Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rule #2: No More Tears

This chapter discusses crying and tantrums (not yours, but the baby's).  Rule #2 states, "The attentive mother is one who can anticipate a child's needs at every turn."  In other words, if your baby is bawling, it is due to your motherly shortcomings...their words, not mine.

Everyone feels like crying sometimes, especially babies and new mothers.  They have a lot to cry about.  Its difficult to maintain a happy disposition when you are sleep deprived and your bottom hurts (i.e. childbirth for you, diaper rash for him). 

As far as "anticipating" your baby's needs, well, you can attempt to do that by checking the baby's diaper on a regular basis and remembering to feed him or her.  It also helps to keep them on a schedule.  But, crying and tantrums will continue to occur from time to time. 

For example, both of my children cry daily.  The teenager's crying is usually the result of an argument with her boyfriend, because she has gained weight and "hates her body", or because she is grounded and must endure riding the school bus, where the "little people touch her".  There is no way that I can anticipate any of these things because they are all the result of her own behavior or attitude.

The little one's tears are usually more justified.  She cries because she is teething (we are cutting the last two right now!) or has a booboo of some sort.  Lately though, she cries when someone else has something that she desires or someone is touching her.  Both result in huge crocodile tears and tattling.  I am not good at anticipating these latter two situations.

Some things are just beyond the control of mothers.  Kids cry.  It is our job to console them when they do, but it is not always possible to anticipate the tears or tantrums.  I have plenty of personal shortcomings without adding this to my list.  I'm sure you do too, so let's not beat ourselves up over this one.

I can't help but to be reminded of two of my own mother's expressions when I was reduced to tears or a tantrum as as child:

"Dry it up"
"Do you want me to give you something to cry about?"

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