So many parenting related matters cause a current of anxiety, the unanswerable “am I doing the right thing” question – unanswerable because no-one else is your child’s parent, and no-one can answer that question better than you, despite the fact that you might feel like you don’t know what you’re doing half the time. Is this grizzling teething pain? Digestive pain? Am I feeding him the wrong things? There is so much vastly contradictory advice about introducing solid food that you might as well ignore it and do whatever the hell you feel like, for all the reassurance it’s going to give you. (On this point this is an interesting post about cultural differences in ideas about first foods for babies). If he lies there and cries because he’s trying to reach a toy, should I give it to him, or will he never learn to crawl if I hand him things?
In the end I always reassure myself with the fact that despite people’s vastly differing parenting styles, no child ever fails to learn to move because their parent too readily hands them a toy. These small details, even though they seem all encompassing at the moment, don’t matter all that much. I have stopped waiting for the point where I will know what to do, and just “do” instead.
We have just come through the other side of Edward’s first cold, which I found a bit stressful – it was the first week of us both being at work, and I found it hard leaving his snuffly self with his grandparents (possibly something I should have re-thought, as he gifted his Nonna with a cold as well). It feels awful looking at your child in pain (or at least discomfort) and not being able to do much at all to help them. Combine that with very broken sleep and we were all feeling pretty dreadful by the end of the week. It’s amazing how pathetically grateful you become when the longer stretches of sleep return – your child wakes up at 3am and while you’re blinking blearily putting him back to sleep, you’re thinking contentedly about what a spectacular baby he is, so clever to sleep for 6 hours. Give that baby a PhD in sleeping immediately. Or at the very least a gold star.