Thursday, August 30, 2012
Parenting...you're on your own
So you've had your cute tiny baby and it's time to leave the hospital. No one is going to ask you what your parenting qualifications are. No one is going to tell you where that secret stop crying switch is. You are on your own. Hopefully you know by now that when babies cry they either need to be fed, changed, burped, rocked, or they're tired. Unfortunately there will be times none of that stuff will work. You might just find yourself rocking and crying right along with the baby because you can't figure out what it wants. Don't worry you'll figure it out. And the happy watching your baby smile in his or her sleep times will far outweigh the I'm so tired and I feel like a zombie times.
But beware! Just when your able to crack that babies code the rules change....
The things with kids is they are always changing the rules. My son is 6 and so far I am of the opinion that the baby stage was the easiest. Babies can't talk back. They can't tell you they cleaned their room and go outside to play....Then you go upstairs and find that cleaning is really just another word for shove it all under the bed. I know that trick! I did it all the time as a young child plotting to give my parents grey hair. What works when they're 2 doesn't work when they're 3, 4 ,5 or, 6. Sometimes I think he stays up late at night planning how to stay two steps ahead of me and it takes all my strength not to just hide in the closet with a chocolate bar. It's pretty nice in there. There are soft coats to nap on, its quiet, and conveniently bathroom adjacent.
There are tons of books you can read... none of them have really helped me. You can ask your friends for advice but when it comes down to it you really know your kid best. Don't get me wrong, I am far from figuring Noah out. I do know however that he hates hates hates to lose things like playing with friends or going to the library. Does it always work? No. I wish it did. There are plenty of times when I'm screaming at him to clean his room for the fifth time and he's already lost everything he has to lose and he still isn't cleaning up. I really wish I had other tools to use instead of taking those things away because it doesn't work all the time. Just telling him NO worked great when he was 2. Sticker charts were good when he was 3. Spanking has never worked. Time out sometimes works.
I watch 19 Kids and Counting. Michelle Duggar has an amazing way of dealing with her children. She's very quiet, talks to them calmly, and they listen! I wish that she could come to my house and show me how to do that! I just don't know if I have it in me. When we're late to practice and he's still not ready my stress level rises and so does my voice.
Honestly, I'm just winging it most of the time. There are days when he's so helpful and sweet and days when I'm praying that Super Nanny will show up on my doorstep. I guess as long as he's alive, not bleeding, and the sweet days outnumber the not so sweet days I'm doing ok. And if not, there's always that closet and a chocolate bar with my name on it...