Monday, September 13, 2010

Do as I Say, Not as I Do

This week we made the decision to turn K's car seat forward. She is 21 months old, approx. 26 lbs and 33-34 inches long.

Some may be saying, "how dare you?!?!". And some may be saying, "What the eff took you so long?". I really struggled with this decision. I watched the youtube videos, read the articles, heeded the new recommendations of the AAP I was committed to keeping her rear facing as long as possible. I figured she wouldn't hit the maximums of her car seat until at least 2, 2 1/2 years of age.

 She didn't hate it, but didn't love it either. Getting her into the car was a massive struggle. I had cried in frustration more then once, sitting in the back seat as she stiffened her legs, threw her back out and tried to slither out  and onto the back seat. Once she was sitting, she was fine. For about 20 minutes. IF I fed her a constant stream of crackers. We would chat through her mirror, which she loved. If both my husband and I were in the car, she would get upset if we talked to each other, but not to her. Anything longer then 20 minutes required the use of an ipod video and/or children's CD on constant rotation.

And then last weekend I had to turn her seat forward so as to accommodate my niece's car seat, who I was transporting for the morning. And miracle of miracles. She climbed into her seat BY HERSELF. She giggled and tried to pass crackers to her cousin. They held hands. I could retrieve her toys and pass them to her without dislocating a shoulder trying to get around the shell of the car seat.I left it for a few days because my husband was out of town and I didn't trust my installation skills. And she continued to be a pleasant passenger. I no longer feared making small stops at the store (or multiple stops!) for fear of trying to get her back into the car once she was out.

So at 21 months, I have moved her forward facing. I feel like a quitter, and someone who is sacrificing my child's safety just for convenience. But I do appreciate the calm that is the car ride home now. And since we are in the car together 45-60 minutes a day, that is not a small piece of the pie.
Although the downside? She has become a back seat driver: "No mommy, go THAT way." Every 10 minutes. Even if "that way" is into a field of trees.

But I urge you ALL to read and review the above links and make an informed decision for your own child. I don't judge anyone who decides to forward face (people in glass houses, after all), but I do encourage everyone to at least consider extended rear facing. In short, do as I say, not as I do :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Product Placement and PTSD

This morning I gave K two options of shirts to wear. One has winnie the pooh on it, and one has flowers. Immediately she starts chanting "winnie da pooh, winnie da pooh" and dancing around the room she is so excited about wearing winnie the pooh. ::sigh:: my daughter is 21 months old and already the corporations have her brainwashed. I didn't think I was going to have to worry about the name brand stuff for another ten years. I guess I was wrong. I can hear my hard earned dollars falling down the drain already.

Also, this great article was posted by a friend on Facebook yesterday: Colic doesn't harm babies, but it harms parents

I seriously thought I was reading about my own life, right down to the fear of alcohol and bouncing on an exercise ball until you broke your back. About dreading walking in the door, worried your husband was going to get up and walk right out of it and not come back, and dealing with the feeling that you wanted to throw your baby out a window. It made me cry and made me feel validated at the same time. It is still hard for me to think about the first 6 months K was home.

Its the story of colic and its grip on one couple. They describe coming out of raising a colicy baby as having Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Nothing could describe it better. I still hear imaginary babies cry when no sound is being made. I still sleep with one eye open fearful of when K might start crying. It has not been easy on our marriage. It has made us question whether K will be an only child (more on that in another post, maybe). It makes you feel terrible as a parent because you can't comfort your child, and many times, you can't love your child. There is no greater guilt then that, IMO. (well apart from actually killing someone maybe?) Thank you Mike for expressing what so many of us find difficult to do.

Was becoming a parent worth it for all of this? Ultimately, for me, yes it is. Despite the continued sleep issues, despite the hellish first 6 months (or if you ask my husband, hellish first 15 months), this is the greatest thing I have ever done. K does everything with passion. She doesn't just live life - she attacks it with zest and energy. She makes every day entertaining, just as she makes every day frustrating. Yes, she cries hard. But she loves hard too. We will lose hours in a haze of tickle fights and hugging and kissing contests. She amazes me constantly, and gives me great joy. She gives me a reason to come home at the end of the day, and a reason to wake up every morning. I think she is just more intense about everything, including being a newborn.

looking contemplative:

and looking mischeivous: