Almost Parenting

08 Feb
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I’m fascinated watching my son. He’s on his stomach, supported by his hands, and reaching for a toy. He can’t crawl yet, but he’s well on his way there; he picks up his knees, scrunches his body, reaches forward, rocks. But he can’t do it yet.

So he’s reaching for the toy, and his fingertips keep grazing it, but not enough to get a grasp of it. I stand there, watching, fascinated, for about 5 minutes until he manipulates himself enough to reach it. I was so proud, and I knew then what it meant to shep nachas.

But seriously, the whole time I was watching I was sorely tempted to just give it to him. He wanted it, he couldn’t reach it, why watch him struggle when I can just make it easier and give it to him. It was very easy to counter that logic; he needs to learn, and try, and struggle, or he’ll never learn, or reach any developmental milestones if I just hand everything to him. I’m sure most mother’s would agree that I did the right thing by letting my kid do it all by himself, even if there was a kvetch or two along the way.

So why is parenting so clear and straightforward when our children are infants, but when they get older we just lose our way?


Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Parenting


Tags: , , , , ,

3 responses to “Almost Parenting

  1. Mystery Woman

    February 9, 2011 at 11:20 am

    It doesn’t change all that much as they get older. They still struggle, and we still wonder how involved we should be. But their struggles are bigger. And for us, the right thing isn’t always so clear.

  2. Princess Lea

    February 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    It’s not so clear cut when they’re infants. Plenty of mothers never put down the baby, or can’t stand to hear them cry so they never learn to sleep through the night, or rush to get them every single thing. Enough mothers would have given him the toy.

    Right now, he’s your creature. He lights up when he sees you, can only be comforted by you, has eyes only for you. When they get older, and start becoming their own beings, that’s when it gets more complicated.

    But one thing I’ve learned from observation: never stop screaming. Even Rabbi Yisroel Reisman is okay with that.

  3. jen

    February 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    lea – never stop screaming?


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