Thursday, May 12, 2005

Back on Schedule

Elijah and I had a rough day yesterday. Just when you think you have these kids figured out and in a routine and schedule, they change. I've heard it before, but I just realized last night that this applies to me and my own child as well.
Elijah is almost 9 months old. Which means he is extremely curious, active and mobile. What this means for me is that after about 5 minutes, he's bored with eating. He wants to do everything else but eat. Emotionally, I have had a very difficult time with this because over the last few months we have been in the process of switching him to formula in order to give him more calories than I apparently could through nursing, monthly weigh-ins at the doctor and ultimately trying to catch his weight back up to where it "should" be on the stupid percentile chart. (I have come to hate that chart and the word "percentile"). I have become so obsessed with his weight and making sure he's healthy that I have neglected the all-important schedule that has been so vital to me, and I have let Elijah take control. My common-sense and my child-development knowledge tell me that I can't let him take an hour to finish his bottle by taking a couple of ounces at time when he decides he wants it. But my emotions have been telling me that his nutrition is more important. So I hit a mental wall yesterday, put him on the couch and walked away in frustration. He then fell off the couch face first. I was pretty guilt-ridden the rest of the day. And now he has a carpet burn on his nose that is a constant reminder of my loss of control.
I know what I've been doing is not in the best interest of Elijah or our family in the long-run. But I was having a really hard time getting over this mental hurdle - until last night.
Sometimes you just need to hear it from someone else. And last night I heard it from a mom of three and a pediatrician. Good sources!
Here's what made it click for me:
Number one - being told that I'm not alone in this struggle.
Number two - I'm not a bad mom for letting my son fall off the couch.
And number three - I was treating him the same way a parent might treat an older sibling when the new baby comes home. You neglect the older one because you are paying so much attention to the baby. So in turn, you let the older child get away with things that you normally wouldn't because you feel bad about the fact that they're not getting the attention that they're used to. I was letting Elijah get away with making his own rules and schedule because I ultimately felt bad that I had failed him in his nutritional needs.
So, I got over it. I'm a good mom. Elijah is a healthy boy. And I'm back in control.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Playing in the grass Posted by Hello

Visit from Princess Posted by Hello

Grateful For "Now"

It's so cliche, but so true! These babies grow up way to fast. While I'm excited about Elijah getting older and all the new things he learns every month, I find myself missing so many things about his first few months.
It's so exciting to see him trying to crawl and pull up on things to stand, but I miss just holding him when all he could do was lay in my arms and let me hold him.
It's very freeing after 18 months of pregnancy and breastfeeding to have my body back to myself, but I miss the cuddling and bonding that we got to do during all of those feedings.
I'm proud of the fact that I have an independent son who wants to just lay down and put himself to sleep at night, but I miss being able to rock him to sleep as he completely relaxed on my chest with his ear over my heart.
It's hard as a parent to really enjoy "now." I find myself always looking forward to Elijah being either in or out of a certain stage, or I find myself missing aspects of past stages. But now that he is almost 9 months old, I have realized that this first year went by faster than I ever imagined and that every year seems to go by faster than the last.
So, for now I will be grateful for this stage we are in now. Scooting, not crawling yet; babbling, not really talking yet; formula and baby food, not "real" food yet; and still taking two naps a day!


As I sit and write this, I am listening to Elijah talk/whine/yell over the baby monitor as he fights naptime. And he has now learned a new sound: ma ma ma ma. So I now feel even more guilty and annoyed as he calls out since it sounds as if he is specifically calling for me. I know he's tired, he knows he is tired, but he wants to win this battle. He wants to stay awake and play. It's amazing to me that this little 8 month old boy is already asserting so much independence. Probably the most frustrating times during my day are when it's time to eat. Every time, without fail, he will take 4 oz of his bottle and then decide to stop and play. It then takes me another 30-45 minutes to get him to take the last two ounces, which he really needs. It's a battle between us every single time.
And I know this is only a taste of what's to come in the future. Elijah has already demonstrated to everyone who knows him that he is very smart, independent and determined little boy. These are wonderful traits to have, and I am very proud that he is my son. But as his just as independent and determined mom, I pray every day that the two of us continue to learn and grow together and love eachother even more as we go through these battles.