Occasional Post from Absentee Blogger

Even though I no longer actually write down the posts that I compose in my head, somehow it brings me relief and pleasure to occasional briefly write about what I would write about if I would make time. 

All is well at Camp Baby Toddler. Although I know all parents feel a bit overwhelmed and crazed with their cuddle bug, I feel like somehow the fact that our little one does not sleep ever ever ever more than eight hours per twenty-four hours legitimizes, somehow, the ensuing madness and chaos that is our life. Or at least makes me feel less inept. At our Mama-Baby play group last week a mother was kindly trying to give me advice (which I appreciated, useless as it was) about how they try to include their son in daily activities (thus not “over-doing” the adjustment of their own needs to their son). But, she told me, “After 7:30, then that’s our time. We stick to that pretty clearly.” I had a hard time not spitting my water out in hysterical, semi-diabolical laughter since we feel extremely lucky if our boy goes to sleep by 10pm. It is usually more like 11 or 12. And yes, I know I know, we could just put him in a bed and let him cry until he falls asleep of exhaustion and discouragement. But we just can’t do this for a range of reasons, and that is that, so our life is a whirlwind of lovely, crazy, hard, rewarding, sleep-deprived madness.

If I was not studying for my comprehensive exams and being a parent and sort of trying to keep our house from turning into a public health disaster, I would write about our church’s transition and growth as our minister of many years retires (and what is like to be one of the few young families in a church of mostly retired families), my on-going struggle to make sense of my relationship with Christianity, and how to graciously and kindly deal with watching your parents get a bit older and transition into different ways of being/different approaches to life.

Also, as a journey along on this whole parenting thing, I really learn a lot, especially from three blogs that I’ve added to my (generally shrinking) Google reader: Ph.D. in Parenting, Raising My Boy Chick and Kelly Hogaboom. Might I especially recommend this recent post, “on which it somehow did not take a turn for the Awkward,” by Kelly Hogaboom to OWL facilitators and parents far and wide considering how to teach our children about sexuality.

4 Responses to Occasional Post from Absentee Blogger

  1. Kelly says:

    Thank you for the shout-out!

    When I hear, “That’s OUR time,” or “That’s ME time” I always wonder how the kids feel to know deep-down their needs will be sold out, every time, if it’s after 7 PM or whatever the rules are. I also feel sad for parents who are so overwhelmed they have to impose a barrier because they can’t think through how to meet their own needs while being “on the job” of parenting. This is very common, I mean at age 5 or so most kids are in school for 8+ hours a day and many kids go to daycare.

    I get “me time” fairly predictably in the morning when I wake up. Hours of it. But when I decided to become a parent I also gave up some rights, and one of them is the right to have Control. And that’s OK in my book, in fact learning to care for others when they need it has been an amazing experience for me, an ongoing one that forges me into a stronger, better person.

    Um, hope I wasn’t derailing like a jerk?

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I love comments.

    Yes, that is how we feel. There are certain things that we can’t compromise too much on – we can’t quit our jobs or drop out of school, our boy does have to get dressed and get on shoes and wear a diaper when we leave the house as much as he dislikes these things, and we have to have some time to cook food so we don’t all you know, starve, even if he hates it that he does not get our undivided attention during this time. And he cannot sit in the litter box or put scissors in plug ins or climb the stairs alone or harm the cats.

    The same kind and well intentioned family was telling the play group the week before about how when the baby-toddler throws tantrums they don’t give him much attention so as not to encourage it. And I get where they are coming from and after succumbing to showing our baby Elmo on YouTube despite my vows against any television before age 2, I get that people do what they need to do, but when I am breaking down, I typically want someone to comfort me. So anyway. Even though this is a Waldorf program and lots of very kind people, we are a little surprised that it isn’t really quite our thing.

    Now I am rambling and putting off getting to Cultural Feminism vs. Post-Structuralim. Oh the joy.

    Back. to. Work. Elizabeth. And thanks for your blog. It has helped inspire me to get back on the blogging bandwagon.

  3. Kelly says:

    I get that people do what they need to do, but when I am breaking down, I typically want someone to comfort me.

    I agree. I have found the more giving and loving I am to my kids, yes even if they “tantrum”, the more giving and loving THEY are, and the less likely they are to “tantrum” in the first place. So there’s that.

    Cultural Feminism vs. Post-Structuralism! Good luck, sounds like a great read!

  4. Elz says:

    IMHE (in my humble experience) there is no such thing as “kids,” when it comes to sleepy time, me time, feeding, how to console, etc. We are all unique, not only right out of the gate, but most mothers report, in the womb as well. This means parents probably need lots more support and assistance with discernment and a lot less “parent education.”

    Yes, there is lots of science about particular syndromes, and when I was a DRE I loved them all — but each child combines them differently, each family activates them differently, and every journey is unique.

    In case you have another encounter with that parent who thinks she has it all under control…

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