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schedules, schmedules.

 

currently my baby is sleeping wrapped in a large fuzzy blanket with woodland creatures on it. she is naked except for her diaper, because an hour ago i couldn’t bear to change her one more time. she is an excellent baby in all regards, but she has an absolute terror of being changed (clothing or diapers). she gets this utterly wild look in her eye, shoots her arms straight out in front of her, and screams bloody murder.

it can be devastating to be the one putting her in such a state.

so today, after a projectile spit-up episode, i cleaned her up and calmed her down and really didn’t want to work her up again. plus, i rarely get to see her without all her cute clothes on . . . and she just looks so much more like a baby.

more important than this inane bit of babyness is the fact that i actually wondered if i should feel guilty for not bucking up the courage and putting more clothes on her. am i already a push-over mom? before i know it, ramona will be calling all the shots around here. because i am weak.

i know, it is all so ridiculous. but i don’t want this to be the norm, all the guiltness. for now i am learning to laugh at myself and not take everything so seriously. the first few weeks were rough (compounded by the fact that i was so sick) and i seriously wondered why people ever had children. newborns can do that to you. but then, a week or two into the trenches, i started to see the little joys. and to realize that each day she was getting bigger and older, and i could choose to enjoy her royal tinyness, or i could hurry it along. obviously, it is so much more fun to enjoy.

i had picked up a book from the recommendation of friends that promised a life of sleeping bliss if you scheduled your baby’s life away. my mom took one look at the book i was reading and practically snatched it out of my hands. “don’t listen to guilt-based parenting!” was the equivalent of what she told me. and i should have listened to her and stopped reading. but, (big surprise) i didn’t stop reading and immediately i was wracked with guilt for how my not scheduling ramona’s sleeping and eating was causing her to sleep less deeply, and starting her down the slippery slope towards a spoiled childhood.

luckily, i stopped halfway through and haven’t looked back since.

i am sure that process works for some, but for ramona–well, we have to take her into account. for now, it seems that she is on a somewhat flexible schedule (eating every 3-4 hours during the day, taking quite a few naps that vary in length, sleeping for 2-5 hour stretches at night) but it changes slightly everyday. and sometimes it changes in big ways. i love the flexibility because that is the kind of life i want to have with my baby, and that is the kind of life my neighbors have.

for an excellent take on the whole babywise phenomenon, check this blog out.

in other news, ramona met my bhutanese family today and it was one long exercise in letting go which resulted in me constantly asking people to wash their hands while i was forced to eat large platefuls of sticky, sweet rice. they bought ramona baby clothes with minnie mouse on them that she probably won’t grow into for another year at least. but it blessed me so much–these people who didn’t have enough money to heat their apartment last year are buying my baby clothes.

we are going to a bhutanese festival with them on saturday, and we shall see how ramona likes all the traditional dances. as for me, i am just excited to get out of the house and be around some of the kindest people i have the privilege of knowing.

 

 

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6 responses

  1. Krispin

    I wish I could go with you to the festival, it sounds really fun and/or crazy.

    October 15, 2010 at 3:36 am

  2. heidi anne

    it is good to choose grace as we parent. it tends to enable right freedoms. i love that you are mom-blogging it. cannot wait to meet that small fry.

    October 15, 2010 at 6:47 am

  3. Alyssa

    I realize I don’t know you very well, but I love your parents, and think you are an excellent writer and I like to read your blog thoughts, so I hope you don’t mind that I visit your blog(s)!
    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this, and for the link to the sortacrunchy blog. Her story sounds incredibly similar to mine, and I really appreciate her last section and encouragement to give the Ezzo’s (and yourself as a new mom) some grace. I still have very strong emotions that rise up in me when I hear or read the words “babywise” or “ezzo.” I felt for a long time (and maybe still feel) that that book robbed me of joy and peace in the first couple months of being a mom, and sent me into postpartum depression from all my guilt and worries, when everything in me was screaming to just hold and rock and love my baby. When I finally let the guilt go and threw away that book, things got a lot better!
    I am so happy for you that you’ve already realized that you need to do what works for you and Krispin and Ramona, and trust your instincts!
    And in spite of our abandonment of babywise, though my 4 and 6-year-old aren’t perfect by any means, I think they are respectful and thoughtful and relatively well-behaved little people. And our marriage is good too. 🙂 So there’s no need to buy into the fear that the book instills – it will all be okay!

    October 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm

  4. emily

    You are such a fantastic writer. I totally agree with you that you need to be flexible as a parent. We were very flexible with Daniel and we purposefully didn’t read any books (although I will admit that I checked Babywise out at the library because I wanted to see what it was all about and I read 5 pages, then took it back), because we wanted to let parenting come naturally because even when you feel totally unnatural at it, your instincts are still the best bet. It worked really well for Daniel, and hopefully we’ll see the same results with Levi. You are already doing a fantastic job because you are meeting Ramona’s specific needs instead of forcing her to change her natural routines.

    And about the changing and diapering situation…I love naked babies too, especially when it makes them happy 🙂 Both my boys hated diapering at first, but then Daniel started loving that time when he was about 2 months old, and it was when we got the most smiles and coos from him, but then he started to fight it again because changing his diaper meant he had to hold still for a few minutes. So it goes in waves, and again, just roll with it.

    October 16, 2010 at 10:33 pm

  5. you.are.the.best.mom.ever!

    October 19, 2010 at 11:52 pm

  6. jenni

    I love you Yellie! I can so relate to your baby guilt sessions and anxiety. Then there is the truly amazingness of it all. I think I told you but when Lilli was an infant. I pretty much tossed out all the how to, what your not doing right, what you could be doing better magazines and books. I kept one article titled: Why your the most special person in your babies world. That was what I read. Then after a few weeks possibly months when God had refueled my mommy confidence tank. I occasionally picked up the other books with this wise counsel from Jill Visscher running through my brain “Use them to collect tools for your mommy tool box.” (Not to dictate the wrongs and rights of my parenthood). You are going on this journey so many of us moms have gone before, be encouraged. I look at Lilli and think she survived me! Then I praise God for A little girl who spontaneously tells me “mommy your so beautiful” or “Mommy I love you so much.” She has become my encouragement. And Now I’m crazy enough to start down the having an infant road all over again.

    October 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm

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