Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Parenting only has like one important rule.

My sister and I were talking about the internet and all the warnings it gives you about child-rearing, like how you're not supposed to swaddle now, and I GET that, internet, I totally hear what you're saying, but you've never met my daughter's arms. Geneva Wren's arms are ROWDY.

And my Number One Rule of child-rearing is Do Not Throw The Baby Out The Window, and to comply with Rule Number One, sometimes you need to swaddle your baby so that you both get more than 20 minutes of sleep at a time. I try to get Geneva to sleep unswaddled as often as I can, but sometimes it's 3 am and she is just like *flail flail flail* and then I lean over and whisper, 'The use of your arms is a privilege, not a right,' and I wrap her up. BOOM. Nourishing rest for everyone.

And when babies are so young, nothing ever works for more than a week, so you do what you have to do until that stops being effective and then you find something else. The lousy parts of parenting are the gaps between strategies, like, the vibrating chair has stopped working but you haven't yet discovered strapping your baby to your chest.

And it's hard not to feel like you're going to have to let your baby nap on you forever or always sleep in your bed or forever be carried around in this heavy-ass car seat, which is why I need to get 'THIS IS JUST A PHASE' tattooed on me somewhere prominent. I had a miserable moment in the tiny hours of this morning where I thought, This will never end. I will never get to lie in my bed reading, I will never get to go to sleep whenever I like, in whatever position I like. I will never get to say 'At the end of the day' because HA HA HA THE DAY NEVER ENDS IT JUST BECOMES NIGHT AND I AM STILL ON DUTY DOING MY MOM THING.

But Geneva's going to get to an age where we can start giving her a bedtime, and teaching her to go to sleep on her own, and she'll eat food and walk around and read books to herself. She is GOING TO GET OLDER and BETTER and WISER and there's nothing I have to do to get her there except not throw her out the window in the meantime.


Unknown said...

"I lean over and whisper, 'The use of your arms is a privilege, not a right,'"

This made me LOL so hard. And I am sitting in an office setting. Thank you.

Amy said...

You're not supposed to swaddle now? Why not?

blackbird said...

Oldest is a tattoo artist. I'll send him over.

raidergirl3 said...

Swaddling is bad? You do what works - I put my second to sleep on her tummy, because that was how she could slept through the night. (turned out, it let her suck her fingers without her arms flailing about) And tummy sleeping was a definite no-no. She survived and turned into a surly 14 year old. *this too will pass*

An Cailín said...

Rule number one: the rule upon which all other rules are based. I'd say your pick for number one is the most pragmatic I've heard.

Slán go fóill,

leahandmichael said...

I like you