3 August 2007

Car-seat disputes and the point of slings

We took another day trip with family today, to a Lavender farm (another really nice place) and we had local cream tea in the café. Jenna loves running around with my cousins so much.

I had a bit of a run-in with my uncle though about carrying Morgan in the sling. When we got there she was asleep and he told me I needn’t have woken her by taking her out of the seat, he would have carried the basket. And I said it was no trouble and that I don’t like leaving her in it because they can cause breathing difficulties. He said that he never wakes a sleeping baby and I laughed and said, “there speaks the parent of twins.” And we left it at that.

It didn’t take him long to get back to the topic in hand though. He tried to tell me that I shouldn't carry Morgan so much because she'll get used to it, and I told him that it was a reasonable expectation for a baby that they should get to be close to their parents.

He said, "what about when she's bigger" and I said that Jenna is bigger and doesn't want to be carried all the time. He said, "what about when you need to get things done?" and I repressed the urge to find the Hathor comic about "get something done" being a euphemism for sex and said that I can do necessary things perfectly well with a baby in a sling.

Then he used the word "fussy" and my mum jumped on him to tell him that Morgan hardly ever cries at all and is the most confident baby she's ever cared for. And he tried the word "spoilt" and I told him firmly that if trusting that God designed babies perfectly so that they are capable of knowing what they need is spoiling them then I certainly intend to go on doing so (he's a Vicar). And he went into a sulk because I had talked back to him!

The thing that lets me get things done the best is back wrapping the baby so that she can see what I'm doing. But then I cleaned the oven a couple of weeks ago for the first time in months, with Morgan on my hip in a ring sling so it is possible with practice. I think we just operate under totally different parenting paradigms. He believes that children need to be taught to be adults, I believe that children grow up whatever we go or don’t do and that I should probably get some sneaky cuddles in now while I still can.

So I’ve been working on my Principles of Parenting. Perhaps they’ll make it online one day. The first one is this: Babies are fully human and essentially honest. That has pretty profound implications for how we treat them, doesn’t it?

PS – For those who NEEED the Hathor comic, here it is. http://www.thecowgoddess.com/?cat=7

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