Parenting is a weird, crazy journey full of a billion choices you’ve never considered until the moment you’re making them. According to some, maybe many, I do some things “wrong,” but I don’t care! I love my life with my little girl.
- We feed her everything we eat, including spicy foods and things with (quelle horreur) peanut butter. Although she technically isn’t allowed peanut butter until she’s three (!) because of the fear of food allergies, research suggests that children with no family history of food allergies have next to no chance of having allergies themselves. The first time she had peanut butter was actually an accident, but now that she clearly didn’t go into anaphylactic shock, she has it when we do.
- I rock her to sleep every night. We were doing the Ferber thing, and we were fine with it, but then I was watching some talk show and the host asked the guest (I want to say it was Salma Hayek, though I don’t remember for sure) what one piece of parenting advice from her own mother she treasured most. She said that her mother told her to rock the kids to sleep at night because all too soon the time would come when it wouldn’t be possible anymore, and you will treasure the quiet, peace, and togetherness. From that moment on, I have rocked her to sleep at night. She still sleeps like a champion, goes down fine, and wakes up happy, and I adore those nighttime moments with her.
- Evi still naps on the couch next to me. I’ve never transitioned her to the crib for naps. Since I have a lot to do on the computer anyway, it’s easier for her to be right next to me and sleep while I am working on articles or school work. She also sleeps longer then, because when she starts to wake up I can often put a hand on her chest and she will go back to sleep for a while. Sometimes the extra time that buys me, anywhere from ten to thirty extra minutes, is priceless.
- I don’t bathe her every day. I don’t see the point. She hates baths about half the time, and she’s not getting sweaty. She gets a bath about every other day, and she always smells like a baby and looks clean, so whatever.
- I am actively encouraging her to walk. I am not NOT pressuring her in any way because I swear I could care less, but I am encouraging her. I let her stand up while holding on to the couch (which she LOVES) and I put toys a bit out of her reach to encourage her to try to move. I also hold on to her hands and walk with her.
- Sometimes I let her eat paper. Not really EAT it, but chew on it a bit. She is OBSESSED with paper, loves it in all of its forms, and sometimes it just makes her so happy to let her hold the shopping list or receipt or newspaper. Half the time it ends up in her mouth, but until she starts chewing off hunks of it I just let her go with it.
- If I have something to do in the kitchen, I set her down in the middle of the floor with two plastic bowls and a spatula. She couldn’t be happier, and it usually buys me twenty minutes or so to do the dishes, make lunch, or wash some bottles.
Speaking of Evi, I hear her waking up and I can’t wait to see her Good Morning smile.