If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.

20) If you want to be happy, practice compassion.


Finland Parents and Circumciser Charged with Assault and Battery and Fined for Sons' Circumcision

Helsinki, the capitol and largest city in Finland made news today when the District Court imposed a fine on the man who was convicted of assault and battery last Friday for circumcising two minor aged boys of Muslim parents. The parents of the boys have been convicted of incitement to assault and battery for encouraging the circumcision of their sons, and will pay out fines to their boys, but will not receive legal punishments.

Finland does not have specific legal guidelines for genital cutting of minors when cutting is performed for "religious reasons." In 2008, Finland's Supreme Court ruled that genital cutting for religious reasons is not specifically illegal if performed under proper medical procedure. However, after the Supreme Court's ruling, Finland signed the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine of the Council of Europe. Under this convention, any medical procedure impacting an individual's health must be performed according to professional obligations and requirements. Surgical procedures (including genital cutting and the amputation of the prepuce - 'foreskin' or 'clitoral hood') can only be performed on someone able to give informed consent. If they are unable to provide informed consent (because they are a minor child or infant, or for any other reason), they can only be put through surgical producers if there are immediate benefits. The court further ruled that circumcision is a procedure that should only be performed on those who consent to undergo such cutting of their own body. As an additional prerequisite, anyone performing genital cutting must be a medical or health care professional with a license in Finland or elsewhere in the European Union.

Last Friday, the Helsinki District Court stated that it would be a misinterpretation of the Supreme Court's earlier decision if they were to ignore or authorize these cases of non-medically justified circumcision.

The man who circumcised the boys said that he has performed the same surgical amputation of the prepuce upon thousands of boys in Turkey and Iran, but lacks the license required for such surgical procedures in Finland.

One of the two boys cut in Helsinki suffered infections as a result of circumcision. This boy was awarded 3,000 EUR (approximately $3,900 USD) to be paid to him by both his parents and the man who cut him. The other boy was awarded 500 EUR (approximately $650 U.S.) which will also be paid out by both his parents, and the circumcising man. In addition, the court issued a 60 day income-linked fine for the crime of circumcision without medical justification or qualification, which amounted to 360 EUR (approximately $470 USD).

Related Reading:

Faith Considerations on Circumcision (Islam, Judaism, Christianity)

Male Circumcision in the USA: A Human Rights Primer

Swedish Doctors Refuse to Circumcise 

Religious Reasons for Circumcision Could Breech Human Rights