Thursday, March 05, 2009

Foreign Language

There are books, numerous ones, that sit on many a bookshelf full of potentially life-changing information for new parents, old parents, or anyone trying to navigate their way through the always confusing, always perplexing, always baffling journey called parenthood.

I'm a sucker for a good book, even a parenting one.

But what I have learned, in all of my 12 years of trying, is that there is not one book that speaks to me. Not one. And trust me, I've would have found it by now if it existed. Rather, they all do, in their own way. I think the thing about parenting and wanting to find how you fit into its vast world made up of all kinds of parents is that, for me at least, it does not have to be about one thing. It does not have to be about one method. It does not have to be about one parenting style. For me, it's about finding little bits and pieces of information that work well with my children and tucking them away in the areas of my brain reserved for such valuables, the holy cow what do I do now? parenting area. You know you have one too, all parents do.

I thought I'd be a certain type of parent, the kind the resembled the person I was when caring for other people's children. I thought I'd be all crafty, do-it-yourself, play games all day long and cook three different kinds of food for thee different kids three times a day.

And then I had my own children.

The experience was nothing like caring for other people's children, nothing at all. And (shocker!) my children were nothing like other people's children. Oh no, they were mine. This is a good thing, it is. But it also meant that I needed to find my groove, my way. Parenting my own children was so incredibly different than anything I'd ever done (even though I thought I had it all figured out) that I quickly learned to throw all my "rules" and preconceived notions about what kind of parent I'd be out the window.

The only thing I was sure of, without a doubt, was that I'd be a loving parent, and I could do this. The rest was simply not up to me, not any more.


None of my children napped much past 18 months.

(And, honestly, we were ecstatic to get a nap of any kind out of them past their first birthdays.)

They weren't like the toddlers described in books, not one of them. Oh no, they were mine. And they were just as much a product of my parenting as they were products of their very own DNA. They were hybrids, new species of children, that I'd have to get to know one by one and day by day.

Non-napping hybrids, they were.


My in box contained a funny email this morning, one I wasn't expecting. Among the spam messages for Viagra, Russian brides, Foreclosure alerts and Acai weight loss programs, was an invitation to enter a blog contest by the author of The No-Cry Nap Solution.

Here's what I sent back to her:


Just wanted to let you know that if my kids were still of "napping" age (and I'm not talking about the oh mom I'm soooo tired from shovelling all that doggie doo in the yard today kind of napping), I'd be all over your books.

Good luck with your contest!


While my kids may be well beyond (I've already screwed them up thankyouverymuch) the help of the No-Cry books, maybe yours aren't? And maybe you'd like to go here and enter her contest to win her new book.

You never know, there might be one little nugget of information that this parenting expert has to offer that could come in handy. And if so, than it was worth your time.


Ali said...

God Bless your soul. My son (my only child so far) naps a solid 3hrs+ a day. That time is sacred to me. I can't imagine life without it (though it may all change in August w/the arrival of #2).

It's Just Me ~ Katie! said...

I know before I had my son I thought how hard could it be raising a child. Then I found out! It's hard. He's nothing like me,nothing like anyone I've ever watched, but he's mine and from day to day we tackle what were faced with and move on. Great entry. Thanks for sharing!
It's naptime Take care,

Lisa said...

Thank God my toddler still naps!

monstergirlee said...

Baby #1 - past about 3 months, the only way I could get him to nap was in the stroller - I'd take him out and walk until he fell asleep, then roll it into the darkened bedroom where he'd nap, that only lasted until about 2 and a half.

Baby #2 - I started doing a regular night-night routine with her, PJ's, singing, books - the whole shebang, and she goes to sleep whether she acts tired or not. Sometimes for 3 hours! I think I've died and gone to Mommy heaven.

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Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I was the queen of napping children--when I would watch my friend's kids, the "non-nappers," I could always get a 2 hour nap out of them. No, I didn't use drugs. Sadly for their parents it never transferred when they were at home.

Mel said...

Lawl. Neither of my children napped much past 18 months, either. I thought the Universe hated me, but it turns out? No, my kids wanted to destroy me and loved to make me suffer.

Kidding. But that was some hard times, man. I feel yer pain on that one.

Oh, and... I'm back!!!

Kyla said...

BubTar napped until FIVE! It was awesome. KayTar still naps when she is sick or exhausted, but otherwise she dropped it around 2-3.

Momisodes said...

Brilliant post. I can certainly relate to having a non-textbook type child.

Oh how I wish my daughter still napped!