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October 23, 2006 / allyo

Back to basics

Tonight I relived Jamie’s baby days as I sat on the couch in the dark, long past his bedtime, and nursed him into a deep, deep slumber by the light of the almost mute tv. It was either that or spend another night frustrated and pissed off and guilty for being pissed at my poor, sweet, hurting baby. I’ve been frustrated enough that MD has expressed some concern the following day, and rightly so.

Whenever I lose sight of my original parenting philosophy – do what works now, and sort it out later – it comes back and bites me in the ass. And, when I lose faith in my own methods, it never ends well. When Jamie’s tantruming, MD’s method is to gently talk him through it. He just talks. And talks, and talks, about everything and nothing, until Jamie finally settles down. It’s really awesome and from time to time I feel guilty for my own response, which is to silently sit until the storm passes. The problem is, if I start talking, I get frustrated when Jamie doesn’t respond the way I want him to, which is calm the hell down. No matter that he’s freaking two. The gentle talking gives way to pleading, which gives way to impatience, which finally yields to anger. So the past couple of nights I’ve sat silently, offering comfort from time to time, until he’s ready to accept it. I’ve nursed when neccessary, putting aside my impatience with nursing for the time being, and finally, tonight when it was obvious that he wasn’t going to fall deeply asleep until the next dose of tylenol 3 kicked in and I couldn’t stop thinking about last night’s episode of the Amazing Race that was paused on the dvr, I took him downstairs and walked him around in the darkened family room where the light and sound of the fish tank (Dur? Dite dere!) finally calmed him to the point that it only took about 10 minutes of nursing for him to finally fall into a fitful sleep in my arms. An episode of the Amazing Race and the last half of What Not to Wear later, I was able to put him back into his own bed, at least as long as it’s taken me to finish my dinner and get ready for bed so that if he does wake again soon, I can just climb into bed with him for the night.

I have two sides to my personality that are battling with each other during situations like these. The part of me that craves order and routine versus the part that hates rules and flies by the seat of her pants. Flipping back and forth while trying to maintain a consistent set of boundaries and "rules" (our rules are so general it’s ridiculous – mostly about not hurting anyone or anything living and manners) wears on me. But really, how many more times will I have to snuggle him by the glow of the tv? How many more opportunities will I have to study his face as he sleeps, still angelic, with the tiniest bit of babyhood still present? Living in the moment is just as important as working toward the future person he’ll be and the two don’t have to be at odds with one another.

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One Comment

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  1. Jody / Oct 24 2006 1:29 pm

    yeah, absolutely, but it’s so hard to remember those things when you’re in the thick of it.

    I tend to spiral when the kids don’t respond “the way they’re supposed to” to my interventions, so this was a nice reminder to me to try something different the next time.

    Glad the surgery went well and you’re all getting on with life.

    TAR’s “will the Cho brothers lose because they helped Kentucky” fake-out was predictable from the start, no? And I’m so tired of the bickering-couples schtick. Recruit some new dynamics, please!

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