By half 9 this morning I had already looked down at my darling baby and exclaimed the words “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME??” I then had a moment of clarity and realised that he probably wanted me to stop trying to be Supermum, sit down, and give rocking him to sleep my undivided attention. So I did. For the next 2 hours. When he finally gave in I was so shattered I fell asleep too. And there I was an hour and a half later, wondering how I got there.
I have achieved nothing today. No matter what I tried, hands free parenting was not allowed. Even wearing him has not been an option. So now it’s ten past 4 and Lord Grumpiness has found himself to be utterly exhausted again. Although obviously not exhausted enough to go to sleep without the usual fuss. So I am lying on the bed feeding him in the hope I might even get him to sleep long enough to have the chance to write a list of things I should have done today. So that if, by some miracle, he wakes up tomorrow able to self soothe, I might get something done.
There was a time that I had every confidence in my ability to parent. It was right up until I got a positive result on a pregnancy test. Since then I have second guessed almost every decision I’ve made. Currently I’m doubting my ability to move the Tiny Tyrant onto solids. I am attempting baby lead weaning with a child who doesn’t seem to want anything but his (or my) hands in his mouth.
For those who had kids prior to the last couple of years, baby led weaning is a bit of a mystery. You see, gone are the days of health visitors recommending we start baby on purees at 4 months. Quite the contrary in fact. Now we are to wait until baby is 6 months old, then essentially just let them feed themselves whatever you’re having. Assuming what you’re having is low in sugar and salt, not shellfish and doesn’t contain honey. (There are other things you shouldn’t give babies under 1, please check NHS guidelines) The books I have read on this matter make perfect sense. And without attempting to educate anyone on the subject (because I’m in no way qualified to) let’s just say, that for me, it’s how I wanted to do things.
But here we are, fast approaching 6 months old and I am already losing faith in it. I have been offering the Man Cub bits and bobs to taste to see how he got on. If I’m honest there was probably part of me (the most part) hoping he’d eat well and suddenly start eating through the night. However, so far the child who always has his hands in his mouth cannot seem to get them there when he’s holding something.
Despite his valiant efforts he just ends up totally frustrated. So that’s where yesterday’s Weetabix nightmare stemmed from. Giving him something seemed better than nothing. Because he appears desperate to steal whatever the rest of us have. Which would be fine except when we give it to him he hits himself in the face with it until he cries. Which is a bit embarrassing really…
So now I’m thinking that maybe I started trying too early. And obviously if I have I will almost certainly have set him on the path for some kind of awful eating disorder. Or worse…he might become one of those fussy eaters! (Or children, as I like to call them) It’s set in stone now. I’ve ruined everything. That’s probably what he’s been crying about. His mother’s completely ridiculous method of weaning, which has left him depressed and distressed. He’s most likely screaming that he’d like to be adopted. Poor little guy.
The next book I’ve got lined up is The Gentle Sleep Book. I imagine he’ll be even less impressed with being coaxed into sleep by the book than he is about weaning by the book. So I’m going to have to try to find the confidence I had before I became a parent and trust that I know what I’m doing. Because people managed to be parents before parenting books, I’m led to believe. Although if there were no books on the subject, I wouldn’t be going “off book” and therefore wouldn’t be doubting myself. So that must be the answer, it is pretty obvious really, if the child doesn’t do what the book says…get rid of the book. And try to avoid parenting forums too!