It was that kind of day, like more than I wish to admit in our home. The day began and continued with much whining and frustration…there was a fretful tossing and turning nap in which this mamas could not breathe differently or blink too hard without waking the babe and beginning again. It was the kind of day where I thought I was saving the big bag of popcorn for later, and the whole carton of juice too but then by 3pm they were mostly gone…pancakes for lunch, mudpies after lunch, 3 changes of clothes for everyone, a bubble bath to break up the day and many hands shot out to help an industrious toddler up onto or down from the couch, and various other chairs too high for her to safely climb solo. It’s been the kind of day where maybe I’m just hormonal but I feel overwhelmed and on the edge of tears most of the day…oh…or maybe it’s the recurrent shrieking.
All you mamas know these kind of days…it was a whole string of these this past fall and winter that led to me making decisions I never thought I’d make to preserve my sanity…like putting my *ec’d, part-time cloth diapered baby in disposables…most of the time. It’s embarrassing still to admit it, and I feel given different circumstances and a less sensitive child I could have continued with cloth…I give her Advil far more than I care to admit because teething for her is an all-day scream and bite festival, and she doesn’t sleep without it in those times…not to mention 3 and counting raging ear infections..On the weekend I made another choice I’ve been fighting myself over for a good six months…we bought a portable dvd player. For the car.,,we had a 7.5 hour bus ride ahead of us one way and a 5-6 hour car ride home several days later. And I was scared. It did help quite a bit, although the stores in our area didn’t have anything much I deemed appropriate for a 14month old. There was still a good percentage (30-40%) of the trip spent screaming until she gagged and spit up and eventually slept, no matter what we sang or how much we stopped to have snacks, milk and lots of running at the park.
Today I ordered a set of Mr. Dressup dvd’s, a Signing time dvd, and several more books. I also plan on Raffi and Sharon, Lois, and Bram to help me out with car trips. What would Rudolf Steiner think? Well, I think he would weigh the fact that we have a very sensitive babe and we live in a time where it is not sensible top never use a car, even though I try my best to shorten trips and tale the bus or other more flexible transportation. I think he would say that if my child is getting pumped full of cortisol she isn’t learning or growing or thriving and if a dvd is the only way to help stop the screaming then so-be-it, and try to select carefully. Sanity and health are more important than an ideal, however well-intentioned. For everyone who needs not make difficult choices and can be a purist, I salute you and I am honoured to know you exist, but please don’t judge me because I don’t have a more flexible child, or a more iron will.
And to be perfectly honest, Mr.Dressup may come to visit our house too, maybe even everyday…I will monitor it, I will not abuse it, however I have been blessed/cursed with a very smart, extraordinarily active, intense, easily bored little tot…I simply can’t keep up 24/7. Until the past month I was never away from her during the day…not even for a short nap that some of you mamas take for granted. Every nap was earned and was on me. Having an indigo/high needs/spirited child means there is no “off” button. Haley has told me he works ten times harder at home than he does at work, even during the harvest season where he works everyday all day. And we have no family even within 3 provinces of us, so Mr. Dressup, take centre stage!
Anyone who knows me, know I put so very much into caring for my daughter, try to provide the best organic whole foods, the most natural clothes and play things, a calm steady environment. We go to story time, mama outtings, friend’s homes, farms, parks, read stories, cuddle…so this choice is just one thing. You can be sure we will remain tv and commercial free and while I still don’t judge others for allowing their littles to watch Dora or other more cartoony commercialized type shows, for now they are still off our radar.
Along with the dvd’s I ordered several more books including “Pelle’s new suit” and “Painting with children”. My new plan is an attempt at some sort of daily structure…perhaps baking Monday, park Tuesday, Watercolour/art Wednesday, outing Thursday, and storytime Friday. According to some books and for some families this would actually be too much, but less than this creates a lot of whining around here…
In short, I can be sane and healthy and make some compromises or I can try to be perfect and lose my mind, I choose the former. You perfectionist, ocd type mamas especially know what I’m saying…so what about you who are reading? What compromises did you make in parenting for the highest good of your family that you never thought you’d make before kids?
A few photos of our time away…
Sapphire checking out the heritage breed chicks and *gasp*baby quails!!
Wild boar…we had some of their sausage and bacon and it was amazing!
(*elimination communication, observing baby’s signals and taking them to the potty to eliminate, in a nutshell)