I have scrambled brains for eggs

I am beyond delirious. I am so mo' fo'ing tired I can't even describe it. If you stole my eyelids and made me eat sand with my hands behind my back you might get close.

Hollis is a diabolical maniac.

Yep. Now I really get The Incredibles' Jack Jack when he turns into a little demon in the end. The most perfect fit of a non-verbal human being I've ever seen in my life. This is Hollis at 4 am these days.

When my baby cries like he's being impaled by a lance dipped in cayenne pepper I can't help but react from my gut. It's like some primeval force telling me, "Protect baby!! Save baby!! Comfort baby!!" So I do and all is right with the world.

There are so many books on parenting, so many different concepts and philosophies to choose from. If that weren't confusing enough, there are also as many public and cultural opinions about it. Here in America, we want parenting to be convenient. Convenience, to us, is the mark of success. If our life is convenient, then we're doing something right!

Look at all of the things that we have in our life that make it so much more convenient:
A car
Having two cars
Check cards
Cell phones
Microwave dinners
Answering machines
Caller ID
Online banking

The list goes on. Unfortunately, people also want their kids to be convenient, let them "cry it out," "learn to 'self-soothe'." A 3-month old isn't supposed to self-soothe, people. It is built to rely on others and if it doesn't, it will D I E. Same goes for a 6-month old, 9-month old and so on. As a baby grows older and can wrap his newly developed synapses around cause and effect - and I mean, REALLY get it, not just do experiments like, "If I do this, will Mommy get red again?" kind of thing - then we can start to introduce an element of convenience, such as, "No, this is Mommy's quiet time right now."

The biggest thing I've learned having a baby is that I am a puppet. Yep. I am a puppet and it's ok. It does't make me a weenie, it doesn't make my baby a "manipulator," nor will it ruin him for the future. My answering his calls in the only way he knows how (screams, whimpers, whines, cries, etc.) will teach him that his gut instincts get him the response he's looking for: a grown-up's attention, a kiss, a cuddle, a reposition, a diaper change. If I ignore him, I fear that I will only erode what he's been hard wired to to do and thus instill a deep sense of confusion and fear of his own feelings.

That sounds awfully melodramatic, but I'm serious. It helps to remember this as I stumble from my bed at God awful hours of the night to take care of my sweet, rosy-cheeked banshee.

Of course, to be fair, everyone has their own style, but as I continue to struggle with being a good parent, and still take care of myself, I have to define what I am and what I am not. This is the result of the combination of me, my baby, and my husband. We're a unique equation and the answer will, hopefully, be a well-rounded, confident little boy and two happy and proud parents. Other people do things their way and that's fine. I've been cursed with the habit to analyze everything I think and do so here I am chomping away on what the hell it is I'm doing these days.


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