Saturday, 29 November 2008
Ideas in the Night, and Seeing my Work in Print
Funny how so many of my creative ideas and writing thoughts for my blog come while I'm putting J to bed, and can't immediately get them down on paper. His bedtime routine takes up to an hour, although it's been swifter lately since I've figured out the feeding-him-to-sleep-in-the-Ergo trick. It must be my equivalent of 'having ideas in the shower'.
With an average of eight wakings per night, for 14 months, I reckon that to be about 2000 times I've responded to J in the night. Whew. Every one of those interactions, or at least the cumulative effect of all that consistent night-time parenting, must be instilling some sort of security, right?
I wonder. Another mom was telling me how her 10 month old just doesn't seem to notice whether she is there or not, and is happy as long as there is stuff going on and other people to interact with. He doesn't seem to have hit the 7-month-separation-anxiety stage that J seemed to have virtually from birth (and it only worsened at 7 months). Another mom remarked, "Oh, it's because he's so secure. You've made him so secure." And I thought, what, and I haven't, because he cries every time I leave the room? I don't think so.
It seems they are all different, and we just work out our individual strategies to deal with it. I now almost enjoy my 'quiet time' with J when he wakes up and I get to enjoy his cuddliness, and also just try to be in the moment. I sing mantra's to him sometimes so that doubles up as spiritual practice I guess ;) Multi-tasking and all that.
Yesterday I received a copy of Juno magazine in the post - the winter issue in which my article 'Ten Months on: Surrendering to the Shifting Tides of Motherhood' appears. An odd feeling to see photo's of me and J, and actually read my words in print. As usual I devoured the rest of the magazine, a brilliant one, and was inspired by its articles on the research behind home education and on the role of media advertising in children's upbringing. I feel proud to be part of a publication that provides such a welcome contrast to the mainstream parenting magazine industry, which all too often focuses on 'controlling' children and improving their 'behaviour', rather than looking at them as whole beings. I'm re-reading the brilliant Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn and his thoughts on behaviourism and why it shouldn't be applied to human beings, are sobering indeed. I feel freshly resolved to commit to the 'path less taken' as far as discipline is concerned.
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