Monthly Archives: December 2014

Goodnight, 2014

Goodnight, twenty-fourteen and all that you have brought to my life. All the changes, personal growth, new friends and old and strengthened friendships. All the little moments that scattered themselves across the year.

Dark warm room that catches the heat rising from the rest of the house, ceiling fan spinning a breeze. The window across from me that lighter shade of black that manages a slight contrast from the darkness of the walls.

Keenie rises and falls with my breath, she fell asleep using my belly as her pillow. Alexander wiggles next to me, still. He falls asleep with me, too, these nights. Clinging close for extra snuggles after a long while of falling asleep on his own.

I am okay with this.
Better, I enjoy this.
Relish it.

Keenie taught herself to fall asleep without nursing this year. To sleep through the night. She has nearly weaned herself, but shall nurse for as long as she wishes. She no longer wears diapers and the cloth diapers will soon go in a bag in the basement for a future child that we may be trying for at this time next year.

Alexander has grown so much, learned so much.

Isaac, too.

Not the explosive growth that toddlers go through, but the growth that a child does. They are becoming even more of who they are. Even more capable. Independent. Thoughtful.  Communicative. 

I got my drivers license this year. I published my first two books.

And now I am saying goodnight to 2014 When the sun rises in the morning and wakes my two littlest alarm clocks.. it will be a new year.

2014 was a good one for me. I hope that it was for you as well.

Much love to all of you. See you in 2015!

Defiance Is Not Always

“Alexander, it is time to take a bath now.”

“I don’t want to take a bath now!” He yells and runs to his bed, bumping his head on the edge. He starts to cry.

I wait. Until his head stops hurting from the bump we will not get anywhere.

He calms a bit as the hurting fades and begins to play with the Legos he was holding.

I ask, “Alexander, do you feel like I am not listening to you?” This is how many of our conversations go these days.

He nods. He is ready to listen and to talk now.

“Let’s try again. I am listening,” I say.

He answers “I just want to play with Legos.”

“I understand that you want to play with Legos,” I say. I pause. He looks at me. He waits. “Do you remember when I asked you to take a bath the first time?”

He nods.

“Do you remember you said you wanted to play with Legos first?”

He does.

“I listened. I had Keenie take a bath first. Then Isaac took a shower. Now it is your turn.”

“But I don’t WANT to take a bath,” he answers.

“I understand, but you are not clean. You are stinky and you need a bath,” I say.

He stares at me, his body tense. Defiant posture.

“Is there something bothering you?”

“Isaac said I could take a BIG bubble bath! I don’t want a big bubble bath! I just want one that is small,” he says, the words cascading out of him and his defiance melting. He does not have his walls up anymore. His body has relaxed. He is just small and upset. He has a picture in his head of a bath that does not happen in the way that he wants a bath to happen. He doesn’t want THAT bath.

“Alexander, does Isaac get to tell you what type of bath you will have?”

“No,” he says.

“What type of bath would you like to have?”

“A small bubble bath. With the blue, not the orange,” he says.

“Okay, we are going to make you a small bubble bath,” I say. “With the blue bubbles not the orange bubbles.”

He is on board now.

“If I make a mistake can you say ‘mommy, mommy’ and tell me what I did different so that we can fix it together?”

He nods.

And takes his bath willingly, prepared to communicate if needed.

I could have just resorted to a script, established firm limits, acknowledged that he did not want to take a bath but that he had to. He would have cried. I would have apologized but reaffirmed that a bath was necessary. At the end he would be more upset and he would feel like he had been forced into doing something.

I did not feel that would address the issue that we were facing.

He needed me to slow down. To listen. To try and figure out why it was that he was refusing to do something that he usually enjoys.

Defiance is not always defiance. Often it is a sign that the child has something that they need help communicating.

The Major Flaws in the Anti-Cosleeping Movement

If you enjoyed the STARTLING video of a woman sleeping with a doll that aims to make us all reconsider co-sleeping, then you’re really gonna love their next production which will be an EYE OPENING demonstration that will show men the danger of pants and sitting down. This video will contain time lapse footage of a man with a pair of specially designed boxer briefs that hold strategically placed chicken eggs that will demonstrate the amazing unseen damage that can be caused every day when men unthinkingly sit on chairs.

I’m just kidding. Sort of.

It takes a lot to annoy me, but every time that video pops up on my news feed the thing that pops into my head is this: These people have absolutely no clue what co-sleeping is. They have no clue what makes it dangerous and they have no clue what makes it safe.

When a drunk driver causes a fatal accident we don’t blame the practice of driving cars. But when a drunk parent sleeps with a baby, we blame cosleeping.

When a driver drives off the road because they are not following the practices of safe driving, we don’t blame the practice of driving cars. But when a baby dies in a situation where the parent did not have access to or did not follow safe cosleeping guidelines… We blame co-sleeping.

If a child inexplicably dies in a car when there was no accident and no reason for the child to have died, we don’t blame the car. We try to determine whether the child had a medical condition that caused the death. But when a child dies in the bed of an adult even if the adult has followed every single precaution and there is no evidence that the child suffocated? We blame co-sleeping. Even though SIDS happens in cribs as well.

There’s a huge problem with how the anti-cosleeping movement tries to address the topic of cosleeping.

They don’t understand it.

They don’t understand why parents are cosleeping.
They don’t understand what makes cosleeping safe.
They don’t understand what makes cosleeping dangerous.
They do not appear to have reviewed any of the real-baby and real-mother sleep studies done in places like the Mother Infant Sleep Laboratory of Notre Dame.

They just produce videos showing a lady sleeping with a doll.
They just make shocking images of infants sleeping with guns or with butcher’s knives.

They’re not out to educate. They’re out to scare people away from something that can be done safely. Because doing it safely requires a judgement call.

And they don’t trust us to make good judgement calls.