Tuesday, June 12

22 weeks and counting - or what would you do for an extra 20 minutes in bed?

Lately I have still been feeling overwhelmed, but also feeling much more on top of things. My family continues to be well fed, eating primarily home-cooked meals and enjoying each-other's company.

Baby's first tattoo:

I have been reading The Mother of all Toddler Books by my favourite parenting author, Ann Douglas. I deserve a slap on the head for not picking this up earlier, I purchased both her pregnancy and baby books while entrenched in those periods and found them to be essential guides, covering every subject imaginable.

This book is no different - in two days of reading I have found jumping off points for discipline *and* interactive learning and play. It turns out that I, and to a lightly lesser extent, Andrew, are "Permissive Parents" of a mostly "'Difficult' or Spirited Toddler" (the quotes around "difficult" are the author's, not mine - most days here are difficult not "difficult"), but I sure would like to change that. In 48 hours I have shaken that horrible feeling that this would be our lives until he left for college (if he made it that far - I didn't at first).

I don't have any solutions or anything right now, but we do have a goal. We want to become "Authoritative Parents" to our spirited son. I see those types out all the time - hell, I know a few - but I have always had trouble grasping the style. My FOO was Authoritarian, to a tee, with a smattering of Permissive when I would spend time with my father*. I think children of divorce have it especially hard when it comes to sorting out their own parenting styles. These days there seems to be a better understanding of the importance of a united front with regards to parenting and disciplining the children of divorce - and huge kudos to my father who is doing an absolutely stellar job raising his second batch of kids along-side his ex-wife (literally, they live a few blocks apart). But back in the 80's, my parents were treading in mostly uncharted waters and I give them full credit for doing their best. I am a mostly well adjusted and healthy parent in a healthy marriage with a wonderful child. I am lucky that a few parenting issues, that my parents gave me the brains and emotional intelligence to be able to identify and address, are all I struggle with.

Also on my reading list are Ann Douglas' books on Mealtimes and Sleep as well as Elizabeth Pantley's book, The No Cry Potty Training Solution and a book of Vegetarian food ideas for babies and toddlers to supplement my re-reading of Sharon K. Yntema's Vegetarian Baby (we have a second edition copy - but it is essentially the same as the "New" one as far as I can tell - and the retro angle makes it that much cooler).

Now it is time to pull Sebastian away from Baby E*nstein, which we had shelved long ago as being too young for this kid (because, you know, he's a genius). He has happily watched the entire DVD, yelling out animal names and asking me questions - as much as I hate to admit it, I think he is getting more out of this than anything else we have around. I am going to keep an eye out for non-disn*y videos similar to this so that I can, hopefully, squeeze some extra in-bed time out of my mornings. If all else fails I know the library has a huge collection of these ones and it sure as hell beats Dora or Thomas the Tank. We have an appointment to meet our new family doctor at 10:00 and I want to get a little running around (literally) done before that.

*my father had a temper and would revert to total Authoritarian in moments of anger - boy does that sound familiar.


~mypinkbutton~ said...

i am reading- this was my first read of one of your posts and I love it. thank you for sharing all this stuff. it makes me want to have babies, have babies well, and not give up because i don't think i can do it.

kate harris said...

you are hardly the type to give up because you don't think you can do it - you might think about it, but you have such an admirable way of sticking to your guns and doing exactly what you feel is right.

You will be an amazing mother - I have no doubts about it.

And thanks for the lovely comments, they made my day!