Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Parenting

Oh parenting. Why is it such a guilt trip? Sometimes I wish I could be completely confident in my parenting, not worrying about whether or not I'm making the right decisions when it comes to discipline, scheduling, sleeping, eating, play time, etc. But then I think that if I really thought I had it all together, I would probably be even farther off base than I actually am.
Constant re-evaluating is good for the soul. I think that's what parenting by faith is all about. Sure I have certain ideas about certain subjects. I have my own opinion on what is permissible behavior in my child and what isn't. But I try to be open to God's leading as situations arise, and to rely on him to guide me even in little things.
After the time change I decided to try one nap a day again. It went pretty well yesterday and he's down for his one nap again today right now. This does, however, mean that by lunch time he's getting a little cranky. I was scrambling up some eggs for us for lunch today when he bumped his head or something in the dining room. I didn't see exactly what happened, but there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth. I picked him up and cuddled him and he stopped wailing after about 30 seconds. This telling me that he wasn't really very hurt, I put him back down so I could finish the eggs and fix the rest of our lunch. He didn't take too kindly to this, the screams were renewed and he followed me around the kitchen as I tried to cook, wrapping himself around my legs so that every time I needed to move I had to detach him so he wouldn't be knocked over. Honestly? I felt like yelling at him. It was really frustrating, knowing that there was nothing whatsoever wrong with him except that he was cranky and felt like having his own way. But I took a deep breath, calmly detached him from my knees yet again and sat him in the corner. We haven't really done "time-out" yet, he's so far been too young to understand it at all so it would have been pretty ineffective, but the situation seemed to call for some corner time today. It worked great! No he didn't stop crying right away, if anything he cried louder, but he sat there for a few minutes until he stopped wailing, then got up and came back over to me. I gave him a hug and a few kisses, then went back to making lunch. The screams recommenced - back in the corner. This time it didn't take very long for him to stop crying, get up and get over himself. Peace again. I think "corner time" might become a more regular part of our discipline routine after today.
I've struggled since before he was one with knowing what to do with a screaming, angry baby who had no good reason to be upset except that the world wasn't revolving around him. There didn't seem to be much I could do with him but either ignore it, try to distract him or give in to him, none of which options were very effective. Now that he's 18 months, I'm hoping we can try to curb this before it gets too bad. Not that I'm naive enough to assume that I can simply correct this behavior before he's two and then never have to deal with it the rest of his life, he's a little sinner and selfishness will forever be a struggle, for me as well as him, but the screaming fits are what I'm hoping to at least minimize, if not eliminate totally.
In Baby #2 news, I continue to grow more massive by the day. I'm pretty sure this belly is a lot bigger than it was the first time around, and that's saying something. I've noticed the first few little signs of water retention around my ankles... ugh. I had elephant ankles with Eli, but that was in the middle of summer. Since this one is due to make an appearance in May, I'm hoping that the swelling won't get too bad since it won't be so hot. Also my hips have already started to spread and loosen with this one. I'll be 30 weeks on Friday, and I'm sure it did not happen this early with Eli. I'm praying that I avoid the extreme pain I had in my left hip at the end of the last pregnancy, when it was so bad I had to start walking with a cane. That was only for the week before he was born, but it was plenty long enough, and I didn't have a toddler to take care of back then. I spent the last couple weeks in and out of a cold bath tub with a good book when I was pregnant with him. That is no longer an option.

But enough blogging for now, I have to get a chicken in the oven for supper and try to straighten the house a little bit in these precious couple of nap time hours. We're leaving Eli with an official babysitter for the first time in his little life tonight. We've left him with grandparents or with families in the church before, but always at their house. Tonight we're putting him down and leaving babysitter in charge. Mind you, he'll be sound asleep and we'll be across the street at the church, and only (I hope!) for an hour or two, but it is just another milestone to record.

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