This is it … Nicholas’ 365th day on this planet – tomorrow he turns 1 year old! Our day was spent running around, getting ready for tomorrow. He’s such a trooper – as long as he’s with us, he seems happy enough to do anything we do. I guess that will change at some point, but it’s very cool for now. Between picking up the cake and party supplies, and stopping for a brief visit with Mathias’ family, it was a hectic and tiring day. Patrick and I had lots to do, so found it a little frustrating when Nicholas was still wide awake at 9:30pm and not showing any signs of going to sleep anytime soon, despite the fact that he was exhausted (both boobs were completely empty by this point and having no sleep-inducing effect).
I have been a staunch believer in Attachment Parenting and have done my best to live its ideals, especially of Emotional Responsiveness. Basically, I respond to Nicholas immediately when he cries. Tonight I did not AP my child – I “succumbed” to the “Cry It Out” method. Notice that succumbed is in quotation marks … that implies that I did something I really didn’t want to ever do because I perceive it to be “bad” or “wrong”. I’m not saying it’s wrong for you non-AP parents, but it’s definitely wrong for me. Besides, it has never worked with Nicholas – if he doesn’t want to be in the crib, he DOES NOT want to be there – time will not “help” him change his mind.
Time for an eye-opener. Or a refresher of what I perceive AP and CIO to be … he was settled and sleeping within 4 minutes. Hmmm … so what I’ve learned here is that putting him in the crib and hearing him cry for a few minutes (when I know he’s extremely tired and desperately needs to sleep) doesn’t necessarily make me a horrible, love-withholding parent. In fact, it quite possibly makes me a parent who is so in tune with my child that I give him what he needs (even if he doesn’t realize it). Oh dear, flashbacks to my mother “knowing best”! My mum is actually able to put Nicholas to sleep by just holding him in her arms and talking/singing to him … I wish I could do that, but my role is completely different. I’m the milk factory.
Which reminds me … I saw the doc at a walk-in clinic today about my sore throat – she was quite adamant that I should stop breastfeeding him now that he’s a year old. I respect her opinion, but was quite annoyed when she pushed the issue for the 4th time during my visit … after I had politely said 3 times that I fully intend to continue until he’s ready to stop. One of our other stops was to do his monthly weigh-in at the Health Unit (he’s still just under 25 lbs) and we were blessed to be able to visit with Debbie (she’s often out on calls when we’re there) who encourage me to continue as long as I/he wants. Just after we finished telling her that he’s started taking his first steps (he took 5 steps at Danika’s party last weekend), he decided to show her by walking clear across the waiting room (about 10 steps total). It was all him – we didn’t ask it of him and we were all stunned to see him do it. Man, I wish we’d had the DVD-cam out and ready – we’ve missed a bunch of those little walks now. I think spending time with Danika is really having an impact on him – he’s climbing and becoming so much more physically active – having an older kid to watch is definitely rubbing off.