Thursday, February 26, 2009

Confessional

The Boy went to sleep on his belly long before he could roll over completely. He also was formula-fed and chomping down solids way before he was six months old. He rode in a forward-facing carseat before his first birthday -- but trust me, the chunky monkey was well over the weight limit -- and just a couple weeks ago, I bit The Boy. He finally bit me hard enough to break the skin and after months of fretting over his bad habit, I took the advice of my mother, grandmothers, aunts and most other experienced mothers I'd talked to and bit him back. Not hard enough to break the skin, but hard enough to get his attention to tell him biting hurts. He hasn't bitten since then.

I am fully aware some of you probably are appalled. Likely, I'm risking some nasty comments. But I bring up all these ways in which I am, maybe, a horrible parent because
this article on Babble got me thinking about all the little parenting secrets we keep.

Every kid is different. What works once might not work twice. These are basic rules every parent discovers. But we live in this baby-centric era where there are campaigns for this, campaigns for that and experts everywhere telling you the BEST way to raise your kid.

Some of those campaigns -- the SIDS campaign, for instance -- are doing good things, I'm sure. But the thing is they all say there is only ONE way and so, if that one way doesn't fit our kid or our family, we feel guilty and sometimes, we just don't talk about it. When my pediatrician told me at The Boy's six-month check-up that I could start cereal and solids, I didn't bother to tell him my always-hungry kiddo had been slurping down mashed bananas and pureed sweet potatoes for weeks. We spent weeks of gassy, screaming nights and closely monitored afternoon belly-naps before I worked up the courage to let my colicky baby sleep on his belly. After ignoring him to show my disapproval of biting only gave The Boy a chance to sink his teeth into the soft flesh around my bellybutton, I found a different tactic. I'm not saying every parent should do things the way we do. I'm saying every parent finds their own way and that's fine, provided the kid is happy and healthy. And maybe what works for you will work for me or vice versa.

Let's all 'fess up in the name of helping each other out. What parenting secrets do you keep?

7 comments:

Gerbicks said...

right on, hillary! we enjoy belly sleeping for infants, feeding solids early for the always hungry babies, & letting my oldest munch constantly all day (what harm can cereal & granola bars really do?!) & i let her at the age of 2, play outside alone (with a chocolate lab for a sitter).
when breastfeeding a teething 7 month old, i flicked her cheek so hard that she sobbed for about 10 minutes...she was chomping on my nipple, which will make you want to jump to the moon. anyway, she never bit my nipple again!

Tschanen said...

I don't see anything wrong with that. If your mother is telling you to do something b/c she did that with you guys, then I think it's OK. We all turned out just fine!

Mrs. Chicken said...

I chose to bottlefeed my son without ever once breastfeeding him.

Now don't TELL anyone that!

k said...

We formula feed and often our son won't finish a bottle, so rather than let it go to waste and dump it out--we let it hang out on the counter for a bit.

Instead of dumping it after an hour (which is the Similac folks recommend)--we've sometimes given him a bottle that's been sitting out for an hour and a 1/2. Never longer than that, really.

It doesn't smell skunky and he's never gotten sick...

Hillary said...

You rebels! Your secrets are safe ...

Oz said...

We were like K, and stored milk after (gasp!) some of it had been drunk from the bottle. It was breastmilk, not formula, but I still couldn't face dumping that liquid gold.

I also am all for eating off of the floor, and have been known to let my son play with strings and pastic bags and electrical cords.

Michelle said...

I drink coffee and wine even though I'm breastfeeding. It doesn't seem to affect Peanut. I do it strategically right after a feeding or when she's down for the night. She's the reason I need coffee after she decides it is play time for two hours in the middle of the night.