On television, men are sometimes portrayed as lazy, football-watching, beer-drinking spouses who shirk household responsibilities and leave child rearing to women.
If thats the case, Randy Reid is as atypical as a zebra in a herd of mustangs.
Reid, who retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2005, is a stay-at-home father who cooks, cleans and plays with dolls with his almost 3-year-old daughter Maren, that is. His wife, Dana, is still on active duty in the Coast Guard.
Reid does possess a few stereotypical qualities of men, though. Hes a problem-solver by nature. When something isnt right, Reid strives to fix it.
After 23 years in the Coast Guard, you have the mentality of wanting to help people, he said. Its a no-brainer for me. If I can do something to help people, I will.
So, when Reid stumbled across what he discovered to be a common parenting problem his daughter refusing to take naps or go to bed at night because she was so fascinated with unbuttoning and unzipping her pajamas Reid put on his thinking cap.
We would put her down for a nap and she would just lay in the crib and unzip and unsnap her clothes, Reid explained. She was like a little Houdini, anything we put her in she could get out of.
Taking off her own clothes wasnt just inconvenient, it was dangerous, Reid said. It was scary. She would be trying to get something off and have it around her neck. Even with the monitor you cant always watch or hear everything that goes on.
Then there was what Reid refers to as the incident, when Maren removed her clothes and her dirty diaper, spreading feces all over the crib, mattress and wall. Three more incidents like that and Reid was a man on a mission.
We are Internet savvy and figured if our child was doing this so were others, so we got online and looked at dozens of mommy blogs, Reid said. As we suspected, we found out we werent the only parents with this problem.
Suggestions from other parents included putting the baby in a cold shower to teach her a lesson.
We knew there had to be a better way to do it, Reid said, explaining how he took a pair of pajamas and altered them so the zipper was in the back. It totally stopped her from trying (to take off her pajamas) and she was back to having healthy sleeping habits.
Reid hired a Pennsylvania-based company to produce the pajamas and is selling them online.
Mookimoo Sleepwear named after his daughters pet name is one of the only U.S. based childrens sleepwear companies, according to Reid. Carters, Infantino, Gerber and Child of Mine are all produced overseas, he said. They make it for $2 and sell it for $24.
As a small, family-owned company, it was important to Reid to manufacture Mookimoo Sleepwear in the U.S. even if it costs more, which has proved the biggest hurdle. Nobody in the clothes industry wants to deal with somebody my size, he said. They want to sell me 10,000 yards of material and I dont have the pocketbook for that.
Reid compares the quality of Mookimoo pajamas to Baby Gap products. We are middle of the road its not high quality material but its not cheap.
We believe there is a market for this, Reid said. Nobody wants to talk about the problems parents have with kids, its taboo. So, its hard to do a market study but we predict at least 25 percent of toddlers go through this phase and we want to get our name out there to help families before it becomes a problem.
Putting pajamas on a toddler with the zipper in the back is just as simple as with the zipper in front. After you bathe your child and lotion them up you just lay them on their back, put their arms and legs through the holes, pick them up into a bear hug and zip up the back, Reid explained. Its easy.
I wouldnt want to go back to a zipper in the front, he added.
Mookimoo Sleepwear, available in three colors and designs, ranges in sizes from 12-36 months. Its recommended for toddlers, not babies younger than 1 year old. More designs and colors will be introduced as the company grows.
For more information, go online to http://mookimoo.com/.
to stay put
Mookimoo Sleepwear, LLC is a family-owned, Web-based Sequim company that designs and sells pajamas for toddlers. The unique line of sleepwear is specifically designed to prevent toddlers from removing clothing during naps and bedtime. For more information about Mookimoos patent-pending design or to purchase a pair of pajamas, go online to http://mookimoo.com/ or call 877-466-6547.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
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