Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I've broken the rules.

All of them. You know the ones I'm talking about: the ones you set for yourself while you're pregnant about what kind of parent you will be when your little one arrives. Although to be clear, I never really had hard, fast rules (other than not bed-sharing) because I felt it was important to be flexible. But, I did have some expectations for what I thought would be best for my infant, and what I hoped I wouldn't have to "give in" to. Oh, but I have given in...

My hopes were that my baby would find his thumb quickly and self-soothe, based on a ridiculous notion that I heard somewhere two years ago that "self-soothing is a sign that babies are more intelligent". Within two weeks I realized that my son was trying to find a thumb but kept his perfect little hands clenched into tight little fists. He would also eat, spit up, and want to eat again within half an hour. My body could not keep up with him, so one day shy of his two week birthday, a little after midnight, out came the pacifier sent home with us from the hospital, and we've never looked back.

Early in my pregnancy, I knew I wanted to breastfeed, but had this ridiculous notion of demand feeding as being something that only those hippie moms who don't ever spank their 5 year old for calling them a bitch would do. Little did I realize that in the beginning, that's really the only way to feed. When he had been crying since his last feeding and started rooting on his dad's neck, I knew I had to give up the idea of getting him on a schedule. At least until he hit about 6-8 weeks. There is no way I can listen to him scream when I know I have the solution right under my shirt. (I will draw the line at demand feeding a six month old. Maybe.)

My favorite "rule" was the one about not rocking babies to sleep. Bwahahaha...seriously? I really thought that I was just going to put a two week old in his crib and let him cry himself to sleep? Riiiight. Although I really need no further embellishment on how ridiculous this idea was, I will offer a nice piece of advice for those soon to be moms out there: bouncer seat in front of the dryer and washer running (or dishwasher for that matter). Oh, how that is my go to when I really, really need a shower or to do something with more than one hand.

And the coup d'etat came more recently. I was adamant about the bed sharing issue: it's dangerous, and it raises a child that wants to sleep with mom and dad until he's twelve. But you try sleeping for three hours and then wondering what you are doing at 4AM with a 3 week old that will not go back to sleep unless you are holding him, and when you're holding him you feel as though at any moment you will fall asleep standing up and he'll slip out of your arms. That's right, you put him in the bed...