Today I did something I said I would never do. You know when you’re a new mom and you see other moms do something that you swear you won’t ever do? Things like — I’ll never give my kids candy just to make them be quiet. I’ll never let my kids throw tantrums in public. I’ll never feed my baby formula. Or my favorite that I like to hear from soon-to-be parents — I’ll never tip toe around when my children are napping because they just need to get used to loud noises like the vacuum. I so badly want to look at them and say, “you try rocking a baby to sleep for an hour, putting her down and tip toeing out of her room and thinking, hmm I think I’ll vacuum now.” Right. Good try.
My “never” was — I’ll never put my baby in the car and drive them around to get them to sleep. I was always a firm believer that if you had to drive them around to get them to sleep that you were just going to create bad habits. Before I was a parent I heard people say that and I judged them. I judged other parents before I was even a parent myself! I thought to myself, “they can’t even get their own child to sleep”? Oh how I would like to go back and smack my pre-baby self a couple times.
I would like to say (to make myself feel better) that I did make it through one whole child without doing it. Then baby #2 comes (about a year later) and suddenly I don’t know anything I’m doing. Once you have two children, you are outnumbered by those little crazies and the game plan completely changes. I was an expert at man to man, okay I managed man to man decently, but I know nothing about this zone defense.
Let me take you through the day in hopes to get you on my side. I put my 1.5 year old down for a nap and hoped to feed my 4 month old and put her down for a nap too. And by “put her down” I obviously mean hold her because that’s the only place she will sleep — obviously. Fast forward 1.5 hours later, and not only do I not have sleeping children, I have crying children. At that point I honestly didn’t care if they weren’t sleeping, but couldn’t they be sitting their quietly playing? I go into my toddler’s room and he has thrown blankie out of his crib. Silly me, I should have known that was the issue.
After throwing a pity party for myself in the middle of the living room, I get 2 screaming children in the car and drive away. At this point, I’m just proud of myself that I didn’t leave my kids at home. (Just kidding, that thought only crossed my mind a little). To my surprise, they both stopped crying as soon as I put them in their car seats. It was magical! Now I know why parents do this! I don’t know what kind of spell the car placed on those kids, but I liked it. I may have even stopped at Starbucks and gotten myself a little treat for enduring that mess.
I guess the only thing I know for certain, is that I’m constantly learning on this motherhood journey. I’m sure that wasn’t the first “never” I’ve broken, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.