Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What Not to Wear (baby edition)

Sometimes, when nobody else is home, I walk around in my underpants. Not all the time, and not just because, but I do. And you know what? So does Carrie!

So, last night, Caroline ate dinner (like you do) and got food all over herself (like you do) so I took her dirty clothes off. This was about an hour before bath time, so no way was I going to put clean clothes on her for an hour. I've got priorities, and that's not them. Knowing my mother would make some comment about Caroline not being dressed, I put a (really cute) pair of bloomers on her and also a headband, just for fun. And what happens? "Why isn't she wearing any clothes?" It's not like I parade my naked child around in public for fun, y'all. Except I would maybe at the beach, because naked babies at the beach are stinking adorable.

What this all really comes down to is this: I'm pretty sure I lost my ability to dress myself, but my daughter always looks like Clinton and Stacey's lovechild. (Although that's not possible, because Clinton is gayer than Peter Pan in ice skates.)

I used to plan what I was going to wear each day, and lay out my clothes the night before. I wore accessories. Shoes that weren't sneakers. Socks that matched. And now? Carrie is pretty much always wearing something super cute that all matches with jackets, socks, shoes, hats and blankets to match. And me? It's a small miracle everyday that I make it out of my pajamas.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Invest in a good pair of headphones, or forget this business all together.

Self-soothing is a phrase that gets bandied about a lot on parenting blogs, in parenting books and by other parents (most notably mine). It's a phrase I lived my life by, counting down the days until it would be developmentally appropriate to get Carrie started on the track to self-soothing which would grow in time, I thought, into a sense of independence. Right. Here's the thing, y'all: life is full of revision. Your final draft isn't due until the end, all the rest is proofing. I just couldn't do it. Listening to munchkin "cry it out" was the most painful thing I've ever done. I felt like a bad mom, sitting outside the closed bedroom door, just listening to her. Sometimes it was more of a whine, sometimes just a tiny fussy noise, but the screams were the worst. At that point, you're supposed to go in and soothe the child without picking her up. Yeah, bump that.

You know what I learned, dear reader? Instead of teaching her that she can put herself to sleep, I'm teaching her that Mama will comfort her when she cries. And that's just dandy by me. In fact, I like that she wants to snuggle to sleep. I like knowing that being near me is that comforting for her. And I love the way her mouth falls open and her thumb falls out when she's finally asleep.

The way I figure it, independence is super important, for sure. But we're just not there yet. So be it.