August 20, 2009

Unsolicited Advice Post #5 Million and Counting

As I struggled with something to write about today and thought about leaving my Blog in the dust today, I was inspired. But not in a good way.

Why is it that people feel it is necessary to give advice on things they know nothing about? To make conversation? To feel smarter? To just be plain bitchy? The conversation started something like this...

Person: "Hey- did the storm last night wake the baby up?"
Me: "Storm?"
Person: "Yeah, a really loud thunderstorm rolled through last night."
Me: "Naw. Storms don't wake Jack up. Me tiptoeing through his room and hitting just the right creek in the floor? That wakes Jack up."
At this point, the conversation turns in a new direction some of which isn't important enough for me to remember.
Person: "You only need about 15 minutes to put Jack down at night, right"
Me: "Um NO. Try 45 minutes + these days."
Person: "Is that because you don't want to let go of your 'nighttime cuddling' with him and let him cry for a half an hour?" This said in the most condescending, rude tone I've ever heard in my life and not really a question but a statement.
Me: "Not that I should have to explain, but Jack is dealing with some pretty serious separation anxiety these days. I'm choosing to wait it out with him until he goes to sleep so I don't psychologically destroy my child."

Person then goes on to tell me that she just went through memory regression therapy and remembered her first memory- that of her mother leaving her to fend for herself in terror and believing that Mom is never going to come back to get her. My point exactly. I don't want my kid at age 31 needing to go to therapy because I chose to listen to him wail in terror for more than a half hour to try and "teach" him how to sleep.

But here's my point...  how does this person feel it is within their boundaries to even remotely judge me? As always, I know my son the best. Nobody has ANY say how to tell me what is right or wrong where my child is concerned. I will make that call.

If there is one thing I have learned about Jack in his nearly 1 year of life, it is that things just take a very natural progression with him. For awhile, we thought that he would end up sleeping in his carseat forever and then one day, we just swaddled him up and he slept through the night like a champ. We took the swaddle off when he started rolling. We put breathable bumpers up when he started getting his limbs stuck in the slats, we put regular bumpers up when he started waking up from bumping into the changing table side of his crib. We gave him a sippy cup and he chewed it at first- now he drinks it. I let him play with his forks and spoons- hoping one day he'll figure out that they are for eating. I figure putting him to bed is not unlike any of these things- one day he'll be far too big for me to rock to sleep. Sure, if he finally gets groggy after an hour, I'll put him down, he'll cry and I"ll let him work it out. What is the big deal about rocking to sleep or just being there for them to love? This isn't co-dependent behavior (what "the person") called it. This is called being a MOTHER which she is not.

So, again, I will not second guess my decisions. I will not let someone's rude, insensitive comments undermine what I know is best for my son. I will follow my instincts because so far? They have all been right.

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