August 29, 1999

The Bottom Line

It's been well over a week since I updated. Part of this is because of my usual procrastination, and part because of depression. These are reasons, rather than excuses. I try not to make excuses if I can help it.

I didn't think I had much to write about but the truth was closer to, I didn't feel like writing about anything. I felt more like crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head.

For once it's not a vague unfocused type of unease.. I do have a couple of tangible problems which I can do nothing or very little about. These don't involve anyone's health, thankfully.. but are very troubling. I think a week is long enough to wallow, (actually, TOO long) so it's back to the notepad even if only for a whiny ramble. Must get back up on the horse.. or something..

We did have rather a busy weekend when our niece and nephew from NY and their baby came to stay with us last week. Baby is 19 months old (a girl) and of course adorable. Also very clever and very active. My sons had a great time with her and did more than their share of the constant supervision. I had forgotten how utterly exhausting it is to care for a toddler. Even though very little of the responsibility fell to me, I was wiped out just watching the others chase her around. I tried to clear the breakable and dangerous objects out of her reach but still the house was far from child-proof.

She is a very cheerful baby and wants to learn during every single waking second. She also knows what she wants and that her parents will most likely provide it.. ie, she is the boss of the house. I can understand how that happened.. this was a baby that was very wanted for a very long time, and that we doubted would ever happen. However, SHE (the baby) doesn't know that (yet). All she knows is, if she won't eat what they want her to eat, she gets froot loops and pop tarts.

This is upsetting to me, who didn't introduce my older son to sweets till he was well over two (easier with the first child!) and who has no compunctions about letting them NOT eat if they don't want to eat. I firmly believe no child will starve themselves (at that age, anyway) and that eventually they will be hungry enough to choose between the healthy foods offered to them. I would never force a child to eat any ONE particular food, but let them choose between foods acceptable to me.

Since we are close with the niece and nephew, we did end up discussing this a bit with them (since THEY brought it up) and gently telling them how we (hubby and I) felt.. they are aware they are spoiling her but are NOT aware that they are doing her a disservice. And that to me is the bottom line.


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