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What We Didn't Do This Year

Enjoying her Globe & Mail, courtesy of our out-of-town neighbour
I honestly don't think we're bad parents.  We have a happy, healthy, curious and intelligent baby girl who seems to be pretty good-natured and resilient, particularly when it comes to traveling and adjusting to changes to routine.  She's rad and absolutely great the way that she is.

That said, there are a few things that we totally said we would do as parents, that we didn't end up doing.

* Baby Sign - Epic fail on this one.  We had big plans to teach her a bazillion signs so that she could communicate with us.  She still manages to make her wishes known, but she knows a total of zero signs at this point, because Hubbs knows zero signs and I only know like 5 of them, which I constantly forget to use.  Hopefully she learns to speak soon, so that we don't feel so bad about limiting her ability to communicate with us through sign.

* Sleep Training - As you know, we tried.  We really did.  But since crying it out in any form, even the mild "gentle" versions, is out of the question, we couldn't follow through on the prescribed approaches.  She sleeps with us, she nurses to sleep, I nap with her...we still do all of those things.  And her naps are still a little haphazard, particularly now that she's hit her 12-month regression.

* Baby Playgroups - We always wanted her to be exposed to other babies, to develop her social skills and her immunity.  Unfortunately, in order for her to go, we need to go, too, and this just hasn't happened due to a billion and one other things that have come up as priorities.  She has gone a couple of times to play beside other babies, but nothing regularly-scheduled, and certainly nothing that would result in her having a bunch of toddler buddies.  I am working on changing this, but it might take a little while.  I mean, if I have to go with her, and her socializing means my socializing, I also have to like the people with whom I am developing relationships.  Trickier than you think, peeps; turns out, I don't really like people all that much! ;)

* Church Nursery - Oh my word, we had dreams to drop her off on Sunday mornings and enjoy a sermon.  We really did! But she isn't fond of being apart from me, a side-effect of Attachment Parenting.  And playing with a bunch of kids she has never seen before, with strange adults watching her instead of Momma - that's just too much for Baby L to take.  So she hasn't been in the Church nursery for a full service even once, and now she's a year old.

* Baby Music Classes - Again, good intentions that never materialized.  Those first few months were rough and unpredictable/unmanageable, so I didn't even bother.  Now that she's more into a routine (sort of), and curious about her surroundings, it would seem like a more opportune time to get involved and hone her love of music (which we already know she has).  Unfortunately, the classes I was considering began right as we were leaving for Hawaii, and to pay all that $ for half of the classes seemed a bit silly.  Plus, we still have an active travel schedule, so I'm thinking that we won't be able to join a class until the fall or summer at the earliest.

* Baby Swimming Classes - See above.

* All-Organic Diet - When Baby L began eating solids, we were pretty vigilant about the kinds of foods she was putting in her mouth.  We watched her sodium and fat (still do), and made sure most of her food was certified organic.  Unfortunately, as she got older we realized how difficult this was to do, especially at restaurants and while traveling.  We also don't always eat organic or shop at Whole Foods, so Baby L would often end up eating what we eat! She doesn't seem to suffer for it though; she is still on the WHO height-weight curve and strong and energetic.

Anyway, though we didn't end up doing any of these things, I don't spend much time sitting around in regret.  There's plenty of time for classes, lots of other opportunities to learn and to socialize, and as my friend recently reminded me, "Babies don't keep." I should really enjoy my solidly-attached little co-sleeping nursling while I can, because if I blink too quickly, it will be 2017 and she will be in school!





Comments

~Rain``` said…
It's okay. Do what resonates with you and Hubbs and embrace grace for the areas you felt you "neglected/failed". And look ahead, like you say. Children are quite resilient and in the end, they need the basics: food, water, basic clothes, shelter, and love.

Happy 1st birthday to Toddler L! And congratulations Mommy & Daddy for surviving the first year.
Kitten said…
A possibility -- is there any chance you could stay with her in the nursery at church a few times? It'll make her more comfortable with it and the people there especially if you allow some of them to hold her while you are within sight.

As for signing, I didn't start using signs with my son until he was one and that was because I became desperate at his lack of communication with me. It worked out. He used "more" and "please" until he was nearly four even though he said it at the same time.

Lastly, don't worry so much about playgroups, but find at least ONE person with a child her age that you can befriend. Sooner or later, she is going to want to play with others. That age is generally 2. At that point, having a friend with a child your age will be a wonder. You will visit each other's houses and be able to relax with a cup of coffee and snack while your children play with each other and you two TALK. I didn't do playgroups, but playdates might have saved my sanity during the late two and early three period for my son.
Mrs. Loquacious said…
@ Rain - Thanks! It's a miracle she's still alive! ;)

@ Kitten - The church won't allow me to loiter because of security issues and also because it makes the other babies mad that their parents aren't around.

I haven't totally given up on signing, either. We're working on all done, more, please, thank-you, and stop.

Good point re: play mate vs. play group. I will have to try and find someone who is a good fit with us! :)
LMAO!! Mrs L, if we lived close to each other we would be bests! DITTO to EVERYTHING! and "Unfortunately, in order for her to go, we need to go, too, and this just hasn't happened due to a billion and one other things that have come up as priorities." I said those exact words in that order a billion times! We have RAD babies so all of the other billion things we did make up for the failed five!

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