Monday, July 9, 2012

9.7.12 - Mistakes help you grow...poorer

So my little munchkin is well and truly a year old, meaning no longer a "baby" but according to updates, a toddler. I can now dispel a couple of myths I stupidly subscribed to way back when I was the mother of a "baby":

- Never leave your baby to cry. The world isn't actually ending if they cry for longer than a second, even though it sounds like it.
- Babies love everything warm. In a hot weather country, this is just a cruel old wives tale. They like it normal, like everyone else.
- Gently pat your child's back to burp them. Patting doesn't do anything. Rubbing the left side of their back does. The prior motion was guess work and I assume, frustration relief for the parent, like when you knock the TV to get a better picture.
- Rocking your baby to sleep will get them addicted to the motion. Clearly this will lead them into a life of drugs, misery and not law school.
- Pacifiers make your child's teeth come in crooked. Their teeth are predetermined, pacifier or not. Baby boxing, now that's gonna make 'em crooked. 
- Wait a number of months before introducing allergenic foods like kiwi or peanuts. If they have the allergy they have it, whether they try the food now or later. Israeli kids rarely have peanut allergies because they are weaned onto Bamba the second they can chew.
- Crying It Out isn't bad for them. This one is true. However, it's bloody horrible for you. 
- "Extra stretchy sides to prevent leakage" - need I explain this one?

And many, many more. Now that my son is officially a toddler, I feel I've learned a lot, things to avoid/do better next time, things to watch out for. But in truth, I still have a child that requires 100% of my attention at any given moment so really, I'm not quite off the baby hook yet, and I'm still making loads of mistakes.

My most recent one, which I'm yet to entirely determine the severity of, was buying him a first birthday present. This was a poor (literally) move on our part for several reasons. The first one is a) as if he would even know; b) he got so many other presents that we've hidden half of them to be doled out throughout the year and c) he could care less about anything else except the box and other ridiculous items like our empty coffee cups. The last one is the one that gets me the most. His father and I realized after his birthday party and unwrapping all of his gifts that we in fact hadn't gotten on the train. One might argue well hey, we do stuff every day but we chose that. And we never buy him anything, other than food, diapers and the occasional dose of medication. We've been lucky enough to be showered with gifts and hand-me-downs from literally every corner of the planet, necessitating very little additional expenditure on our part. Score, right? Wrong. Our ethnic guilt set in and off we went to buy him what we thought he needed (and wanted) most - a walker. 

My son was born with a mild condition in his neck called torticollis, a shortening of the muscles on one side that came as a result of him being lodged in my pelvis for too long during labor. It took monthly physiotherapy for the first year to correct it, a process he has now "graduated" from. He's looking very fine and asymmetrical now, thanks for asking. During the therapy, I would often get lots of "extra" tips from our talented physio, such as knowing to wait a month after he starts walking to put him in shoes, as well as the fact that all kids eventually start walking with the help of gadgets or not. Still, on our last visit he really enjoyed playing with the walker in her office, so I mentioned that to my husband and the decision was made: we were getting him one. A nice one, not too flashy or complicated, something cute and simple and we even found one that converts into a little scooter for him too. First and second birthdays taken care of in one go! Efficient parenting ho!

Except that he doesn't like it. 

I should have known better, dammit. He's received a few gifts from overseas, including a mega-fun box of goodies from his great aunt in Melbourne, all of which he likes, but not nearly as much as the box they came in. So much so that the box is now an integral part of his play area, and its where he has learned to put away his myriad of other toys, many of which I think need to be packed up and put away for good. I was so, so particular at the beginning about only ever having a few toys out, not overstimulating him, not spoiling him. Well, to hell with that. Between birthday presents, generous gifts from family and friends who say, "but I saw it and he just HAD to have it" and our most recent pointless gesture, this kid can barely crawl around the living room without a bombardment of color and plastic and horrible, horrible toy music that makes my skin crawl and disturbs my dreams. I didn't mean for this to happen. I really didn't. But it does, and I'm pretty sure it happens to everyone, even though we all start out insisting that our child will only play with educational, wooden toys, will only eat organic foods and will never watch television; rather, they will read books and listen to classical music and will beat out all the other babies in the daycare SAT.

Pfft. Ha. Sure. Call me later and tell me how that goes.

In short: Just when you think you have your head around this game, you really don't. You've just passed level one, s'all. 

1 comment:

  1. Great, Jamie!
    Now I have to read all the other ones I missed out.. :-)
    I Like the way you write, with lots of sense of humour!
    And all is true. Of course.
    Hope we'll meet soon,