Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On parenting

It has surprised me how natural parenting has been for me and Andy. I'm not sure if that's human nature or the fact that we're both very nurturing people or what, but there hasn't been too much of a learning curve - even for Andy, who had a lot less experience with babies than I did.

I posted early on in the placement that any time the baby fussed at night, I woke up immediately and completely. I still wake up whenever she makes a noise, but sort of doze while I wait to hear if she actually needs something or if she'll go back to sleep on her own (which is most of the time). (This baby is very awesome and has been sleeping through the night since she was about two months old. She does occasionally need her pacifier stuck back in, but we haven't fed her in the middle of the night in months.) I do have to occasionally remind myself (and Andy) that even if picking her up is enough to get her to stop fussing, it's a good idea to check her diaper anyway, but other than that things are pretty smooth.

I still get a little defensive about people's opinions of how we should handle the baby's attachment issues. She is okay with being held by me and by Andy and by two out of five ladies at daycare, and that's pretty much the end of the list. If she were a "normal" baby who hadn't spent a month learning that adults couldn't be counted on, I would let her fuss more with other people, but she needs to know that Andy and I will take care of her, so we take her when she starts to cry. The funeral we'll be attending soon will mean introducing the baby to dozens of family members, many of whom will want to hold her, which will mean a crying baby, and me taking her back from confused people who want to tell me what I should do instead. I'm working on repeating "This is what's working for our family" (via k8t in this metafilter thread) often enough that it comes naturally.

In the past three-plus months, I have also developed WAY more respect for single parents, who I already thought were pretty awesome. Seriously, I don't get how single parents with infants manage to keep themselves clothed and showered without someone to tag-team with. And yes, I am saying this as someone who has recently had to poop while holding a baby who decided that sleeping in her carseat was a totally unacceptable situation. (Fun story to tell her prom date?)

What awesome parenting tips do you have with your kids or remember your parents using?

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