Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Amen!

The whippersnapper has decided that he is done with schedules. Done, done, done, done, done, diddly-diddly-done. We had a good thing going for awhile: 5:20 he'd wake up, breakfast at 6:30, nap at 7:30, snack at 10, nap at 12, lunch at 1, nap at 3, dinner at 5:30, bed by 7. Bim-bam-boom, goodnight. It was lovely, it was predictable, and most importantly, it gave me some much needed down time. But someone - I'm not saying whom - decided to hell with all that. I've done my damndest to stick to the routine but when you've got a kid screaming because he REFUSED breakfast (or worse, a nap) good luck trying to keep the critter at bay. I read Baby Wise. I know I'm supposed to hold him off until the next appointed feeding/sleep time but I just don't have it in me. Plus the kid is growing like a weed (according to yesterday's Well Baby visit, height-wise he's gone from the 25th percentile to the 95th in less than 3 months). Who am I to say that he isn't hungry? It's just frustrating trying to find the balance between steering the ship and remembering that your kid is a person too. (JUST LET ME STEER THE SHIP!) That said, I'm actively trying to release the reins. Bottom line, I can't force the kid to go to sleep just because I want him to. I can't make him eat just because the clock says it's time. Whenever I start to get really panicky about it (But the books say...) I remember what my mom said when I asked about my baby schedule -

"I fed you when you were hungry and put you to bed when you seemed tired. We rocked you or drove you around the block or stuck a bottle in your mouth until you went to sleep. You got up when you woke up. There was no such thing as 'Cry It Out' because everybody was doing the same thing to get their kid to go to sleep! "

Oh.

You know what I want for Christmas? A reassuring book. A book that says, "You know what? You're doing a fine job. It's perfectly okay that you're still rocking your baby to sleep at 9 months because you know what? It's not going to last. Enjoy that head on your shoulder and that warm little body against your chest because pretty soon he's going to go back to falling asleep on his own just like he did before this obnoxious sleep regression because bottom line, nobody goes to college still needing to be rocked to sleep. It's also fine that some days he refuses to settle and takes one nap instead of three or eats slightly earlier than he usually does because you have an important audition to go to and it's okay that you sometimes check your email while he's playing and claim he's "learning to play independently", because no matter what you do or don't do it's all going to come out in the wash. As long as you love your kid and pay attention to him and encourage him and try to keep his best interests in mind, and as long as you're not beating or berating or having sex with your child, chances are you're doing a great job." Where's that freaking book? Because it would sell like gold.

12 comments:

Lovelady said...

Where is that book? Sounds like you're writing it. That's how the little guy's going to put himself thru college; not as a baby model/actor/whatever, but as Mommy's little muse. As you said, there's gold in them thar tantrums.

Missy said...

I second what lovelady said. You have just written the book. Now you need to read it and decide to believe it.

Maybe he is preparing himself for a new and improved schedule, once he is thru this growth/development stage, or he will go back to the old one.

Like you said eventually it will all come out in the wash.

Dan G said...

No one would buy that book because no one would believe that book.

Ali said...

Firstly, is that the Lovelady I think it is? The famousy singer/Spandex wearer Lovelady? Or another, more female 'Lady? Either way, glad you're here.

Define "new and improved" schedule, Miss. Because I'm all ears about that shiz.

pursuedbyabear said...

Write it.

You know the old Jewish saying "Man Plans, God Laughs" ? Well, the truth for momma's is" "Momma plans, Baby Laughs". He needs what he needs when he needs it. Give it to him. He's an infant. He's busy making a man, it's hard work.

Jen said...

You know where that is? Moxie's blog, that's where that is. Seriously, after I read all the books, in the comments on her blog was where I found dozens of other mothers saying "You know what? I do that too!" Whatever works is what works! And it's fine!

But yah, I agree it would be nice if someone put it in print so you could keep it on the nightstand in the nursery and pick it up at 2:30 in the morning after the little kid's been screaming for an hour and smack....I mean open it and be reassured.

Missy said...

I just wonder if he will be a lot more settled and amenable to a more regular schedule once he is through this developmental leap time. More regular sleeping through the night, regular napping, and the like. I can't say for certain of course that it will happen, it was just a thought.

I guess I kind of look at it like this with all that he has developmentally going on right now, for him it is like when you or I are crazy busy..it kind of tends to throw us off all over the place, with sleeping, eating all that stuff. Once thing settle down we go back to our usual routine. I think it works for babies like that too. Once they are past the development hurdle things are easier until the next one. Does that make any sense at all?

jessica star said...

I'm so glad someone else feels guilty about checking their e-mail under the guise of "independent playtime".

And Missy, I am loving your logic.

Julie said...

The book is called "Let the Baby Drive: Navigating the Road of New Motherhood" by Lu Hanessian. It's good, funny, and basically says just that. Go buy it on amazon right now.

Ali said...

Instead of writing a book I'm just going to make stencils for parents that say things like "You're doing great!" and "This too shall pass" to put over the crib.

I hear ya, Miss. As much as I bitch and moan, the kid is generally a fine sleeper - a night time, at least. Usually. Except last night. (Let it go, Ali.) But I think you're exactly right about chilling out until he's done recognizing patterns or figuring object permanence or whatever his baby brain is working on. (Or just "making a man". Well put, Bear.) Regardless, I think you should start that mother's group idea you were floating around. You'd be great at that.

Jen, I totally agree that Moxie's blog is the shiz. I've been urging her to write a book for months now! There is no better place for reassurance than Moxie.

Julie, I'm totally hitting Amazon, even though the thought of another book makes me weep a bit.

Jess, glad to see you! How's the nap stuff going?

Dana said...

I would absolutely buy your stencils! I'd have to invest in glow in the dark paint, so I could see at 10pm, 12pm, 3am, 4am, & 5am what they said.

Colleen said...

Let the Baby Drive is an awesome book. It will make you feel better, honestly.

And I have to say, throw away your copy of Babywise. The Ezzos aren't really doctors, they're quacks, and when I was an LLL Leader we had so many people accidently dehydrate their babies b/c they were following Babywise, which is just wrong, wrong, wrong when it comes to small babies. Plus any book that makes you feel that bad when you are doing a wonderful job just belongs in the trash can!

You are doing a GREAT JOB!!!! Parenting is unbelievably hard, but you are doing what YOUR baby needs you to do for him, and nobody knows what he needs better than YOU and HIS DADDY. The fact that you think about it so much and worry about how he will turn out just shows you what an awesome parent you are.

And your mom sounds really wise about that, too. So you have a great role model there! Good luck. I hope he starts sleeping soon so you can get a little more rest.