Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kendon is Learning, Am I?

Baby Ken's 1st words:
1. Mama 6 months
2. OW 9 months
3. Daddy 9 1/2 months

Tonight Kevin and I had fun playing with Kennie. He's learning so quickly! We taught him the sign for "love." (Arms folded across the chest.) He actually did it back! Kevin then taught him how to say "Daddy." We tried to teach him the sign for "Daddy." He almost did it. He reached up to his ear instead of his forehead, but that was good enough for us! Kevin repeated over and over, "Say: I love you daddy!" Ken said, "AY ya ya Daddy!" HA HA! We're such nerdy parents! We think our kids are geniuses, no matter what!

Those are some of the sweet moments we have with the baby before we drift off to sleep that are just priceless! He also is learning to stand by pushing up against us as we lay in the bed. He gets this super proud look on his face like "I'm DOING it! " that cracks us up! He brings such laughter and happiness to our home! It would be so empty without him!

Sleeping and Nursing

We co-sleep with the baby. We don't have a choice with the tiny house we're in, but as a nursing mom, I've always slept with or very near the baby, even when we had a large house. I still don't know if that is the best way for everyone, but for us, it is the only way. The problem is when to get the child out of the bed, and HOW! Usually I decide to give the baby the boot when we can no longer sleep! When the baby is so energized by us that he crawls all over us, and won't calm down until late into the night, or if he just wants to use me like a passy all night. Recently, I discovered that he does not feel the need to use me like a passy if he is adequately full before going to bed, something I wish I knew with my first child!

I put Kaylee and Peter in the next room at about 9-10 months old. Now I'm thinking that, especially with Kaylee, I may have mistaken her need for more food as a need to be out of our bed. So now I've been a parent just long enough to know that I don't know anything I thought I knew! NOW WHAT?
Attachment Parenting
Attachment Parenting is a method of parenting to create a strong bond between parents, especially moms, and babies. You breastfeed, carry or wear the baby as much as you can, sleep with the baby at night, the baby sleeps on you for naps; you are constantly with the baby. I attempted it with my first baby, and have done it with Kendon, but not by choice. It was more of a protection from his older siblings, and the lack of space for a crib in the main part of the house that created his attatchment parenting.
The only down side to attachment parenting, is that the baby is so very attached to me, and there are some days I just want him to be okay on his own. He does play by himself for maybe an hour a day, and then he's crying at me again. I would love it if he'd take naps at regular intervals, but that would require the use of a crib, or me taking naps with him, which I can't do with two other kids. The one crib we do have is in the back of the playroom, which doubles as the kids' bedroom, and our storage room. It is not heated, so I'm looking forward to warmer weather. When it's warm I'll consider putting the baby in the crib, at least for daily naps, but he screams when he's alone. I'm talking blood curling, blue veins popping out, entire body blood red, terrified screaming! He doesn't know he's okay by himself. That is the real down side to attachment parenting.
I was SOOO done with it after Kaylee was 10 months old, I remember balling when she fell asleep in my arms because, while it was tender and sweet, I was a prisoner to the chair while laundry and dishes went undone, phone calls went unmade, and the slightest movement caused her to wake up and cry. I could do nothing but stare at the wall as my blood pressure rose for the next two hours. I didn't even have other kids and I was miserable. Peter didn't get much of it at all, because I was so traumatized by my experience with Kaylee. I was determined he would know he was fine on his own. He also took a passy and nursed very well which helped tremendously. He was my easiest, calmest, most self-assured, fattest baby, and so far, toddler.
So I am not a fan of attachment parenting, even though I've unwittingly done it with this baby. Predictably, he's insecure without me. He screams and kicks and shakes his fists while Kevin holds him and I can get ready for him, and as soon as he's at my hip he stops. As he's gotten older he's only gotten more so. I cringe to think of how I had to pry Kaylee from my hip. All the crying, by both of us, and all the sleepless nights, to teach her she was okay without me, were so hard on all of us. I just don't think I can go through all of that again!

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