Tuesday, July 18, 2006

All My Parental Ideals Have Gone Bye-Bye

Sunday night/Monday morning at 2:00 AM my son stumbled into our bedroom, crying. I didn't catch all his words, but, the last thing he wailed was, "Is Daddy still here???"

"Yes, Daddy is still here.* He's sound asleep, but, right here."

"I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep in here," he cried.

So, I pulled him up into the bed and plopped him between Husband and I.

Then, I got up and went to the bathroom.

Two minutes later, when I got back, in as much as a forty-two-pound, six-year-old is capable of taking up an entire half of a king-size mattress, he was.

With no room in bed for mom, I headed to the guest room where I curled up in my guestbed, and promptly...laid awake with insomnia for an hour and a half.

As I laid there (lay there??), usurped from my bedroom by my progeny, I remembered when I was pregnant and all the parental ideals I had. They were:

1. My child isn't going to sleep with us
2. My child will be breastfed for a year
3. My child will never have a drop of formula
4. I will use only cloth diapers for my child
5. I will not buy babyfood but instead make my own healthy babyfood in my food processor
6. I will not yell at my child
7. I will not spank my child
8. My child will never act "that way" in a restuarant
9. I will never let my child drink out of my cup. He will have his own cup.
10. I will never finish a nasty half-eaten sandwich just because my child has left it behind.


Hey, NUMBER 2!! I did REALLY REALLY GOOD with NUMBER 2. My child WAS breastfed for 11.5 months. And he stopped because he wanted to. (In as much as an 11.5 month old can have an opinion about something. At any rate, nursing was no longer on his daily agenda, and I didn't fight with him about it.)

Obviously number 1 flew the coop very quickly. Because SLEEP is sacred, people. Our son doesn't sleep with us regularly, but, I don't have the energy to drag a crying six year back to his own room when I know he will fall almost immediately back to sleep if I pull him into bed.

Cloth diapers? That lasted about three days. MESSY! MESSY MESSY MESSY! (I know people still use these, and I admire those people, I do. But, I was so damn tired. SO DAMN TIRED. And so tired of being covered in poop. I gave them the boot.)

Homemade babyfood? I was a first year law student by the time my son started eating solids. I basically didn't have time to breathe, let alone steam carrots and puree them. Plus, the art teacher at the school where my husband teaches was forever grateful for all the little glass bottles, so, that was kind of a bonus that assuaged my guilty conscious.

Gabe didn't actually drink much formula, but, he did have it for the last two weeks before his first birthday, and an occasional bottle once in a while, from the time he was eight months or older...often because he refused expressed breast milk in a bottle, but, he would grudgingly accept a bottle of enfamil. (Talk about a slap in the face to his mother!)

Oh, ask me about the time my child ran in middle of a busy street. There was a spanking that day. And the time he got in the pool when no grownups were outside...

Yelling...don't even get me started...

Sharing drinks with my child...yeah, it happens...finishing half eaten sandwiches? Guilty...

I decided I probably need a whole new set of adoptive parenting ideals that I can shoot to hell when Lana arrives, but, before I could decide what those might be...I finally fell back to sleep.


*I thought this was an odd question that must have been brought on by a bad dream. He has hardly been away from his daddy for six weeks straight, since they have been home together all summer - so, I can't figure out why he would ask if his father was "still here".


Blogger Christina said...

I think I've broken every one of those too. Though I do take the behavior in restaurant thing seriously... but I'm sure my kids have annoyed other people plenty of times and they leave all kinds of messes behind.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 2:50:00 PM  

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