Like other vehicles of learning, I find myself more responsive to the "jump in and do as you go approach" and parenting is exactly that. There is no e-brake. You simply try by trail-and-error and adapt.
The nuances that come with this approach as an exploration of self. A redefining of what I thought were my own traits. A re-scripting of daily vocabulary, and a visceral wonder of what I have never wondered before.
Firstly I have noticed the major milestones and celebrations that come with new parenthood. These items that dot our small home landscape and shape the themes of days and weeks.
One might think that there is very little to celebrate of a being that literally knows only how to eat, poop, cry and sleep, but that is merely the foundation and the structure is so much more architecturally beautiful than I would have thought.
These celebrations are done in an exaggerated tones. Shouts of joy from another room to "COME AND SEE....", as well as a total overhauling of vocabulary to describe happening events.
The first few days-we celebrate "poopies" and sleep. His first BM (that isn't meconium) is exciting!
The first 2 weeks-we celebrate milk, "poopies", and sleep. Breast feeding has a larger than thought failure rate and when it works and mothers milk comes in correctly...we celebrate!
The first 3 weeks-we celebrate weight, "poopies" and sleep. Many later in life lessons can be learned when we remember that in the first 3 weeks of life, parents want to have a balloon and cake party for every ounce the child puts on! This alone is the measure of success.
The first Month-we celebrate smiles, sleep and positive distractions...."poopies" have become routine and are no longer the bench mark for health but something that is merely inevitable.
So this positive distraction I speak of. This is something/anything that can take your child's mind off of his tantrum, or any other pressing matter that may be consuming his emotions.
Ours is the changing table! We have taken to calling it the "babysitter" and before you go calling CPS, please note that we do not leave him there while we go take in a movie....we simply take longer to change his diaper because there is something about this place that he really loves.
Being a professional observer, I have been marveled by what exactly is happening in this small corner of our already small home.
He lays down, crying or not, and immediately locks his eyes on one spot that I have yet to determine exactly where this is. He then proceeds to smile, oooohhh, aaahhhh, coooo, and reach for. By every definition he sees something that holds his attention for up to 15+ minutes at a time. (In baby time this is an eternity)
Yes there are monster stickers on the wall, but he seems to be looking above that. Yes above that is the blinds, but what is so exciting about blinds?
I am convinced that he sees his guardian angel(s). That this is the place that either my dad or Kristen's grandma come to see their grandchild. Probably both. They spend 5-10 minutes every hour or two at all times of the day touching his cheek, smiling at him, and letting him know they are there and always will be as long as he needs them and he loves them. He knows they are warm and safe. His tiny mind knows that at his darkest hours he will never be alone. He is comforted.
I find myself staring at him and smiling ear-to-ear. He is un-affected by my presence until, like clockwork, I lean over and say "do you see grandpa? do you see great-grandma?" and he breaks his concentration and stare at me and smiles..and I swear, every now and then he winks....I'm going to love this job!