Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Okay, just in case there's anyone else out there who doesn't get this....When you buy a house, there's something called the "closing". You sit down, sign ten million pieces of paper and the seller gets a (hopefully) fat check. And then that's IT. It's the closing. As in, closure. As in, I'm done dealing with you and jumping for joy that the ridiculous demands you tried to bring up at the eleventh hour are no longer my problem.

We sold our last house about 4 months ago. This week has been the first of cold night weather for us. Tonight, we get a call from the realtor. Apparently the people who bought our house have been bugging her this entire time for little things and she basically (though, in a much nicer way, I'm sure) tells them tough luck. Well, now they want to know if there is some trick to the heater or if it's hooked up or whatever. Here's another public service announcement....if you don't even know that turning on a gas heater requires more than just flipping the switch on the thermostat (like, the pilot maybe?!?) you probably should not buy a duplex where you are responsible not only for your own living space, but your renter's as well. I'm still having guilt twinges that we left our very nice, single mom, renter with a very obviously clueless landlord. I once had a shirt that said, "every day of my life I'm forced to add another name to the list of people who piss me off". My current line of work has forced me to develop MUCH better social skills as well as personal insight, but really, some people are just beyond help and some situations fall into the category of "not my problem". Since we have no interest what so ever in these people ending up with our phone number, Josh is going to find a random phone to call them from tomorrow and explain how to light the pilot on the heater (cause we're sure the renter has no heat either).

And in good news, we still have the cutest kids ever. I have come to the realization that Sedona is not a remarkably easy baby, I'm a different mom. If you have time, read the article And So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes. I totally believe every parent has to whole-heartedly believe in their chosen parenting style. I mean, sure, everyone has those moments of "aw, crap, I really shouldn't have said that", but you have to believe in the overall philosophy you follow because we all want to do the best we can by our kids and there's entirely too much guilt involved in thinking, "I should've done it ALL different". With that disclaimer behind me, I'm a HUGE proponent of what is commonly called "attachment parenting" and what in our situation might more acurately be called "back to nature parenting". For us, this includes: unmedicated birth, on cue breastfeeding, bed sharing, baby wearing, child-led weaning, no spanking, a willingness to admit fault if a parent screws up, giving the child choices where possible, and a slew of other things that are so much a part of my normal day I can't even think of them as something to point out. We had this basic frame work in mind when Sierra was born, but it was at a very basic understanding--we wanted to respond immediately when she cried and we wanted to breastfeed for a year. In hindsight, I realize it took us about 6 months (miraculously the time I can say Sierra was not quite a miserable baby anymore) to really get into the groove of baby wearing and nursing on cue. Before that time, I was spending a HUGE portion of the day "fighting" her. I would spend hours trying to put her down, then she'd cry, and I'd pick her up, and I'd be frustrated, and she'd cry. Sedona's been sooooo EASY. Hmmm....not so. Sedona's birth and first days of life were TOTALLY different, but beyond that, Sedona was nursed at the first peep (the difference it makes being a breastfeeding counselor before the child's born!! I spent a lot of "she can't be hungry again" time with Sierra and would've quit at about day 5 if Josh hadn't calmly said at 2am that no, I could breastfeed and it would work out and if I really needed a break we could put breastmilk in a bottle, but that was it), and Sedona was constantly held for the first 3 weeks (having a toddler to watch running around made me appreciate more how quickly that baby would grow up) and then introduced to the moby wrap and she has been worn since then. Whereas I "fought" Sierra to get her down for a nap, Sedona just snuggles up against momma's heartbeat (the most natural place in the world for her) and goes to sleep when she pleases. When we get home in the afternoon, she is happy to nap in her crib for 3 hours (most likely because she's had her fill of physical contact). If someone asked me, I would be at a total loss to tell them how many times a day or how long she naps. I'm already incapable of saying how often she wakes at night...I simply scoot her closer to me and let her nurse and we both fall asleep again, I have only a foggy idea of how many times that happens in a night. I didn't really realize that she is most likely NOT an "easier" baby until Saturday when I tried to do a batch cooking day while I was home alone with the girls. I tried to get Sedona to spend the morning (when she's usually at work with me and in the wrap) in her swing so I could cook and she fussed and cried and screamed and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I finally put her in the wrap out of desperation and she almost immediately fell asleep (at which point she was happy to be put down in the crib). I know, some people might say she's spoiled or she's manipulated me. Oh well, they get to raise their babies their way, my way is right for my baby. She's so little and so precious and if she wants to cuddle with momma that's the least of my "troubles". Like Dr. Sears says, "babies don't spoil" I'll give her all the love and cuddles she wants while she wants them. I may have gotten a late start with Sierra, but we did eventually get to this parenting philosophy with her and ironically enough, it's made her all too independent. The theory is that the kiddos will learn they have a secure "home base" to return to and become more independent when they are ready for that. It's worked for Sierra. She stays close by while she warms up to a new situation and then she strikes out with hardly a look back. She comes back for cuddles every once in a while, but sometimes I look at my big kid and wish she still wanted to snuggle with me for hours at a time. My only regret is that I didn't know to do this with Sierra from day 1. I missed the newborn time with her and I didn't appreciate it while it was there and now I'll never get it back. I appreciate my "easy" baby though and I'm thankful for the skills I've learned that let me spend my days with her head nestled against my chest instead of feeling anger rise in me while I listen to a baby cry. Back to that song I posted at Sierra's birthday..."let them be little"


Rachel said...

I really enjoyed the "So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes" article that you posted. Thanks for sharing it! This was my favorite quote:

Would we refuse an incapacitated father a meal because it was "not time"? Or leave a paralyzed spouse alone in a room to "cry it out"--checking in every 10 minutes to say, "It's Ok"--without trying to find out what is wrong and doing something about it? If he or she only wanted to be held, would we refuse, for fear of spoiling someone we love? How can anyone claim that legal or religious tenets require us to deny babies sustenance and comfort "in their best interests"?

I have too many friends from college that schedule feed and let their babies cry to sleep through the night by 2-3 months. It really makes me so sad--especially when their milk supply is gone by the time their baby is 6-7 months old. I just wish more people would listen to this than all the trash about "independence" and "manipulation" we hear so much about.

Megan said...

While I totally don't consider myself "AP", I have found Reed to be a lot easier to deal with, although I know he isn't an "easier baby". For the time being, we are co-sleeping, and I wear him ALL the time, and he can eat whenever he wants (although I did that with Dean, too).

I do have a question, though. I always hear people say they love cosleeping because they don't have to get up in the night. What do you do about diaper changes? Right now, whenever Reed wakes to eat, I get up too to change his diaper. It is the only part of getting up in the night that I mind.

The Hills said...

That's my favorite part too Rachel. I read this when Sierra was a baby and that's the part that hit home.

Megan...we only change poopy diapers in the night, not the wets. We changed Sierra everytime she got up and between that and struggling to nurse, she'd be completely awake by the time we were done, so we gave up unless it was a mess. Last diaper change (plus a nursing) is at around 10pm (when we go to bed) and we get up at 6:30am. Sierra was always in a wonderoo with a CPF and a hemp soaker. Sedona is in a bumpy with a CPF and a homemade soaker (6 layers of hemp knit and 2 layers of flannel). Pretty bulky, but neither one seems to mind. They're soaked in the morning, but not leaky. For the poopies, Josh does the diaper change right there on the bed without moving her (CPF under her so there's no "in the dark diaper changing" messes ;-)

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