Monday, June 29, 2009

Rights and Wrongs

As I am slowly learning the ways of parenting... I have got to thinking about a few things that I think I am doing right as a parent. But then of course comes a few things that I am doing wrong not so well.

I thought I'd share these thoughts... and if you'd like to share your own list of rights and wrongs in the comment section, I would love to read them!

In the interest of ending on a high note ... let's first review the wrongs:

1. The Soother
I don't necessarily think that giving E a soother has been bad choice... especially since when we brought him home from the hospital he was definitely in need of something to soothe him a bit more that what PC or I could offer him. The soother actually did provide him enough comfort to sleep better/longer stretches, but now 8 months later - I find myself giving him the soother in an effort to avoid him putting other things in his mouth. I have the feeling that this action is going to come back to bite me in the ass down the road. Why? I am not so sure, but the fact that E does not whine for it, yet I just give it to him when I don't want him to have other things in his mouth, this to me will have some kind of consequences down the road.

2. Gimme Gadgets
We are family of techno gadgets, ipods, blackberrys, laptops, cordless phones, wireless remotes, digital cameras, etc. At an early age, E took an interest to these fancy items that are always lying around our house. I didn't see the harm in it, if it entertained him for 5 minutes while I dried my hair or was folding laundry. However, now that he is much more active and can do a lot more damage to these items... I find him constantly reaching for them when they are anywhere in sight, and now he is starting to kick up a fuss when I object to him playing with them. I feel bad for him, as he is most likely thinking 'Lady, it was cool for me to play with these for the last 6 months, and now suddenly it's a no-no? I don't get it!' My other fear, is that now that he is use to playing with these items as so-called toys, when he goes to other people's house is he going to whack the crap out their precious gadgets like he does ours? I guess I better start carrying my cheque book with me when we go visiting!

But, it isn't always bad parenting decisions around here... I do think we are doing a few things well.... like:

1. Books Books and More Books
I have a love of books... and I really want to pass this love onto E. We have a big basket of books in his room and we read at least 20 a day... before naps times, before bed, and sometimes just when we are bored or its a rainy day out. I love doing the voices for him in the book and he thinks it is so funny. He also loves to turn the pages for me... often that is a game in itself, but the point is that he is taking a liking to books, and reading - and I hope that one day down the road he will benefit (at school and in life) because was familiarized with books at an early age.

2. Sleeping Here, Sleeping There, Sleep Sleep Everywhere
This one I can't take all the credit for, because E himself is doing it for us, but he is such a good sleeper, and we encourage him to fall asleep almost anywhere we go. We started out using a cradle at the foot of our bed for the first month but then we quickly moved him into his crib, gave him his own space to get comfortable in, and we haven't looked back. He sleeps in any one's pack n' play... not matter if we are in Florida, or just down the street at friends. We cart him almost anywhere... and I think that taking him places and getting him use to sleeping in situations other than his own crib is going to help him adjust to new settings as he grows. We always bring along some comfort items so he knows its sleepy time, and these few things mixed with his personality have him sleeping like a baby when were on the go!

3. Lots of Love
I am a big fan of smothering E to death in kisses and hugs all. day. long. It wasn't that I didn't feel loved as child or anything crazy like, but I do really want E to know how much he is loved, and I want to be those parents that not only say it, but also can show it through affection. I have a feeling when he is older he is going to hate this because he is a boy... but it doesn't bother me. I think that sharing these mushy moments with him now, will only help him in the long run with sharing his own emotions. Someday, some lucky woman is going to appreciate me for this!

So... there you have it! The rights and wrongs according to this new Mama. Who knows... maybe my rights won't be so right, and my wrongs might not be so wrong. Maybe E will be grow up to be some famous inventor who builds a gadget to replace the soother, but a man who hates reading and sleeping anywhere but his own bed!

As a parent... you win some you lose some - I guess I will just have to wait (25 years) to find out which decisions were good and which ones could have been better!

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