Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lessons, Part 5


On forming attachment..

I’m much more of a “softie” than I pictured. I sort of expected that we’d teach David to be independent early on…help him “self-soothe,” fall asleep on his own, play on his blanket quietly, etc. Not that we wouldn’t spend time together, but he would learn about entertaining himself, as well.

Nah.

I don’t know when that “more independent” stage comes, but 6 months is not it. This period could be known as the "siamese twins" phase (if siamese twins could be born 30 years apart). Lately he has wanted to play on his blanket only WHILE physically attached to me…in my lap, etc. This isn’t even “parallel play” where I can sneak a look at my phone or computer while he’s playing at my feet. If I break out my Kindle, he lunges for it. Toys can be fun, but let’s check in every 3 minutes, okay, Mom?

I find his outbursts much more upsetting than when he was a newborn. That period was tiring physically and just kind of disorienting. But a newborn’s cries are fairly pathetic…even amusing, because his needs are so simple. He doesn’t even know why he’s crying. He doesn’t know that if he waits 30 seconds he’ll be able to eat or have a clean diaper or whatever and then he’ll be just fine.

But now we have a relationship.  If I try to sneak out of the room for a minute, sometimes he looks up from his toy at the wrong time and our eyes meet. We both know what’s happening, and as he realizes it, he bursts into tears. She’s LEAVING me. He doesn’t only cry over basic needs now…there are social ones now, too.

And so…I have not been very productive lately. And that’s fine, because I had a baby knowing that I would be his mother and that he would need me, so here I am!

Another thing that makes me sad, though, is thinking about the kids who really are being left. It didn’t scar me, but I remember being left with babysitters as a child. Yeah, I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t permanent. However, it is very hard for me to think of a child just like my child, but without a mother. With the same wounded look as David when I leave the room, but no one is there to comfort him. My heart breaks for the orphans.

9 comments:

  1. I really identify with you on this one, Elizabeth! Joshua is only ten weeks but already I see myself parenting him a little different then I expected, not to say that that's a bad thing. It's definitely harder as they get older - our boy will play by himself a little bit (looking at picture books and toys that I've propped up around him) but I'm already finding that he wants someone WITH him playing and it's hard not to give in every time. I know he's young yet, but I can see this becoming more of an issue as he grows! I'll have to find balance there. They can really tug on your heart, can't they!

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    1. I doubt you could do much harm with the playing together. What I worry about is bedtime in the future because we always do a lot of nursing and rocking, but I suppose we'll figure it out as we go along.

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    2. P.S. I love your profile picture!

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  2. I come from a whole different direction - despite using my instincts and managing to parent two lovely adult children, now I'm SO aware of brain development, and so forth that I'm practically afraid to let Monnie be left for a moment without attention - and so is her "Pa". Throw in Nastia as well, and this baby gets ATTENTION! I THINK (hope) this is correct.....and that with most (if not all - we are human) needs met in the first months, she'll be a resilient, happy, trusting girl, able to follow and lead, be creative and organized, capable of giving and receiving love, of faith.... Yipes. Hope so!

    And, really.....I think they need to cling now, but they hit independent stages, too - when it is OUR eyes that will be full of distress at the separation.

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    1. I think David's Russian grandparents are following this concept, without having read any books! The funny thing is, he sleeps better after their visits...so I guess all the attention has its advantages!

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  3. Dont feel bad about parenting your little one. With my first child I wanted to be by the books too, left her in her crib to cry it out, to comfort herself, tried to nurse on schedule... but nope, that didnt work so well. So I switched to what felt right to my heart, especially with learning to love the Lord, and knowing how He loves us, and comforts us, and never leaves us, always will carry us through every storm, made me realize that God has such an amazing love for us, that me loving my child in even a little way like Him is almost impossible. So now with my 4th child, it is parenting with love and compasion. He is attached to me and I love it, for I know he will grow up and will not need me as much as he needs me now. I am sure the Lord loves it when we are super needy of Him, and want to sit on HIs lap and be loved by Him alone.:)

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Lena. I like that image of the Lord cuddling us. :)

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  4. I have four boys. All of them wanted my undivided attention and none self-soothed very well (some even said they were spoiled).

    But then i decided, giving kids too many THINGS will spoil them, but there is no such thing as too much love. My "babies" are now well-adjusted teens and I would LOVE to have them small enough to fit on my lap again, because it feels like just yesterday they did.

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