Thursday, November 10, 2011

Flipping the parenting switch.

This morning I read a great post called "Giving them Wings" from a blog that I love, Cheaper than Therapy.   Ali talks about parenting, and made a great point that as your child gets older... parenting actually gets harder.  

She does give the proper credit to the baby stage.. the sleepless nights, the doubt and brand ‘newness’ of being a mom, the breastfeeding, the endless diaper changes and trips to the pediatrician is HARD (it’s fresh enough in my mind that I can remember just HOW HARD), but says that the baby stage is really about meeting needs.  And we all eventually figure it out, and the sleepless nights and particularly hard days with an infant are always something that a good coffee, bottle of wine, and a little cry with your mommy girlfriends can surely cure.   But then something interesting happens...  And it’s almost all of the sudden. You walk into your child’s room in the morning and realize you no longer have a baby,  you have a little person staring back at you.  And YOU are responsible for the human being this child is going to become.  So I guess her point is that this is where the work begins... where you really have the opportunity to make an impact on your child's life or alternatively screw them up forever.

Ali struck a chord with things that have been on my mind a lot with Rory lately.  Her children are older than Rory, but he is very much his own little person now.   A little boy that is learning new things every single day. Things that we can’t always control, and certainly things we are NOT teaching him.  So his words, his actions and most importantly how he responds to people around him are all things we need to worry about and focus on guiding now.

My favourite quote in Ali’s post I think is, “these are things that don’t come with a manual and you can’t buy the tools you need at the mall. You have to fly by the seat of your pants and hope your ass holds up. And hope that you did something right”.

We’re making a lot of changes right now that are ultimately going to effect how our children grow up. Their environment, their stimulus, their day to day.  I get really emotional when I think about it.  I just really want to make good decisions for them. I want my children to know we did everything we could to give them a childhood filled with love, fresh air, family, music, fun... and opportunity. Opportunity and the space to do and be anything they want to be.

So far, I think we have a pretty good kid. We haven't had an "incident" report from Rory's daycare where he's been the instigator (yet), and Rory spends more time blowing kisses and hugging than hitting (so far), and when there are enough toys to go around I would give him a solid B+ on sharing too. So if parenting is a spectrum, I am hopeful we're falling on the north end of the "not totally screwing our kid up" end.  And may just be doing a few things right as it begins to matter more. 

Rory saw his cousin Noa on the weekend and they were SO cute together. All he wanted to do was touch and hug her.  Here are some of the super cute pictures aunt Sarah captured. 

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