The Learning Curve
by Karla ° Friday, July 20, 2007

I find it hard not to get so wrapped up in the enigma of mothering. And whether its about breastfeeding today or discipline or my parenting philosophy tomorrow, it still all boils down to the idea of being responsible for the well being of an entire human. With arms and legs and a head and a face capable of adorable little expressions that transcend the boundaries of anything I ever thought possible before life with a child.

The moment I brought my baby home from the florescent tomb where he was born and took those first steps into the unchartered microcosm of parenting, a huge portion of my self-confidence suddenly dissipated into nothing more than a sodium vapour mist of particles and atoms so small and random that it was nearly impossible to find any remnants of the fallout to grab hold of.

The newness of it all, the possibilities, the mistakes that I was bound to make, the uncertainties, the memory of the child that was no longer with me and the gossamer innocence of the baby I was holding in my arms felt so entirely overwhelming. And while I floundered around like a lowly bottom feeder, it felt like the rest of the parenting pool were swimming around like proud pufferfish way above the depths of my knowledge.

But I’m learning. The curve just feels so steep sometimes.

And yet despite the learning curve, my son continues to thrive like a deeply rooted seedling under the steady guidance of a morning sunrise.

Sure, he’s super tiny – but he is not even 7 months old and already 1/7th of my body weight.

Sure, he’s not a classic textbook baby – but that is because he is a perfectly normal human baby.

Sure, there are days that I leave him idling in his rainforest jumperoo while he talks to a blue bee with polka dot wings while I take a much needed break to do other things - like taking a step back to really see the forest through the trees.

Because let's face it, the blue bee never gets bored.

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Karla, you are right on. Each baby is so different and it drives me crazy that they think there is one mold for all babies. At my first son's 9 month well baby, he didn't have any teeth and he wasn't even trying to crawl. The doctor had the nerve to call him "slow". Well, he didn't like that very well and cut a tooth and started crawling just a few days later. By 9.5 months, he was walking!! Ds#2 didn't cut teeth until late and didn't crawl until 11 months, learning to walk at about 13 months. And, even though my first son was small, my second one is even smaller and I find myself taking him into the doctor every month because they are worried about his size. At his 15 month check up he was 16 pounds, took him back at 16 months and he was 16 pounds 3 ounces. Now I take him back next week for another weight check and then back again at 18 months for his normal well-baby. I understand their concern, but it truly is annoying that you can't have a baby that doesn't fit into that mold. Neither of mine have and I am finding more and more don't, but they still haven't changed that mold.
Posted by Blogger Candi :  July 20, 2007

Karla, I couldn't agree with you more. I had/have the same feelings since bringing Kirsten back from the hospital. The one thing that keeps me sane and not feeling like such a failure is that, I'm not doing this alone. I have my husband to help me see what is real and what is my own craziness in regards to Kirsten.

From what I hear? We are normal moms. Nate is adorable and clearly doing very well under your care.

The rainforest jumperoo? A freaking godsend!!! Kirsten loves hers as well, it makes making dinner soooo much easier.
Posted by Blogger Heather :  July 20, 2007

I totally felt the same way, that I, a formerly totally competent person, didn't know what the hell I was doing!

And the baby books HAVE to be taken with a grain of salt. Mr. P was nothing like any of the babies described in most of them, and I despaired. But the big thing is that I went with my instinct, and it was usually right. That was the thing I liked about Dr. Sears is that he said that the moms were the experts on their kids, and that they shouldn't do something they didn't think was right on the advice of a doctor.

Ok, rant over. The fair was great yesterday, even though I didn't get to see the art exhibits since Mr. P took a long time in the kids area. But hey, that's being a parent.
Posted by Blogger Gina :  July 20, 2007

I can relate to your last post. I am a new mom to an almost 8 month old baby girl. Before she came along I had never even changed a diaper, much less been completely responsible for the well-being of another person.

It has been a wonderfully crazy journey so far, and just when I begin to think I may have this whole parenting thing figured out, Reese will totally step in and remind me that I don't!
Posted by Blogger Lovebuzz38 :  July 20, 2007

All you can do is your best, and it sounds like you've been doing that and more. You're such a cool mom!
Posted by Blogger H :  July 20, 2007

You and Mark are good people. And there (almost) nothing cuter than a happy baby in a jumperoo!
Posted by Blogger M :  July 20, 2007

I thank god everyday for our jolly jumper. It brings the smiles out of even the grumpiest baby.
Posted by Anonymous Anna :  July 22, 2007


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