Sunday, February 22, 2009

Taking the Easy Path

I am often viewed with mild amusement or downright astonishment when people take the time to discuss my parenting style. Now mind you they have usually all ready met my kids and enjoyed them. But they find the fact that I am a proponent of co-sleeping um well weird is probably the kindest expression that would come to light. LOL They think the fact that I carry my children in a rebozo or sling for years is a tad odd. (didn't I hear of strollers?) And most of my friends seem to believe that the best way to get a child used to something that frightens them or makes them unhappy is to just expose them to it and walk away. I am not referring to a dangerous situation. These aren't demons, just "normal" parents.

For instance for some bizarre reason my children hate the nursery at church. I have no idea why. The woman who works there is really nice and unless she grows horns and fangs when the adults leave she seems like someone children would be comfortable with. And most kids are. Just not mine. KC would cry when I left him there as a child. "Oh he'll stop as soon as you leave," I was assured. Yeah right. 10 minutes later there was the caregiver standing in the sanctuary with my desparately sobbing son. He would burrow his face into my chest and heave these wracking sighs. It was not pretty. I felt like I had abandoned him somehow. Yet stupidly I tried it again 6 months later and had the same result. After that, he just sat in church with me. Now KC is a child who has a great ability to be quiet. As an infant, he just slept or sucked his pacifier. As a toddler, a small notepad and a few crayons and he is good to go. The fact that there is a lot of music in our services helps greatly; he loves all kinds of music. So basically from newborn to age 4 he sat in the sanctuary. People used to ask me why I was "making him" stay there. Wasn't he bored? Why didn'tI just let him cry it out? I don't have words (polite ones) anyway to answer stupid questions like that. Because to me, I have worked so hard to have the privilege of being a parent that I can't imagine making my child be where they don't feel safe and happy. And to say that to someone comes off, um really badly to put it mildly.

This year I decided I needed to help KC get comfortable with a religious education class room. He is so bright and he had now reached the age where making friends with peers was more important. And he would be able to learn and do things, it wasn't just child care. Of course, he didn't want me out of the room. Again I was counselled to leave him there to tough it out. Again I ignored my well meaning friends. I helped in the classroom from September to December. Then in January I started staying for the first half and leaving when the story part was over and they were starting their craft time. Today I could leave before the story was quite done so I still even heard the sermon in the sanctuary.

Lissa like her big brother also hates the nursery. Unlike him, she is not a quiet placid little soul and could be disruptive in the sanctuary, but I can also think of a few ways to make it work. However I could not bring her to KC's classroom, so she has been staying home with Kirsty while i take the other 3 to church. She now has noticed and cries when we leave. KC wants her to come with us. I would love that but explained that while he needs me in his class room I need to have Mama stay with sissy. When he is ready for me to just walk him to his room, then I can bring Lissa and we will work on teaching her about church too. He looked quite interested in that, so we will see if that is the carrot needed for ultimately walking into class on his own!

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