twinfinite wisdom

my children are the reason i get up in the morning… and the reason i drink at night

The bubbles we live in

on April 19, 2013

I was struggling with writing this week because it seems so petty to write about the challenges of getting rid of the pacifier when there are towns in Massachusetts on lockdown right now because a killer is on the loose. The news has been horrifying, and that family that lost their little 8 year old boy, no words. Most of us mentally added ‘marathons’ to the list of public places and events to fear based on recent attacks and shootings. Where can we, and more importantly, our children, feel safe? It is a terrible feeling.

NY loves Boston

I read a good article from one of my favorite parent bloggers, Lisa Belkin, about the little events and milestones that happen over our kids’ lifetime that unite and divide us as parents. It can be anything from potty training to college applications. Once we get through a phase, we quickly forget what it was like. Trying to recall the early months of newborns is tough for me, maybe because I was completely overwhelmed and lacking sleep. My friend with newborn twins asked me when I started putting them in their cribs for naps, I had no clue. The barber was asking me how I got them to stop taking a nighttime bottle, I couldn’t really give him a good explanation. I know I struggled with it, maybe more than a lot of moms, because I waited too long to introduce sippy cups.I didn’t keep a baby book for either boy, so I can tell when their first teeth came in by looking through pictures on my computer. Or when they started walking by the date on the video I took. Not the most efficient way to recall milestones, but it works.

We are currently in or getting ready for a few transitions (its always right when things start to get easy and comfortable, right?): getting rid of the pacifier, toddler beds, and potty training. Forty-five minute tantrums aren’t that bad, especially when you turn the baby monitor off. Two nights of crying and smooth sailing, we made it. (Toddler tip: I read some good advice that said try it for the first time the night before a day off (like a Friday night), just in case it doesn’t go smoothly. I wanted to get over these before we transitioned to toddler beds because they were furious without their binkies, and having them in a confined space kept it somewhat controlled. I picked the bandaid approach, and it worked. If they carried on for too long or too many nights (like if it started affecting my sleep schedule), I was going to try the hole cutting method: start off small, and make it bigger as the nights progress, and they supposedly lose interest over time.)

Toddler beds are our next big move. I will read about it and google my little heart out until I think I’m ready (or the new baby gets here and I need to use their crib). And I’ll grill anyone who has recently gone through it. Then comes potty training…If we are lucky , these parenting stages come and go. But to put it into perspective, Lisa writes:

“Are the bubbles also why parents never rise up as a movement and demand what they need — better childcare, more generous parental leave, more flexible work environments — because when we are in the moment we are too busy and exhausted, and when we are past it, the urgency is gone? It is definitely why so much remarkable change comes from parents who become advocates — for gun control, for research into diseases that steal childhoods — because theirs are bubbles that never set them free” (huffingtonpost.com).

Maybe tragedies like this have some weird twisted way of helping us parents out. I’m sure parents everywhere this week hugged their kids a little tighter. Maybe we took it easier on them; let them get away with the little things that we don’t always allow. I let my son have two lollipops this morning during his haircut, instead of the usual one; I am pretty sure he will turn out just fine. The boys played outside yesterday in our landscaping rocks for hours; usually I’m chasing them out of them every five minutes. Listening to them giggle and chat outside the window was priceless. I would let them have a bowl of jelly beans for breakfast (and maybe even fast food!) if it meant keeping them in my safe bubble forever. I love rules and structure, but something amazing happens when you lighten up a little and let kids be kids. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a tragic event for us to realize it.

Lisa Belkin: Parenting Memories: The Bubbles That Unite And Divide Us (huffingtonpost.com)

Bruce, Sal and bubbles!


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