15 February 2006

Less is more

My dear husband has argued from time to time that I baby my babies (and maybe my mother-in-law agrees since she sent me an autographed copy of "Confessions of a Slacker Mom" for Christmas). I think he is right to an extent. I enjoy doing things for them that maybe I don't NEED to. I wonder if there is anything wrong with it, though? Unless of course I am still wiping them when they're 8 years old. Granted, I tie my 6 year old's shoes for her knowing full well she could be learning to do so on her own. I still cut up my almost 4 year old's food at dinner so he won't choke (he's a mouth stuffer). My 1 year old cannot resist climbing all over my slowly diminishing lap the minute I sit down on the sofa and could probably stand to learn some independence from me. These are the times when this accusation most often comes up, and usually while I am giving him the "help me, please" look (which is not usually met with help, unless there are tears; afterall I made this bed).

Okay, so I love my children. A LOT. I mean, I can't help it! They are the cutest, sweetest, most amazing children in the world and I would do anything for them! And until all their decadent glorious chub has been taken over by preschoolian metabolism it's virtually impossible not to devour them (funny there's such a strong correlation to food here, lol). There's a bonus in this outpouring of love, though - they are very affectionate and thoughtful little people... And not just towards me and daddy, but their friends and relatives, even children they meet on the sand. It really is one of their most outstanding features.

Perhaps some of my babying stems from having an overbearing mother (though I'd like to think I've made some incredibly necessary improvements on her example). With the best of intentions, she would embellish our school projects long after we'd gone to bed (yeah, I know), pick out our well matched school clothes (I'm talking well into our elementary years) , get each and every sniffle diagnosed right away, make sure we had the best calculators, dictionaries, books or any other school supply and tool. On the flipside she was extremely demanding, accepting no less than perfection, but that is a different discussion entirely and the part that I have definitely improved upon. :-)

Anyway, my point is, maybe it is time to back off a bit. Be more of a "Bring-it-on" mom (as per
this quiz). See what happens. Chances are they'll be fine without me tucking in their shirts 10 times a day, right? Lol. I mean, I wanted so badly to let Drew rip into that frosted cookie at Jonah's class party yesterday, but instead I folded it up neatly in a napkin and waited until we could go home. And strip down. And put his highchair out on the backporch. Who knows, this could lead to really great non-OCD, therapeutic adventures, like the delightful feeling of peanut butter all over your body (see MOF Linsey's son - and btw, I could learn a lot from you girl!). And I wouldn't have a conniption over it, but rather take the time to capture the moment on film and laugh about it later.

I really do need to have some of those moments to blackmail them with later anyway, right?



Rachelle said...

Blackmail is always good. But I have to admit, I know Cam can hold his bottle, but I do it anyway just so I can be close to him. It's a parent thing I guess. Of course, I do neglect him to play on the computer, so maybe it all balances out?!

emlouisa said...

Lei--the more I know about you the more I believe we are cut from the same mold. lol!

I have the same problem with my kids!

Linsey said...

Thanks, Lei! =)
I think there is a happy balance...somewhere, if you find it let me know! Anyway, I drive my husband batty with how much I baby my kids, he thinks I coddle, I think I love like crazy. Now is my chance, now they will let me, one day they may not. And I agree, my kids are such affectionate and thoughtful little people. But with messes, we do differ...obviously;-)
I feel like on the the days I follow them around with a wet wipe, or change their clothes when they spill, I feel like I am taking some of the adventure out of the day. Like they had a little less fun exploring, so we pay with big messes, but they sure learn fun things!