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Saturday, April 04, 2009


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Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. To everything you just said. With love from the mom of an almost-three-year-old who only recently started sleeping well, still nurses, and whose speech is often unintelligible.

This is oh so true. I especially like what you said about holding babies to stricter standards than you would hold an adult. Adults have all kinds of sleep habits-- morning people, night owls, insomniacs, heavy sleepers, etc. But somehow all children should fit a single pattern? I feel the same way about eating (with older kids.) You wouldn't expect an adult to eat a food they didn't like, so why force kids to do that?

Yes! Yet another reason why my 4 year old has never seen a doctor... That may sound extreme to you, but frankly I believe that I know him quite well and he's perfectly healthy, so why should I waste time and money just be to stressed out? If I needed medical advice for him, I'd seek it, but I don't need stress about development, weight gain, sleeping, eating, etc., etc. when I know that he's fine.

Mama does actually know best. :-)

here, here! I'm got 4 very atypical kids according to the pediatricians and common standards. However, I've got 4 perfectly normal-for-themselves kids. All kids do stuff when they are ready, whether it is eating solids or sleeping through the night. I've got a 15 month old who has slept through the night fewer times than I can count on one hand. Whatever. Yes, I'm tired. But she'll do it someday. Or maybe she won't. I don't ever sleep through the night, maybe she's like me. I do appreciate that there are somethings for which checking with the standards are very helpful, but for the most part, it's all a bunch of hooey.

random people feel the need to ask if your baby is sleeping through the night in the same tone in which they'd ask if an older child was doing well in school.

Funny you should choose that example, Arwen. I do not care a whit if other people think my baby should be sleeping through the night. I am struggling with a child who is choosing to do badly in school, and it's tough going. I'm not in control of that either, you know?

I hesitate to post this because it is a sensitive area for me, a person who regarded anything less than an A as a moral failing. The ability is there and the expectations are clear, but he is the one making the choices at school. :-(

Exactly! I hate it when people ask me "is she ___ yet?" Although, I think even worse is "do you ___?"

That 50% comment made me actually smack my forehead with my hand.

Yes! Yes.
This was awesome. You rule.
I had this breakthrough the other day myself - thinking, I would NEVER fall asleep under these circumstances. Why on earth would a CHILD?

I know what you're talking about and it's just dehumanizing...and wrong on every level. This kind of thing is so very different from asking how things are going and getting to know the child as he/she is. It's like our culture has abandoned acceptance.

Thanks so much! Brilliant observation. Sometimes I need the reminder that every child is a totally different person - you truly cannot compare one to another. I like to think that I'm good at that, but then I deal with my own expectations of how my daughter is (personality, development, whatever) and I sometimes have to take a step back.

And seriously, a nurse actually said that? Duh!

Having watched all eight of my nieces and nephews go through the various stages of growing up, I hope I remember their differences at all the stages, and never ask a question like the ones you point out!

"I got so much less joy out of being her mother when I was looking at Camilla as a problem to solve rather than as a person to interact with and love."

Thank you, thank you. I have thought something similar about Son #1 (4 yrs.) but never expressed it so well. I am trying not to make the same mistake as we go forward together, or with #2 (5 mos.), but one of the things I've learned about parenthood is that things change JUST enough for me to think i'm dealing with a different situation ... only to realize later that I'm making the same mistakes, over and over again. And have the same lessons to learn, over and over again, just in slightly different form.

I love this post. My daughter Kara is 15 months and we still sit with her in a rocking chair after story time until she falls asleep. At first I was embarassed to admit it, but already we have a second baby (Nathan, nine weeks) and I'm seeing firsthand how quickly they move through stages. Now I just cherish the snuggle time!

I've been reading your blog for awhile and our daughters are very similar in temperament. Ella was a "terrible" sleeper as an infant and early toddler. Around 18 months I chucked the sleep books and really watched her cues and I realized... she just didn't need as much sleep as the experts suggested. She didn't fall in the average range for sleep and never did. That didn't mean anything was wrong with her, just just really only needed one nap at 10 months and all that fighting to get her to take two just wound us both up. She gave up napping at 2 entirely and our life has improved drastically. Around 2 she was also capable of putting herself to sleep which she had never been able to do before - I still feel an enormous amount of guilt for the time I tried CIO knowing it wouldn't work and let it go on far longer than I should have. She just had a lot of staying power and really needed outside help to soothe. Self-soothing came later and quickly, just like speech development did around age two. She lagged in that as well from 1-2 and I thought about it more than I should have.

With my son I have not even once consulted a developmental milestone chart or thought about his progress. He seems to be a very healthy, happy, curious young toddler and that is good enough for me. It is very freeing to let go of the desire to have the exceptional baby and just be able to fall in love with your own baby, the one God gifted you with.

I have never been more aggravated than when I read The Baby Whisperer and realized she classified easy sleepers as "angels". Gag, gag, gag. I have two little angels too, so what if they actually require specific parenting from me! The idea in our self obsessed culture that a "good" baby is one that doesn't require a lot of parental assistance from mom and dad is really horrifying when you think about it.

Great post!

I really, really wish I had your wisdom when my kids were babies. I fretted so much over what I thought they should be doing; I know I didn't enjoy those precious days nearly as much as I should have.

I agree! You said what I feel. Instead of always comparing my child to the numbers (who are also individual people!) on a about getting to know my child who is not exactly like any of the other children cited in the statistics?

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