Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Awww ...

Mom recently found this essay on parenting by Anna Quindlen and asked me to post this here so she doesn't forget the message!

Anna Quindlen on Parenting

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in
disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three
almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three
people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid
of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell
vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor
blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors
closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip
up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves.

Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky
at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely
discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me
now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton, Dr. Spock. The ones on
sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood
education, all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where
the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I
suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.

What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the
playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations taught me, was
that they couldn't really teach me very much at all.

Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then
becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that
it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds
well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a
stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his
sibling at 2.

When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed
on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the
time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of
research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-
shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing.

Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the
research will follow. I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr.
Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he
describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and
active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who
did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was
there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he
developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last
year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just
fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me,
mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the "Remember-
When-Mom-Did Hall of Fame." The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the
bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed.
The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare
sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came
barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I
responded, What did you get wrong? (She insisted I include that.) The
time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then
drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted
I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the
first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make
while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is
particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in

There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on
a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and
1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about,
and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night.
I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing:
dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little
more and the getting it done a little less.

Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me
and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I
thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd
done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because
they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be.

The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense; matter-of-fact
and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I
wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have
done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity.

That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to
learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the
experts were.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Seven Months Old!

I turned 7 months old on January 5th! Here's as pic, the first of my "month" pictures taken in our new house!

Christmas pics ...

Here is a pic of me and the stocking Memere made for me, and a pic of me unwrapping one of my awesome Christmas gifts!

The Moving Guy

I helped a lot with our recent move ...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack!

Ok, so this is my first post in more than a month, but we've been REALLY busy. Since my last missive, I started eating solid foods, Mom went back to work and I have been going to daycare, we celebrated my first Christmas, we moved to our new house, rang in the New Year, and a bunch of other things!

Mom makes most of my food, and so far I've tried rice cereal, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, pears, peas, butternut squash, acorn squash, carrots, peaches, and prunes. So far, I haven't met a puree I didn't like! Yum!

I'm also really loving day care. I get to spend time with the big kids - there are a two-year old boy and girl, and a one-year old girl, and yours truly. There are lots of fun toys and things to do. Plus, I'm finally taking a bottle and taking really good naps at daycare too.

Also, on January 1st I slept through the entire night for the first time! I went to bed around 7:30 and didn't get up to eat until 5:45 am, then went back to sleep until 7:30 am! Since then , I've STTN a few other times but I'm not very consistent.