Solo Parenting

Colton has been gone for a few days and so I’ve been experiencing solo parenting. And of course, this has been only a few days and I had someone watch him a couple hours yesterday and Friday while I went to ballet and packed for our move.

What I notice is missing from my life is resentment.

I’m parenting Clark. It’s hard and a little torturous sometimes, but I haven’t spent my days angry that Colton’s not helping more. I’ve been more efficient with the house work and I’ve gone for runs and bike rides with Clark while he’s awake.

Basically I’m realizing that I carry around a giant weight of resentment toward Colton. Wrapped up in that is hope that help from him is just around the corner. That hope makes the work seem more torturous. If I know that I have to watch Clark and do all the chores today, I can do it efficiently with a smile. I mean, Clark will still scream and whine in a panicky way when he’s hungry even though he ate 10 minutes ago and I’ll still want to scream back to him to calm down and get an ounce of patience and I’ll want to lock him in a room where I can’t here him until he can shut up. I’ll still think,”this sucks!” But I’ll be more resourceful about how to make the most of it. I can’t blame. All the responsibility for my happiness is on me

Anyways I thought that was interesting.

Edit: When I’m alone I also have this loneliness that I try to fill with activities.

Letting a small baby eat dirt and acorns

I’m writing this from a park as I walked Clark eat dirt and acorns. Maybe I shouldn’t let him play with acorns that he could choke on but I feel like he’s pretty good at spitting them out and it’s behind me several minutes of peace.

The tree we’re under is full of squirrels. I can tell because acorn parts keep landing on the ground. I wonder if Clark will get hit with an acorn and while do if that happens. I happened to be wearing a bicycle helmet so I’m safe. That makes me realize that courts should probably have a bicycle helmet when he rides in the bike trailer. If he did then he would be safe from acorns too.

I wonder if there’s any evidence that babies who are left to put whatever they want in their mouths or less liable to choke when they do you have small things in their mouth. I guess that would be hard to measure since they have things in their mouth more often which would be the numbers, and it also wouldn’t be ethical. Definitely safer to just avoid small things in their mouth in general. And maybe someday I’ll learn that.

I went to a CPR class where the EMT said the after he learned how hard he had to hit babies to dislodge something in their throat he always dislodged it and he never had to perform rescue breaths. Since then I’ve been a lot less scared of choking and if it weren’t for that I wouldn’t let Clark put small things in his mouth. I mean when we’re at home if you put something small in his mouth and I know it’s there I’ll take it out. But in the park I let him eat acorns.

I I just started wondering if there’s a bug poop under this tree that Clark is also eating. I don’t want to think about that because right now I have the choice between insanity and letting him play under this tree while I have several minutes of peace. I just noticed that there’s a broken shard of glass under the tree

Moving to Paradise; How long does it take to find friends in a new place

We’re moving to Paradise, CA on Wednesday. I went to church in Boise for the last time today and it was weird. I haven’t made any best friends in Boise, but my bester friends are at church. I have made two friends who are just dear enough for me to be sad I’m leaving them, but not dear enough for us to have any kind of emotional, drawn out goodbye.

That’s what happens when you live somewhere for 18 months.

It would be cool to perform a study, or see if there’s already been a study done, on how long, on average, it takes people being in an area to find good friends. Not just people they hang out with, but a tribe of people who make them feel like they’re no longer alone in the world.

In Rexburg and Boise it took about eighteen months to find the friend group and then about 6 more months for those friendships to sink into close friendships.

I met a guy on a train once who moved around the us a lot and he said in his experience it always took about 2 years to get a solid friend group.

Anyways, I’m leaving Boise before becoming close to the friends I have found. And that means no tearful goodbyes

How it feels to have a baby

The desire to be free. To leave. To shop. To go somewhere exciting. It is so strong. But maybe it’s not really the desire to do any of those things specifically as much as the power that freedom conveys. To be powerful would be awesome.

To cope with his constant neediness I either go for walks, go shopping, or turn on a TV show to distract me while I tend to him. Then I don’t accomplish any of my goals. And that makes me sad.

Spending money makes me feel like I still have control of my life. Like I can say “Eff it, world! I’m still powerful! I’m still glamorous!” Why do I feel the need to feel that way? It seems a little self sabotaging.

Why do I feel like if I didn’t have a job and money I would do insane?

As long as I have a job, I figure, I can pay someone to watch him if I need to. I can buy things or food when I’m angry/stressed/overwhelmed/feel powerless.

And I cling to that.

It all makes me want to scream and sulk. The fact that I didn’t get anything done because I went on survival/be entertained mode because of this baby

Thought Dump about the Knight of Faith

Another thought dump. Study Kierkegaard to understand, lol
Book of Mormon, Mosiah 24:14-16
This reminds me of Buddhism and non attachment. But it’s like the next step, right. The people still want to be free and God still wants them to be free. But he gives them patience and faith and strength now. And he frees them tomorrow. This reminds me of Kierkegaard’s Knight of Faith. The Knight of Faith, I think, can give everything up and hold it dearly at the same time.

Thought Dump About Coercion and Guilt Trips

Disclaimer: this is a thought dump and was not edited. Also their are related points that I thought of but didn’t write down here.
The protecting the children training (protectingthechildren.churchofjesuschrist.org) mentioned that using religious language to coerce religion is a form of abuse. Woah!!! That was like a big clincher for me. It’s crazy how to guilt that ruled my life as a 14 year old took this many years to unwind. And I estimate it’ll take another few years to fully heal. Anyways, a while before I heard that quote, I started to, to a large extent, stop doing things that I was doing just because I felt guilty. Then one day I was talking to Colton and I was reminiscing about college and I was like, “I don’t feel as close to God as I did then. I would like to feel closer to God.” And then I started doing the things I had stopped doing with real intent this time.
My one “stuck point” is this talk in a face to face about how prayer shouldn’t be a “chat” and about how we’re talking to God and it should feel as if we’re approaching a throne. So I’ve been pondering that for a long time. And I am realizing that God doesn’t want you to approach his throne with fear and guilt (unless you’re truly intentionally evil, in which case you would have fear and guilt).
 
I went to the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial today and reading and hearing stories of innocent people and their loved ones dying makes you sad and it also makes the ground you’re standing on feel holy. And you don’t want to push your stroller over the pavings with words written in them. And you wouldn’t want to laugh loudly.
 
And I think that’s the kind of sacredness that God wants us to approach His throne with.
 
Like, there’s a difference between earned sacredness that anyone with a heart feels, and ascribed sacredness that people are guilted into.
 
And yeah, all of that has to do with all of this. And I’m not completely sure how.

E.C. Log 8.14.19 11 months old

So EC was going better for a second.

Like I said in the last log, I’ve realized that if I let Clark sit in a wet diaper, he doesn’t signal louder the next time he has to pee. I think he’s too used to using his diaper from the months we didn’t do EC and from when I’m at work.

So I’ve realized that I can only have success with it if I go off of natural timing. If I know the last time he went, it’s pretty certain that he’ll go again about an hour later. And that he’ll continue this pattern throughout the day.

However, sometimes in the evening he pees about every 36 minutes (I know this is weirdly exact, but come to think of it the hour timer I set usually has about 24 minutes left). I’m going to keep parking attention and see what I can find.

If I am paying attention to the time, I do often see his signals clearly. Otherwise they get lost in all of his requests for attention, food, water, etc. Even when successfully following the hour pattern, sometimes he doesn’t signal, but pees on the hour anyways if I take him before he signals.

Overall, it seems like EC is a little like learning to play the violin or bake excellent bread. It’s more of an art than a science and you have do it consistently for several months before the pieces start coming together and you feel like you can get anywhere at all.

And along the way, there will be weeks at a time when you feel like nothing is working until you get your next epiphany.

But as long as you keep at it, you do get somewhere.

On the state of the world

There’s a lot of bad, evil stuff going on in the world. And I was feeling pretty scared and sad last night. But this morning I realized that even though there are corrupt people, I’m pretty sure the vast majority of people are good. And I think that’s true and I think that can bring us a lot of hope. Even if crazy stuff happens, good people will still band together.

I don’t know. That is all.

On Co-Sleeping

Disclaimer: this post is not meant to judge anyone. I’m all about people doing things because it is what they really want to do and what brings the most joy and least stress to their family instead of because of societal or familial pressure.Last night I was thinking about how my feelings about co-sleeping have changed and I was trying to put what I felt before and what I felt now into words.I guess a big thing is that the AAP says it’s not safe. I kind of forgot about that. I am going to write a post linking the research that I follow.But besides that, but maybe because of it, it seems like the cultural tide is against co sleeping. It seemed like before, I was keeping him out of our bed because I didn’t want to be one of “Those people.” And I pitied my parents, who coslept with all or almost all 7 of us.My poor parents! I thought: never sleeping by themselves for ~20 years. All because they didn’t feel good about sleep training or weren’t able to find other methods to get the baby to sleep by themselves.I resolved I wouldn’t be like my poor parents.Well now I’ve been cosleeping for around 6 months. And my perspective has totally changed. Why would I want to leave my snuggly Teddy bear, even better, snuggly real life baby, in a different bed? I LOVE co sleeping.So anyways I was thinking about it last night and I thought, I feel like our culture has this weird obsession with not neglecting to spend time with our babies during the day. Moms feel guilty and stressed out about giving their babies attention and personal time. Then moms feel confused because they can’t think of any developmentally appropriate games to play one on one with baby. Working moms feel even worse.Anyways, whether it’s right or not, there’s huge societal pressure towards spending all your time with baby during the day. Am I right about this? I mean of course everyone also says when asked, “Be sure to take time for yourself.”But then on the other hand there’s huge societal pressure against spending time with baby at night.I think both pressures can be frenetic, shame-driven attitudes that are not helpful by themselves and need to be enlightened by mindfulness and reason.Anyways. That’s just some stuff I was thinking was interesting.

Elimination Communication Log 7.30.19

Wow! July flew by! At the beginning of the month it seemed like while we were at our first family reunion Clark started signaling much more clearly when he had to go. So that was cool. But then it did not continue.It seems like there were a couple weeks when we were missing most pees except for some wake-up pees. If Clark was fussy I would pick him up and surmise that if he had to pee he would push away. But it seems like he doesn’t do that. He just expects that I’m picking him up to take him to the potty and it seems like he pees once I set him back down again.At some point I thought about this. It seemed like there wasn’t a good way to read him consistently, so I decided to go back to relying on timing. And it worked pretty well during our week long family reunion last week! It took a little trial and error but I discovered his pattern.

He would pee on waking, and then again 10-20 minutes later. Then he would pee every hour for the rest of the day, until sometime in the afternoon when other people started playing with him more and he peed a little sooner and then I’d get out of sync with him. But it did seem like I could get back in sync with him if I put him in a carrier for a while. Except the one time that I put him in the carrier while playing frisbee golf and he was too thrilled watching the game to think about peeing. He was squealing with delight and clapping his hands as frisbees flew and people cheered and sighed, haha. And at the end, he had a wet diaper.

I think it was also a lot easier to figure out EC being with him 24/7 on vacation and being able to put a little more energy and thought into it. I wouldn’t plan to start EC on vacation though.So yeah! Still not perfect, and that’s not the point. By the end of the week I also felt burnt out. I think we had a lot of misses yesterday back at home because I’m experimenting with having him come to me when he needs to pee. I think he’s not big enough for that yet. But maybe if I keep his potty in the same spot all the time he’ll figure out how to go to it.Overall it’s just really cool that I’m a lazy, average mom, scared of EC and that just by doing a little here, and a little there we’ve made some progress! It’s cool to see that he definitely gets it and prefers to go on in the potty. I don’t always catch his signals, but it seems like he has started to hold it more, expecting that he’ll get a chance to go in the potty.

Oh! And one thing I forgot! They say humans are wired not to poop while sleeping, especially at night, at least once we’re more than a few months old and we have a normal circadian rhythm. Well, Clark defied that and pooped at 4:30 am this morning! Luckily I knew about EC so after he squirmed and kicked me off and on for an hour I took him to the bathroom and he let out a surprise!

Speaking of which, he poops every 4-6 days and often while I’m at work, so we don’t get much practice with poops, and I definitely haven’t figured out how to deal with them as he hates sitting down to poop. He wants to be in a supported half squat, haha! So I put him in the tub standing against the edge and put the potty behind him. But this is not ideal for being out and about so hopefully we figure it out!