I appreciate the information I have been finding on your blog, amongst many, but you have actually “been there”. I have a somewhat unique situation and wondered if you had any advice for me.I am a single father. I have custody of my now almost two year old son, his mother left when he was only 5 weeks old (long story….). I am working and have been working as best I can with the limited time and resources I have to prepare and be prepared. Obviously there are some things I am at disadvantages with, having a small child along for the ride and no second to watch my back.I have the plus and minus of always being with a diaper bag when I’m not at work or at home. It, like other possible shoulder bags (laptop type messenger bags come to mind) can possibly interfere with a drawstroke. So can a 2 year old whether carried or walking beside you.Being that you were a young father when it all got difficult, I wondered if you had any advice or thoughts from your past experiences, and I appreciate the information I have gotten from you over the years.I will admit that I haven’t read all your posts, I got hooked on your blog while back while perusing Warrior Talk and found mention of you, then….. when I met somebody’s mother, I was limited in any preparation time or effort, again part of the long story.Sincerely,Andrew
I have a 2 year old son too. My other boy is eight years old and he’s starting to be more help than trouble if you know what I mean, but kids are always a huge responsibility all your life. We went shooting today with my oldest son, good times. Mom and the little dude came along too but they stayed playing in the club’s playground swing. Being a single parent with a 2 year old must be tough.
You have the advantage of having the diaper bag and I see how you could convert it into a “tactical” diaper bag, but then again you need to carry lots of baby stuff as well. Google “tactical diaper bag” for a few laughs and some good tips as well. I’d get one big enough to carry the baby stuff plus your gear as well, all separated and within easy reach. For the baby, as you know already, you basically need a few diapers, baby wipes and spare set of clothes, some snacks and juice to drink. One thing you can do is put the spare set of clothes in a ziplock bag and press out all the air before closing. That package becomes surprisingly thin and you save a lot of space. All kids are different but one thing I’m never left without is pediatric ibuprofen and amoxcillin ( 200mg.) Other kids have sensitive ears so you want to have those ear drops with you, others are more prone to throwing up so something to stop vomits makes sense. I keep a well stocked medicine box keeping in mind the children. Solution for nebulizing and a good nebulizer and lots of spare syringes. These I use for measuring the ibuprofen solution when the little one has fever. Its also used a lot for babies that don’t want to drink it. You press carefully at the corner of the lip, dropping the soluting at the back of the tongue. This works very well since babies swallow it straight down but you have to be careful and fast. Few kids like this. Then again maybe your 2 year old is like mine and he eats the stuff as if it were candy. The older one is the one I used this on most often when he was a baby because he didn’t like the taste of the fever medicine.
As for firearms training you definitely want to keep in mind you son because chances are he will be there with you if you need to use your gun. When carrying him you would draw single handed, keeping him pressed against your torso, canting your body to protect him as much as possible. If he’s walking and theres trouble, then you should be getting yourself between him and the bad guys, pushing him aside if you expect shooting. Better to fall on the ground and get a few scratches than catching a bullet in the crossfire. If you have someone to help, its good for the kids, eve babies to visit the gun club so they get used to gunshots (at a distance of course!) even when just staying in the park or playground, that way they aren’t as scared when they grow older and they shoot for the first time.
When it comes to the food you have stocked up, make sure its food your son could eat as well, preferably food you already know he likes. Go heavy on milk and protein (canned meats) which your son needs.
Being a single parent isn’t easy and I believe its even more complicated being a single dad. Kids, specially babies, they just need their mom a lot. I hope you have someone to help you out. I know I’d be lost without my wife helping with the kids.
One thing I remember from the book “Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s life in Sarajevo” was how important it is for children to have little treats such as chocolate and toys, books and magazines for a sense of normality. In the book, Zlata tells how much she misses school and want to go to classes (at the same time the city is being sieged, shelled and under sniper fire killing people every day) Still she would write in her diary how wonderful it was to receive candy, chocolate, some toys and books. Maybe adding a few educational school books too when old enough.
Kids just demand a lot of your time and resources. Of course they are worth it, but its not easy raising kids ( or including them in your preparedness) as a single parent in times like these. Just make sure to give him the tools he will need to be self thinking and self reliant. The world he will grow up into will most likely be a bit worse than the one you knew when little.
Take care Andrew, and good luck to both of you.