Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Touching My Toes

Parenting things really kicked into high gear this week and it all started when Thora figured out how to touch her toes.

I think that is just so darn cute! Plus at four months and change, she is already more flexible than many people I know, myself included.

Nighttime has been interesting for us lately. This week Thora started to get the giggles in the middle of the night. She wakes up randomly, talking to herself, wiggling and kicking, laughing and gurgling and showing absolutely no indication whatsoever that she knows it is nighttime and that the other people who share her bed might want to sleep. This has resulted in very unhappy and sleepy parents who try to convince her that while it's great that she is so happy, she should please save it for daytime. This, in turn, results in a fussy baby. She wants to party at 3 am, but since she can't, she cries instead. Which of course means that her unhappy parents become even more unhappy, and exhausted and delirious and grouchy and sickly. To be fair, there are far worse things than being kept up at night by a laughing baby, but after a while even that starts to get annoying. After I ended up calling in sick one day from work because I was headachey and nauseous from no sleep, we had to change something.

As much as I love co-sleeping with my baby, it is very clear to me that Thora likes to wake me up and that waking me up means partying, even if by partying I mean nursing and cuddling. And I love to nurse and cuddle my baby but I have noticed that when she sleeps by herself, she sleeps more soundly and goes back to sleep faster because there is no one to play with. I do not want to banish her to her room just yet though, so last night we dusted off the co-sleeper, stuck it at the foot of the bed next to me, put her in it and held our breaths.

And she slept! When she woke up I did too, but when I heard her giggling, I was able to sleep lightly through it. She soon fell back asleep. When she woke up hungry, I got her up and nursed her and then put her back down and we sat with her and fed her our pinkies until she fell asleep again. This is progress. Who knows how long it will last or how long I will be able to resist bringing her into bed with us, but for now, it's progress.

In other news, when it rains baby information, it pours. When we first moved into this apartment a few months ago I was a brand new mom in a brand new neighborhood and I felt out of the mommy circuit. But now I feel linked in and I am so thankful for the way that works. Like dominoes! You meet one friend with a baby and they tell you about two or three things they do with their baby and then those two or three things lead to two or three more and then suddenly you are up to your ears in Advanced Oil Painting Class for Newborns and the Guppy Swim Group and whatever other silly and overpriced events that really strike me as more to keep the moms from going stir crazy than they are beneficial to babies Thora's age.

Be that as it may, I've signed her up. We're doing mommy/baby yoga. We registered for a month at Gymboree. We collect "free first class!" coupons from every "infant development center" we pass and while most of them end up in the trash, I actually give them thought. And every day, whether Thora is with me or with her dad, she leaves the house and goes somewhere, anywhere. Oddly, she likes art museums already. This weekend at the Met she got exceptionally vocal in front of the Warhols. (I don't care for him much myself). She liked the Van Goghs. She fell asleep in her daddy's arms in front of a Degas. She is quite the little art critic.

I am now also on a few listservs. The neighborhood parenting group, for one. An attachment parenting list. And now a "punk parents" list as well. I am nothing if not well-rounded!

The most fun I have with Thora though is just hanging out with my husband, our friends and their kids. In this way we have been introduced to baby yoga, many toys and books, we've been brave enough to go swimming and to investigate playgrounds, to practice new kinds of babywearing and parenting and so on and on. I love hearing what my friends did, what they read, where they went, what worked for them and what didn't. I love watching my friends be parents. I love people watching and this is people watching on an intimate level.

Now to tackle the mommy mush. A friend said succinctly, "Perfectionism is the enemy of good enough." She's right. I need to just do it, even if I do a lousy job. All my efforts will help. Skipping dessert. Running a mile. Getting a good night's sleep. Touching my toes! I have a new mantra: Discipline is remembering what you want. And I know I want to not be 10 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, which was 10 pounds over my ideal weight. That is a lot of want! So I have to watch my parent friends and copy them as I remind myself gently that I do not need to eat cookies with every meal and that I will not lose that weight without some hard work and dedication, even if it's less than perfect hard work and dedication. I just have to start, even if I start small, by touching my toes like Thora.


  1. I remember being small enough to put my toes in my mouth. I have no idea how old I was, but I remember being early school age and realizing I could no longer do it when I tried to mimic my baby brother. Somewhere I saw a wise quote:" Children don't need perfect parents. They innately know they are not perfect and if they see you modeling soemthing that is impossible for them to achieve they will be discouraged. You only have to be a "good enough" parent and they will learn that it is ok to make mistakes, change your mind, try again."

  2. Sounds like a lot of fun (the activities and friends, not really the lack of sleep). Is there really an oil painting class?

  3. Our journey is so interestingly similar. Winter is also very into her toes and very much the Museum critic as well. She had a real understanding of day and night from the beginning so we let her sleep in her own room once she was out of the nursing every two hours phase (about 3 months old). She definitely sleeps better in her own room where night time is no fun:-( Good luck with transitioning so you can dream about touching toes instead of watching Thora show off.


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