Right, our journey home and assorted random thoughts...
Morgan screamed. She had lost her paper for drawing, she needed a wee, she needed a drink, she needed another wee, she needed to draw in the map book (!), she needed something to eat (which she then dropped), she needed the toilet again. We stopped about every five minutes down the motorway, pulled in on the hard shoulder, frantic screaming toddler unsoothed by anything we could offer. She is intense, wonderful, fascinating, and sometimes utterly unmanageable.
In the end we reminded ourselves that we can do our best to make the circumstances right, but when we've done what we can it's her job to actually stop howling. We can't force her. And we certainly couldn't spend the night on the hard shoulder, where briefly (too briefly) we had respite. Martin was so stressed driving I was worried we wouldn't make it home at all.
So I come on to the ethics of such daily decisions. When is it right to override them and keep going, validate as far as you can but when all is said and done stop trying to fix the screams? I certainly know some parents who buy Continuum Concept philosophy 100%, that naturally a baby would never cry and therefore if they are crying you are doing something wrong. I know one or two who seem to have babies and toddlers who never cry in fact (heavens, Morgan WAS one apart from brief colicky spell - and then she began to walk and screech lol).
And when we are actually talking about a young baby, even there I fail this critera. Colic has been part of our newborn experience every time - with the other two I tried eliminating all sorts from my diet; dairy, wheat, cabbage, onion, garlic, non of it seemed to make any difference. When my babies cry and cry and I can't help them, is it because my helping isn't up to scratch, or because something is wrong that I actually *can't* fix?
There is food for thought here for me though...
About how I can build a climate in my own family of responding and trusting, but actually function when those times arise when I need to decide between the needs of different family members.
About how attachment parenting can become a heavy burden indeed if we tell mothers that babies parented the right way never cry. About striving to meet needs without blaming myself when some needs are unmet (or perhaps in the modern world un-meetable).
About *nurturing* my gentler instincts in moments when I am becoming frustrated because I can't prevent my children from experiencing negative emotions.
About what it is to live with intense little people who don't give up and fall asleep (which in spite of how it sounds I AM grateful for in many ways). About being helplessly present in someone else's distress and knowing that somehow that counts for something anyway.