Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sedona and Boundaries

We've been in three hotels in three days- Boston-Phoenix and now, Sedona. As Eug's dad is unexpectedly away, we're going to visit the Grand Canyon tomorrow.

The flight to Phoenix was unexpectedly bad for Noah, and I think I got my very first migraine- at least that is what it seemed to have been. I have new sympathy for my dad, who suffers from migraines. I thought I was going to die and I even asked Eug if I was having a stroke. He went through the stroke F.A.S.T. song I taught him ("Does their FACE look a little bit uneven, does one ARM droop down? Does their SPEECH sound a little bit funny, then it's TIME, time to call 911". It's a good song.) and he determined that I was not, in fact, having a stroke.

The next twenty-hours have been much, much better.  As I emerge from the blur that was work and then packing, I've been thinking about things like child-raising and my appearance (two separate things). I realized I've been wearing my rabbit pants way to much (they are pants with a large rabbit sewn on the leg), and that I've not been very firm with Noah. These are symptoms of the problem of a rushed life.

With the rabbit pants, there's not much I can do since they're one of only 3 pants. And they're very comfortable. I will, however, try to brush my hair more and even exercise.

With Noah, I feel as though he's suffered from our busy-ness. I wasn't really able to talk to him or think about deep things like how he's doing. I've realized how much we were in survival mode, where Noah causing us lack of sleep or tiredness just reinforced that we were victims, and life was just barely manageable. It wasn't conceivable that we could actually do anything about the things that make parenting painful, or help him to navigate the rather crazy stage he is in.

But now there's quiet, he's getting really close to the 18 month mark, and I've been rethinking discipline and childhood a little. I subconsciously considered bad behavior to be stuff that was willfully wrong or inherently evil and so on. Or the failure of a child to get in line with a  parent's wishes. Now I feel as though it's all about me. Yes. For example, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the fact that Noah runs without ceasing, usually away from me. I love it about him. But there are times when running after him is not something I can handle. So I've been trying out being firm and loving about "hold on to the side of the stroller while you walk, otherwise I have to keep you in the stroller, ok?" and Noah understands and even responds. When he doesn't, I put him in the stroller and that's fine too. At the end of the day, I don't feel like a slave, and we can hang out together and I can do some things he likes without feeling as though I have to, to keep the 1.5 year old mafia boss happy.

On the other hand, stealing is probably a fairly simple one, but I just felt tremendous love when Noah (standing with his dad, who was ordering) took my favorite Naked juice out of the Starbucks fridge and bolted towards me (seated) with more joy on his face than you can imagine. Don't worry, we didn't steal it. But who can resist a baby stealing drinks for his mom? A better mom than I.


Dan Archibald said...

I think there's a point right around 18 months when you realize your child isn't a baby any more--still your baby of course, but also a rational human individual (or getting there) who can deal with a little constructive criticism or suggestion. With a baby you're so used to just being there and loving and supportive for them, it's hard to move beyond that. Or at least it was for us with Harvey... especially Leah!

Also, I already miss you guys!!! Thanks so much for blogging so I can pretend you're still around!

leah said...

Word up to Dan's comment. And I'll add to it that I take it as a given that a pregnant woman is allowed to wear whatever pants fit her, and no one can say boo about it.