Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I didn't mean to bash the internet yesterday (Hi Lis ;-)). It has been my saviour throughout my pregnancy and even more since the angel came along.

If it wasn't for the internet I would most likely have given up on breast feeding a long time ago; especially given those torturous first weeks when my confidence was at an all time low, and certain family members kept harping on about not having enough milk, and formula being the Great God of fat babies with pretty skin. The angel also probably wouldn't know the comfort of being worn in a sling, and sleepy night time snuggle nursing, nor I the convenience. I might never have heard of Attachment Parenting and would be caught in the struggle between listening to my instincts and being afraid of spoiling my baby. (She's not spoilt dad. She's just a baby who needs her mama).

I googled ''Baby Screeching'' in an effort to understand what could be causing these recent heart-stopping, ear-piercing, sometimes-seemingly-random shrieks that the angel has taken to producing regularly in the past few days. Various forums popped up with other mom's looking for the same help as me.

+1 Point to the Internet: I am not alone in this. It happens. We are not freaks! And it seems to be sorta common in the 6 to 9 month age bracket, right where the angel fits in.

There were all sorts of responses, ranging from ''My baby does that too, and I have no idea why'' to ''It happens when they are frustrated and trying to communicate. Teaching them sign language at this stage might help.''

Also found was ''My baby does it to get attention so I ignore her and told everybody else to ignore her too. She stopped doing it when she realized that nobody was going to respond''.

-1 point to the internet for giving people who share damaging advice a bigger voice than they should have. Yes I believe in censorship... to a degree. Although, by that same argument, maybe I shouldn't be allowed to blog!

Granted this person found a solution, but the consequences of the solution far outweigh the benefits. All that little baby learnt was that her needs were not important or worthy of attention, that nobody cared what she felt, and that the people she depended on most would not always be there for her. These are not the lessons I want the angel to learn. And these are the lessons that too many people have learnt. The same people that feel isolated, angry, voiceless, powerless, lost.

And we all know how these poor souls contribute to society.

But reading more I did find some commonality with my situation. Being hungry, tired, over-stimulated, or simply needing a cuddle seemed to be triggers. So it seems that I was losing touch with the angel and wasn't reading her cues properly anymore. Or maybe her cues changed?

Solution: Reconnect, pay closer attention.

+1 point WWW

Overall score: Positive.

Every rose has it's thorn.


Kaisa said...

Yey, keep it up T, you're doing great :)

Tash said...

So proud to hear you stuck with breast feeding despite that terrible TERRIBLE advice you were getting about formula... I get so worked up about it. Anyway congrats. You're a great mother. Only a click away if you ever need any advice or just need to be reminded that you're doing great - cause you are!

Nan said...

When Sam was a few weeks old, Chas had a crisis of "I am not the centre of the universe any more? Well take this!" I was exhausted and alone, and ended up locking Chas, screaming, in his room and screaming right back at him through the door. At the next checkup, I told Dr. Bratt my guilty tale and he said "Oh, as long as your moments of bad parenting are the exception rather than the rule, you're OK." Now that my boys are older, I realise that occasional bad parenting may be a GOOD thing! My kids can deal with unreasonable people without being traumatized. They know that people have bad days, and as I tell them: "Hey, I am learning, here!" I know several kids who have never been yelled at, or spanked, and their lives have been "perfect". They have a harder time dealing with real life, which isn't perfect. I bless the "bad" teachers at school, the weird family members, and my own parenting crashes because, with Good Parenting being the "rule" my boys can learn to deal with the "exceptions".