Thursday, November 3, 2011

this week's adventures in motherhood.

I was so, so excited to tell you that we had turned a major corner on napping this week and things were looking up here at Chez Larking -- but alas, our success was shortlived.

L is a terrible sleeper. I'm sorry, lovely little daughter, but it's true. She is so good at so many other things but sleeping is just not one of them. When I am out running errands with her or taking her on a walk, one of the most frequent comments we receive is "Wow! I can't believe how alert she is!" Yeah -- I know. Crazy alert. Wanting to look at things all. the. time. Even when her nursery is pitch black because it's nighttime and she's supposed to be having sweet little baby dreams. We sometimes sit and listen to her on the monitor -- she's not crying, but we can hear her breathing hard and squirming around to get the best angle for viewing whatever shadowy object has caught her eye this time.

But "comparison is the thief of joy," right? So my baby doesn't nap as well as other babies. Other babies are not nearly so interested in the world around them. And they also do not have cheeks that look like these.

I should tell you that the reason I even have this picture of L, in which you can see her wide-eyed way of looking at the world, is that I was trying to take one of her so I could have a set of silhouettes made as gifts for grandparents. But her cheeks are so big that you can't see her lips in profile -- so a silhouette would look like I have a baby with no mouth.

That's right -- the other, even more frequent comment we receive when we're out? Here are the variants.

"Those cheeks! What are you feeding her?"
"Those cheeks! She's not underfed, is she?"
"I just want to pinch them!" (you can guess what happens next)
"She looks like a Cabbage Patch doll!" (we've heard that three times this week alone -- is this a compliment? Because Cabbage Patch dolls are sort of freaky.)

When we hear these things, though -- like yesterday at lunch, when the girl sitting next to me told me "I can't stop staring at your baby" -- I always respond the same way: "Yeah, she's lucky she's so cute." What is wrong with me? Why can't I just say "Thanks -- I think so too!"

So here's my goal for this week: every time I feel myself wanting to get angry with L about sleeping, I am going to think about something she's really good at instead. In fact, that seems like a good lesson for life in general, doesn't it? Where would we be if everyone always focused on what we did poorly? I am really, really glad that my mom didn't remind me on a daily basis what a terrible bowler I am, didn't bug me when I refused to learn to ride a bike or drive until years after my friends did, or point out how I can't cut a straight line to save my life. (Though I am very grateful that she always bought me those lefty scissors.) L can't understand what I'm saying yet, but I don't want pointing out her faults to already be a habit by the time she can -- she'll do that to herself enough as it is.

(image on right; sorry for making you squint into the sun there on the left, baby!)

Are you working on any parenting goals this week? Or goals in general? Let me know what you're up to.