I don’t want to brag…okay…I do, actually. The things that were “supposed to be” hard in parenting haven’t been. Don’t get me wrong, parenting has been harder than I thought, but not related to the things that I thought would be hard.
If you believed the stacks and stacks of books on the subject at the bookstore, then you’d think getting your child to go to bed on their own and sleep through the night on their own required an act of congress. My sweet little daughter, however, has shown us that this just isn’t the case with her. At 15 months we have a bedtime ritual that goes a little something like this:
11. Change into PJ’s after putting on some Lavender scented lotion.
22. Mommy or Daddy sit on the floor of her bedroom and she walks to her bookcase to pick out a book.
33. We read her a book as she sits on the floor in front of us.
44. Then we ask her to put it up and pick one more.
55. She obediently (I’m bragging here, so I have to throw that in, right?) puts the book up and grabs another.
66. We read that one and have her put it up.
77. Give her the pacifier.
88. Take her to turn off the light.
99. Turn on the music.
110. Get a ni-night hug.
111. Lay her down in her crib with the cover over her and walk out the door.
That’s it. No fuss. No delay tactics. And rarely does she wake up in the night unless she’s sick or hurting.
Wasn’t the transition from rocking her to sleep every night supposed to be difficult? What about the cry it out method? What about having to rock her for the next 4 years until she decided to go to bed on her own, leaving her dad and me worried she’d never make that transition?
Then there’s the bottles. All the books give you tons of techniques on how to wean your child off the bottles. I read them all at least 100 times and then I decided I’d rather just wait until it’s an inconvenience or a problem for her to have a bottle, or until she decided she was too big to have a bottle.
We transitioned to sippy cups and straws when she was around 13 months old. She had the cups during the day and only had a bottle in the morning after just waking up and right before the bedtime routine. Then, one day, around 14.5 months, she refused the bottle. We presented it to her for a few more days and still got no interest in it. So, she is officially weaned from the bottles. Voila. Wasn’t that supposed to be another massive battle of wills and a totally headache inducing moment for the parents?
I wonder if I could write a book on the “lazy” method of parenting were we just let her develop at the pace she wants to develop at, always presenting options to move to the “next level” but not stressing if she’s not there yet. I could add just one more to the stack of resources at the book store on what parents “should” be doing with their kids.
I realize that every child is different and will require different techniques at different levels of development. I’m just waiting for the day when I’m pulling out my hair at something J is or isn’t doing and one of my mom friends tells me how simple it was for their daughter to make the transition. The day is coming, I know this. So, for now, I will brag and revel in what we have.
Or, maybe I’m not the only one (which is highly likely). Are there other parents out there that have had similar surprises? Have your children been way easier to parent in some areas you thought would be difficult? Did they make up for it in other areas?