Friday, April 27, 2012

April 27, 2012

Sophie is just over seven months now. If it's possible for the time to have gone simultaneously slow and fast, then it did. Seems like only yesterday or maybe years ago that she was a little larval human, basically immobile, jerky, wailing. Now she pulls herself up on anything and everything while roaring in one of her favorite baby dialects. Her two bottom front teeth are beginning to come in, but so far this doesn't seem to bother her much. She seems much more troubled by the fact that she can't yet return to a sitting or crawling position from standing. This *really* pisses her off.

I am still overwhelmed by the amount of information concerning child-rearing that exists out there for anyone even halfway interested in learning. I'm sure parents even a generation ago where not as swamped with contradictory evidence about what is best for babies and children in general. I'm not sure what is worse, following the advice of Dr. Spock, or hearing the advice of thirty such doctors, all who claim to have the answer. I still mostly follow my gut, and pick and choose out of the wealth of information that which makes the most sense to me.

Although there is a school of thought that preaches against it, we still co-sleep, and so far it is working well for us. Most days we are all as well rested as one with an infant can be. I have been exclusively breastfeeding, although now we are beginning to introduce solids (mostly sweet potatoes, carrots and other orange veggies). We sometimes use cloth diapers, sometimes disposable, depending on what activities the week holds. Disposable has been winning lately. We are doing vaccinations, even though I wonder about the sheer number of them these days. Despite that concern, the fact that she doesn't have to fear polio is pretty convincing to me about their effectiveness. I find both Waldorf and Montessori education techniques appealing, although there are some fairly big differences when it comes to reading and mathematics. I'm also considering homeschooling, but I don't know if we will be able to afford for me to be out of work for eighteen years. I have not completely ruled out public school, but it is low on the list right now. All I know is whatever educational approach I choose, I need to stick with it for the long haul in order for it to be effective and for Sophie to avoid the stress of extreme culture shock.

Anyway, I document this mostly for Sophie's benefit, so she'll have some idea of what it was like for her family in her early years -- the joys and struggles we faced. These are the choices I struggle with now. I'm sure it was different for my parents and I'm sure it will be different for her. But it's the progression of things these days, in the US, in 2012. For me. (I suppose there are many parents who don't struggle with these particular concerns. Maybe it's just my questioning, need-to-know nature.)

Whatever. She grows healthy and strong and I'm the happiest I've ever been, I believe. Our house overflows with love. Even with texting, eye-rolling teenagers! I call that a good start.


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