To the experienced mothers: I AM SORRY.
Thankfully T was a relatively easy baby. But let’s be honest, the most perfect baby in the world is pretty boring for the first few months. All they do is sit there. And eat. And poop. And sleep. At least I’ve heard they sleep with they are little. T didn’t do so well in that department. But at about 6 months with the sitting up and actually playing with toys going on they become a delight. You loved them before then, but you realize it is so much cooler to see them discovering the world. From 6 to 8.5 months I was in heaven.
And then crawling. Dum dum dum dummmmm.
T now has the means to go exactly where he wants to go. Those places include but are not limited to the houseplant on top of a large pottery piece, anything on the bottom shelves of our many bookcases and tables, the braided rug that is falling apart (he likes to pick pieces out of it), the trash (both in the kitchen and in my bedroom), the cat food and water, electrical cords, etc. etc. etc.
I used to be able to walk away from him for 3 minutes or so and know all would be fine. With frequent checks on him I could prepare his lunch, do dishes, tidy, clean the litter, do laundry, go to the bathroom. Now to do any of these things he must go into the pack ‘n play or the exersaucer. And I feel like a jerk. So yesterday I bought him this http://www.diapers.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?productId=25830
The North States Industries Superyard XT Gate. There was an extender option that was 50% off and I got that as well so he’d have even more space to crawl around in.
T doesn’t understand the word No yet and I figured this gate thing would be a good compromise. When I needed to do laundry or cook or pee he would be in a safe place with all his toys in which he could crawl to his heart’s content.
Well, that was the idea. Today I was running around so we could get to a work event for Z and I tossed T into the, well I’m just going to call it what I think every time I look at it, the cage. And little man crawled right up to the side and grabbed on to it and wept like I’ve given him a life sentence.
After we got home from the event Z hopped into the cage with him and the two played happily until it was time for T’s nap. I can see it now. The three of us spending all our time in the cage while the cat meows in fury from just outside.
It would be so easy to let T get his way. Or to always put him in the cage and ignore him. One of my biggest fears as a mother is acquiescing to his every whim because it is easier for me in the short term instead of teaching him that he can’t always get his way. I am not going to let him spend the bulk of the day in the cage. We will do plenty of hanging out, but I can’t let him run amuck either. And until he learns No he can’t hang with me in the kitchen as I cook unless I’ve got him strapped in somewhere.
Bottom line, coping with crawling has brought us closer to the meat of the parenting matter. How do you raise a kid who isn’t running your life or a tremendous brat? I don’t know. But I do know that I’ll be paying a bit more attention to what those experienced Mamas have to say.