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Archive for November, 2010

Joy Walking

Thanksgiving:¬†Our baby is walking. He is into EVERYTHING. He annoys his older brother and sister endlessly. He wants to do whatever they are doing. Almost always, except for meals, he’s too young for their toys and games. Still, he adores them.

When I leave and come back home, he toddles to me with his arms outstretched. Like a movie. My heart melts every time.

When my oldest (now 9) was turning one and starting to walk, I remember enjoying it. But not this much. I am so grateful this third time around for every moment of his babyhood, so aware of the fleeting joys. He will walk for the rest of his life. Pretty soon I will not even notice the fact that he can stand upright and steady, yet, right now, every step still seems precious and amazing.

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My 6.5 year old threw a temper tantrum at the doctor’s office today. For no apparent reason, he was unwilling to let the doctor touch him. Our doctor is wonderful and there have been no negative experiences with him, so it was out of the blue. My son was cooperative about reading the eye chart, talking about his (actually pretty healthy) diet, and telling stories about school. But when it came time for the stethoscope, he hid under the chairs. When I tried to cajole him out, he got angry. When I tried to assert my authority and say he was GOING to do the physical exam, he cried more, screamed lots, and kept hiding. We left with no exam. What have I learned?

That once again parenting is an unpredictable science that requires constant vigilance! I am patting myself on the back for not getting too embarrassed in front of the doctor. He may be judging me as a bad parent, but I know that I was faced with a bewildering response from my child that is going to take me some time to sort through. It is only about 6 hours later and I still do not understand it. I’m sure we will eventually get to the doctor’s office and my son will have a positive experience, but in the meantime, I am just …

breathing

thinking about him

loving him as he is

trying to be gentle to myself, because it is not easy to face temper tantrums

asking the Universe for a path to a better experience next time

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It turns out that human babies breastfeed differently than most other mammals. Most mammals eat until they are done without much interaction with their mama. But human babies the world over suckle, then stop, over and over again. And mamas the world over jiggle the baby and the baby starts suckling again. Apparently, this is an unconscious and cross-cultural phenomenon. So what is going on here? Researchers surmise that this is early training for a very important social skill: turn-taking in conversation. What I love about this research is that it supports the theory that natural birth mamas have long held: that breastfeeding is about much more than nutrition.

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