Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I have found the Hole Grail of parenting and want to give it to you!


No kidding.

Imagine that you have had a bad day at work.  You had a brilliant idea but nobody would listen or nobody understood.  The fax machine was tormenting your very soul.  Lunch was crap.  Traffic was insane.  You couldn't find your favorite pen.  Your boss was an ass.  Your co-workers were idiots.  You came home and just wanted to sit and vent with your best friend.  Then, instead of listening, your best friend starts to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider and show you shadow puppets.

If you are a parent, grandparent, aunty, uncle, nenen, tanti, babysitter, nana, papi, teacher, or any other kind of caregiver for young children, your life will be forever changed after you read ''Tears and Tantrums'' by Aletha Solter.

I mentioned an article that I found by the same author recently.  Well, the book really brings it all together.

The Angel, whom I love with every cell and fiber of my being, could be described as a clingy baby.  To put it mildly.  I could not do anything much at home during her waking hours.  Cooking, cleaning, laundry, having a shower, computerizing, talking on the phone... all nearly impossible to achieve when she was awake.  And despite being fed solid food, she still nursed a jillion times a day too (leaving her nice and plump, and me looking like a string bean).  And night times weren't much better.  At 13 months, my beautiful baby girl still woke up to nurse at least 4 or 5 times a night.

Until yesterday... well it kinda started last week when I mentioned the article.  But I only read the book yesterday.

Last night, after following Dr. Solter's advice, my sweet, precious, beautiful, wonderful Angel peacefully slept EIGHT HOURS STRAIGHT.

And today, I have been getting my work done with ease while she plays happily, coming over every so often for a snuggle or a giggle.

It is nothing short of a miracle.

How did this happen?  I know you are dying to know.  The book will give you a better understanding, but in short, I no longer repress her need to vent.

When she gets upset, I no longer nurse, sing, rock, soothe, distract with funny noises or silly games.  I sit, lovingly hold her, look into her eyes, tell her that she is safe and loved, and accept her sadness, frustration or anger in its full force.  I let her vent.  How ever many times she needs to.  And after 13 months of repression, she has some venting to do.

Nap time and bed time are times when we lie down together, and feeling safe in my arms, she now lets it all out.  All the frustrations of her day.  When she feels better, she happily and peacefully drifts off to sleep...  and STAYS that way.

Some Attachment Parenting folks might not agree with this approach.  Indeed, when I started following the advice of AP resources online, calming and soothing her cries was more of the focus.  But I actually feel more attached and connected to the Angel when she vents with me.  W  She is beginning to really trust me with her sadness, fear and anger.  She now knows that I will listen and accept her, unconditionally, validating her feelings.  Good and bad.

So, who wants a copy of the book?  I'm giving one away for free. Let me know if you want it in the comments.  I'll choose the winner somehow or other by next week sometime or other.


Ray Crowley said...

Hej Theresa,

Not looking a copy of the book but just want you to know that I will be checking your writing regualarly as we have our own little girl now.. Things are going wondefully well so far :)

Warmest Wishes from your fatherland.


Candacw said...

Hi Theresa!

All the best to you for the New Year! Wow, I enjoy reading your accounts of being a mother..the daily joys and sorrows. I'm sure it must be soo fulfilling.

I don't have one of my own just yet, but somehow I think I would actually like a copy of that book you mentioned as I was doing a child psychology course and think it would come in handy in the future. My brother's wife gave birth to a baby boy and I was glad enough to be home for christmas for his birth. The next time I see him would be for our wedding in July so that's from seeing him as a newborn to seeing him at 7 months, yet I still marvelled how much progress he made day by is indeed a miracle.

Hope all is well with you and your Angel. You certainly sound like you're enjoying motherhood.

Take good care,


BlueBella said...

Oh wow it sounds like you're really finding some peace! Awesome!
I'm excited to read the book so hopefully I'll win:)

You're such a great Mommy! Angel is the luckiest peanut.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

This sounds so sensible! Here's to great nights ahead for you both!

Janelle said...

I have found that it is really good to take the wisdom of books and others and apply common sense to your situation. I have no specific issue with the AP folks but I have never had an issue with a baby that cries. My dad used to tell my oldest "you have the right to complain", he was just a baby then, lol. I am really glad that the information in this book has helped.

LceeL said...

Super. You will finally be able to sleep. And as a parent, I can still remember how little there was when they were young.

Tash said...

hahah just noticed the "me likeee comments looong time" hahaha - evokes all the wrong images and memories. "Me love you long time!"

Glad things are going well. Had coffee with Nan today - not for long enough but was great nonetheless - and chatting about your recent epiphanies and about our boys who refused to sleep as babies - enjoy the sleep!

Scary Mommy said...

Hmmmm, that makes sense. I could certainly use some sleep these days, LOL!!!

Nan said...

Yup, I read her other book and have let Chas have a good cry or two since. Sam too. Max has always been a good "Let it all hang out" guy, probably because when he was a baby I just didn't have time to soothe him! I will borrow your copy when I see you, or the LIBRARY in Bournemouth! Sam said the other day, "*Gasp!* We can get ANY BOOK WE WANT in England!" Yeah!