Friday, September 23, 2005

If I Had Only Known Then What I Know Now

So today is Mr. Personality's birthday. A while ago, I posted his birth story, and if you would like to read it, feel free. So much has happened since that C-section three years ago, and I was thinking about the kinds of foolish parenting ideas that were rattling inside my head during what I like to call the PP Era (pre-Personality, or gallons of pee-pee diapers, either one works).

Let's stroll down memory lane of one highly naive parent-to-be.

I will feed my child nothing but wholesome, organic food.
Well, I didn't do too badly on the organic thing when he was an infant, but over time, it has been harder and harder. I do my very best to feed him all organic fruits and vegetables, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. I felt myself cringe inside when he had his first hot dog, but I just couldn't fight the powers (meaning Grandma, who shoves junk food at him as if every child's diet should consist of ice cream and chips).

I will breastfeed my child. This one certainly didn't work out, as he had severe latching problems that even a lactation consultant couldn't solve. I pumped for four months, but my milk ran out, despite every desperate attempt I made to keep it. I still feel like a failure over that one. If anyone had ever told me that I wouldn't breastfeed, I would have been highly insulted. I beat myself up over what happened to this day.

I will stay at home with my child for as long as humanly possible. I am proud of both Hubba-hubba and myself for making the necessary sacrifices to enable me to stay at home, since we both agreed that was the most important thing in raising our child. I wouldn't change what we have done for the world.

I will never be one of those mothers who run people over with their strollers
. What an ignorant fool I was. That was before I realized how difficult it is to change the direction of the stroller, they don't exactly turn on a dime, especially in a large crowd situation. Watch out people, I'm coming and you'd better get out of the way!

My child will never look like a poorly dressed ragamuffin. Ok, well, I am not the one who broke this one, it is Hubba-hubba. The man simply cannot match clothes to save his life, and the times that he has dressed him (which I try to keep few and far between), he has looked a bit on the neglected side. It is to Mr. Personality's credit that he still mangages to look cute, even in an orange shirt, red shorts and black shoes with red socks. Poor Hubba-hubba thought he did good with the matching socks and shorts.

My child will never scream in a restaurant. Yeah, that failed like, the first time he ever even went out in a public restaurant. He had colic, and so we pretty much had six full months of screaming no matter what we did.

I will never allow my child to watch any television. Bwaaahaaahaaaa! Excuse me, I need some air... Bwaaahaaahaaa! Admittedly, he does watch PBS shows and The Wiggles, but he has never seen a Dr. Phil episode or any other commercial television other than the Yankee games Hubba-hubba manages to sneak in now and then. I try to keep it under two hours a day, but even when he is watching TV, he rarely watches TV. He is playing or dancing or doing something else as well.

Life as I knew it three years ago has never been the same, but it is richer and more fullfilling than I ever thought it could be. I should thank Mr. Personality for the wonderful little man that his is, to have touched me so deeply and changed me forever. It is a privilege to have him as my son.

Sniff, I think I need to go find a hankie or something...


Anvilcloud said...

I once heard someone say that what makes life so interesting is that you can never figure out what's going on.

Mel said...

Happy birthday to him and you, too!

I said my kids would NEVER eat in the car. That lasted until they were old enough to be distracted by goldfish crackers.

Gina said...

Hubba Hubba says,
it has been an amazing journey. So many ups and downs and downs and downs...but now were up. The best thing I did was to pick a great wife, who is without a doubt a fantastic mother. Derek is a great and wonderful little person, due to his mothers hard work...

Piece of Work said...

Derek! His name is Derek!! Aw, what a great name! Now we need a photo, too!

At least you are attempting to feed him organic fruits and vegetables--any attempt is better than none, right? Which makes me . ..hmm, not a very good mother?

Anyway, loved your list. So true. The things you think BEFORE you have kids. HA!

Suzanne said...

Happy Birthday, Mr. P!

Gina, I shared many of your pre-parenting credos; some have fallen by the wayside and others have stood firm. I think the best parents are those who are flexible enough to roll with the reality they are presented with rather than forcing a preordained set of ideas. So in my book, at least, you are doing great!

Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elizabeth said...

I'm really glad I didn't give a damn about any of those things, especially the breast feeding thing. As a result, Thomas's dad got to get up at 3am to feed the baby. I'm all for equality of the sexes.

I know, breastfeeding is supposed to boost the immune system, make the kid smarter blah ba blah ba blah. But there was no way in hell I was gonna pop a boob when T needed a tit fix or walk around with 3 ton gazongas for a year. Call me selfish and I won't even care. He seems to be OK. We don't have to constantly take him to the hospital (actually he's never been to the hospital), I can't remember the last time he was sick, he has a good relationship with both his parents, he's smart as a whip and a smart-ass (imagine that?) plus he's just a really nice guy.

Breastfeeding is overrated in my honest opinion.

WordsRock said...

Happy birthday to your son! I don't recall any foolish parenting ideas that went awry when the baby actually came along. Methinks you may think too much, Gina. Yet I don't think you're alone.

As for breastfeeding, I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. I particularly adored the late night intimacy of breastfeeding The Boy, barely waking up myself but enjoying the nearness of him.

Doesn't make much sense to beat yourself up for it now, however. Geez. The young man just turned three! How about giving yourself a break on that one? :)