Sunday, July 12, 2009

Confessions of a lax parent

Anyone who knew me in real life, pre-Isa, (including myself) would have sworn that I was going to be a very uptight, type-A, generally frantic parent.

In some areas, I have exceeded my own expectations. I will fully admit to being a top-of-the-line "hoverer". I rarely let Isa out of my sight in the first months, even for a few minutes. I got all nervous and edgy when my sister carried her away at a family wedding. I knew she was safe, but still.... We didn't spend a single night apart until this spring, more than a year after she had come home. I'm working on this particular fault, but it's a tough habit to break.

And so, I was shocked to discover that when I compared it to others, the totality of my parenting is actually quite lax. I submit the following:

- Isa is a pacifier kid. So much so that early on, I bought a clip and have kept it attached to her nearly constantly. She drug that thing around, clipped to her chest, I'm sure picking up loads of germs. (I like to pretend now that her iron-clad immune system is due to this particular lazy behavior of mine.) We have ZERO plans to eliminate the paci anytime soon.

- I didn't discontinue pre-sleeping bottles until last month and only then by accident. Admittedly, I was planning to do it this month, just squeaking in under the 2 year mark.

- I hadn't planned to co-sleep, however we did just that for well over six months simply because it was easier for me to throw her in my bed when she woke up at 2 a.m. than try to get her back to sleep in her crib. It wasn't an attachment thing- it just garnered me more sleep. She even rolled out of my bed twice (landing reasonably softly on a suitcase by the bed both times) because I never put up a bedrail.

- I think I made a total of 2 baby food meals ever. The rest came from jars. And it wasn't even always organic.

- On that note, I think she first tried french fries at the tender age of 10 months. Isa would probably tell you that her current favorite foods are quesadillas (we eat a lot of those, and yes, she can say it) and pizza (which we don't actually eat often but Isa has become fixated on). We love carbs.

- I've never even considered getting her own seat on any of our many flights despite all the safety stats. In the beginning, I knew that she'd prefer being held and now I'm just too cheap. Sadly, only one more flight left before I'm forced by law to ante-up.

- She watches TV. Probably too much TV. But there is no other way that I can survive getting up at 6 a.m. everyday. Thank God that Sesame Street comes on at 7!!

- I still have a baby gate up in the house because it's easier than baby-proofing the bedrooms, bathroom, and hallway. Getting very tired of stepping over that, though, so I may be forced to stop being so lazy on this particular point.

- She doesn't always brush her teeth each day. I'm trying to work this into the bedtime routine, but I find I sometimes forget it.

- Her carseat is still rear-facing. I can pretend that this is because it is so much safer, but a big reason is that I really don't relish having to wrestle the Britax into the forward facing position.

And finally, photographic evidence of my laxity. A photo taken a few weeks ago. You can clearly see that she is chewing on a small plastic wand (almost certainly made in China and thus toxic), pacifier clipped on, and it's hard to see, but those are Halloween jammies in the middle of June.


Brenda said...

Is that it??? That does not sound too bad :-).

Kerri said...

You sound like my kind of mom! :-)

Jocelyn said...

Gasp...french fries at 10 months??:-) Heehee..totally kidding!! Love that we are not alone out here in lax parenting!!

Anonymous said...

nice try, but you hardly qualify as lax, my friend!! you are still a stellar fantastic parent. sorry to break it to you. :-)

one happy family said...

that is a hilarious list.

Solly still goes to bed with a bottle

Brushing his teeth is a task, and he forces me to sing over is screaming

Solly loves fries

tonight i put him in Dede's clothes for bed cuz I was too lazy to walk upstairs for a boy outfit...

haze said...

OMG! I don't comment very often but I just have to THANK YOU for this post. I don't even have my daughter home yet and I'm already worrying about not being the perfect parent. I appreciate your honesty!

BTW, you sound like an AWESOME mother in my opinion.

Haitian-American Family of Three said...

You are a excellent parent! I love hanging out with you guys because its so chill. And its fun to just let the girls be little kids and play. Lets get together this week.

Heather said...

Bottle before bed, check. Co-sleeping, check. Gates and earthquake putty over baby proofing, check. Allowing objects not meant as toys to go in mouth, check. I guess I get to join your club. No one ever enjoys being around an over anxious mom, so your doing just fine.

Liz said...

Just catching up on your blog... I guess I'm one of the few that knew your "lax[ed] parenting" was inevitable - but that sounds bad. Let's not say laxed...just no uptight. ;) Regardless, Isa is doing wonderfully.

Betina said...

You're my kind of mama!