Little Accomplishments

Posted on May 29, 2010

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It’s 9pm — the wife is at a movie — the baby is sleeping — the dog is fed — the kitchen is clean — I’m exhausted.

And there’s still a LAN party to go to.

As the video shows, Eva has conquered her father.  I hold her feet, she pushes until she moves a few inches, and when she relaxes her muscles I bend her legs so she can do it again.  We were able to do this three or four times before my wife grabbed the camera.  It’s followed by a bit of wiggling on the floor.  A few days ago we realized that she could turn herself in place (usually to the left; she seems to favor her right side).  Today she was able to scoot herself along.

Unfortunately, scooting has the effect of causing rug burn.  That, plus hot weather, itchy diapers and being generally exhausted meant that Eva was really cranky all afternoon.  So when it came time for me to take over, I was faced with the daunting task of getting my daughter to calm down and go to sleep.

Five hours later…

Okay, it was more like three, but only because Julie kept stepping in to calm her.  While I find it frustrating that she won’t let me figure out this parenting stuff on my own, she knows far more about our daughter than I do.  I’m watching and listening, but I’m not learning.   I watch and listen, but there’s a disconnect between the academic element and the practical.  The best I’ve been able to do so far is an imitation of what my wife can do.

I love my wife, and I love what she’s done as a mother just as much.  I love being a father, too, but so far I’ve found it very difficult to interact with my daughter when she’s not happy and giggly.  Yet I know that I need to keep listening and watching, because I may have a different approach to parenting, but Julie’s been far more successful than I have, and she has a lot of knowledge to draw upon.

In other words, we fought about my ability to calm Eva down.  And Julie’s right, I have to focus my attention on the child and do everything I can to help her, because she’s helpless right now.  But, in my own small way, after a full hour of her fussing and crying, and nothing that I do works, if I just sit back, hold her and let her cry it out, she falls asleep.  And it worked.

So to the woman I love, thank you for your help.  I hope to be able to do what you do someday.

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