May 21

Parent From The Gut

As a parent, you are expected, in a timely manner, to reach milestones like introducing solids, crawling, walking, algebra, invent green energy, etc.  I feel like I’m faced with a constant barometer of how shitty I am at parenting.  For example: even though Noble is ridiculously smart, and as well behaved as a 4 year old can be, he still finds his way to our bed at night.  I, personally, don’t see this as any kind of problem, yet.  In a year or so, he will most definitely be too big for that bed, and we will kick his ass out.  According to the popular literature, though, we are dooming our child.  My thinking: maybe kids need a good dooming every now and again.

In Alistair news: we were starting to take some heat about Alistair’s binky use at around his 4 month mark.  Our pediatrician mentioned we might want to think about breaking the binky, and we talked to some people who didn’t use binkies, and we wound up feeling like we needed to eliminate it.  We didn’t really want to, but it’s so damn easy to get caught up in comparisons that you start feeling like you are doing something wrong if you aren’t part of the mainstream herd.  So we went for it at 4 months.

The result was that after breaking the binky, all hell broke loose. Our home went from peaceful to prison riot. We lasted 3 or 4 days before Gayle and I, during our nightly “what the hell are we doing wrong” meetings, came to the conclusion that Alistair wasn’t ready to have his binky “broken.” So we de-brokened it.  Wow, I’m a wordsmith!

But wait!  Three months later:  Gayle and I noticed that Alistair was waking up multiple times at night and it was clearly because he just wanted the binky back in his mouth.  That was our sign that he was ready to have the binky broke:  it was causing more harm than good.  He is 7 months now, and he’s been off the binky for 5 days.  Guess what? He sleeps better!  Not perfect, but better.  Putting him down just takes an additional 10 minutes or so because of his binky cravings. And even that is getting better.

My conclusions: 1) Everyone has a theory that works, because everyone has a different child. 2) Parenting is best when it’s done from the gut.  3) When the “right” one eludes, it’s refreshing to invent words (de-brokened).

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