Monday, January 4, 2010

Um, am I doing this right?

You know the old adage about how there's not a handbook for raising a child? Well, if there's not, then why do I sometimes feel like there really IS, and everybody got a copy except for me? I mean SERIOUSLY!

Here's what most of my so-called 'parenting' decisions are based on:
1. what I think is the right thing to do - based on opinion, advice, research or gut instinct
2. what I have time for in any given situation
3. the amount of determination available in my weary body
4. the amount of tenacity that Lily Ruth has for her own opinion
5. the quantity of sleep that I have had
6. the current hour of the day / night

Is this what you're doing too? Do I stand a chance of raising her to adulthood, or will she be better off in a wolf pack?

Remember how we were sleep training, and I was in love with 'Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child' by Dr. Marc Weissbluth? Well, um, I can't actually remember what the book says to do anymore, and I've been too sick to re-read it... would you mind doing that for me, and get back to me with a 'Cliff's Notes' version? Thanks...

Yesterday was our first day back in our regular routine. No holiday, no out of town guests (boo), no Daddy home from work, just Mama and Lily. It was also my first day of feeling better - I've been sick since Boxing Day :-( Well, we slept and nursed ALL DAY. Then, just when I thought it was bedtime, she was refreshed and rested for a rousing round of 'I'm Not Sleepy Mama!' that lasted until... oh, let's call it midnight... She went to bed at 7, was up at 8, down at 8:30, then in bed with us at 9... it went something like this...

- like a tiny electrical storm, her poly/cotton footed sleeper was charged and ready to go. itty-bitty sparks of static showered off her like rain...

nap for 20 minutes, possibly talk Mama into nursing. fling self onto back and reach for Daddy grunting 'uOOh'. Grasp at his face and/or chest until he says 'go to sleep, Boo'. fling self onto tummy, and rock on all fours with eyes half closed. attempt to shove thumb into mouth, fall sideways, clunk giant infant head into Mama's face/collar bone. whimper pitifully. Mama scoots baby into cuddle hold. press face up to Mama's, and shove fingers into her nose/mouth while sucking thumb and breathing onto her eyelids. become bored and scratch Mama's nose/cheeks with fingernails. get reprimanded and turned around to other side. reach for Daddy while whining pitifully. Daddy moves baby into cuddle hold. reach upward with 'death talon' and gouge Daddy's face. get turned around to face the other side - 'Go to sleep Boo'. flop onto belly and rock on all fours. scoot around sideways and try to climb Mama like a mountain. Mama scoops baby into cuddle position. Fling giant baby head backward in protest - connect soundly with Mama's nose. cry pitifully because Mama hurt your head, suck thumb and scratch at bedding. wake up fully and start whispering 'fa, fa, fa, fa'... then blow full-on raspberries and cover Mama in spit...

This happened several times. I gave up any pretense of sleep around 11:45 and took Lily Ruth back into her room to nurse AGAIN (growth spurt = nursing every 2 hours!). Guess who fell asleep immediately... yep, me... and then Lily Ruth - WHEW! She must have worn herself out, because she slept until 3, then until 7. It was like a gift from above.

Even when we have nights like that, I have to admit that she's HILARIOUS. I adore her. I just wish I knew if I was even coming close to doing the right things! I guess the fact that she's not only healthy but thriving, and not just alert but AMAZING will have to serve as my gauge :-P

... oh yeah - if anybody tells you that adding solid food will make your baby sleep through the night, they are delusional. All that does is add dishes and GIANT POOPS to Mama's day! But, it also adds joy and silly photo opportunities...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rachel...I think you've got it...really. Having raised two sons, I can tell you your parenting decisions are dead on. Trust your intuition, sweetheart, it will not steer you wrong.

    Lily Ruth is a beautiful child and you are so blessed. In a few years this time will seem like a blur. It passes so quickly. Drink it all in...motherhood is a series of moments that pass all too quickly.