You often hear the phrase “I need a vacation from my vacation.”
I try not to use cliches, but after just a few days at the beach, I need a vacation from my vacation.
Unfortunately, I have a kid. So I’ll never get one.
Mom and Buried was perusing a parenting website the other day and she came across some suggestions for ways to nip your toddler’s whining in the bud before it becomes a problem. (To quote Officer Jack Traven: Mister, we’re already there.) It made for some interesting reading.
I’m long on record with saying there’s no such thing as a parenting expert, so I don’t take most of those websites seriously. That said, there’s plenty of accumulated experience out there that can help guide you, especially if it’s your first rodeo, so there’s not need to dismiss every piece of advice out of hand. Just use your best judgment, and a little common sense, and you should be okay.
Unfortunately, the whole “common sense” thing seems to have been ignored by many so-called experts. Because after reading some of these websites, my only reaction is:
Somehow it was easier with a baby.
Sure, we were guaranteed multiple trips into his bedroom every night, but when a baby wakes up crying you can cuddle it, feed it, rock it and lay with it until it falls back asleep. Of course that’s not exactly easy, a lot depends on the crankiness of the baby and/or any more serious issues (we escaped the dreaded colic, thank the gods), but it doesn’t require a ton of thought or effort. It’s instinct versus inconvenience.
Toddlers wake up less often but when they do, they’re able to start a conversation. Or worse: make demands.
When you have a young kid, a baby monitor is essential.
Even with our son nearly two and (knock on wood) past the danger zone of accidentally suffocating himself on a bumper or a stuffed animal, the monitor remains a crucial piece of equipment. It allows us to have peace of mind while our kid sleeps in the other room. We are able to have a drink(s), watch a movie, go to sleep, comfortable in the fact that if he wakes up or needs something, we’ll hear him through the monitor.
I don’t even use an alarm clock anymore, secure in the fact that my son will wake me up WELL BEFORE I need to get up for work. It’s foolproof.
Unless the monitor stops working. Then things can get scary.
Babies are portable.
Stick them in a stroller, strap them to your chest, graft them to your stomach Kuato-style and you’re all set. Take them with you while you do some grocery shopping or grab some lunch or pound a few beers; you’ll barely even notice the kid is there. So much so that back when I used one of those strap-on things (not what it sounds like!), I often had to stop and make sure my son was breathing!
Contrary to almost everything you hear, babies are actually pretty convenient. You might even go so far as to call them “low maintenance.” And once you’ve had a glimpse of the future, you definitely will.
Because toddlers are different. They have minds of their own – insane minds. And not only are they mobile, they’re fast as hell.