Which came first? The parent self-help books such as The No Cry Sleep Solution (useless), Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby (irritating) or parents who were sure they didn't know how to parent? I suspect the former fed the latter once the 60's rolled around and parenting a la Betty Draper went out of fashion (seriously, could it kill her to pick up her child?). I am not alone in second-guessing myself, but holy moly, what a waste of time and energy. A baby is an individual. As a teacher, I should recognize that Lentil will develop at her pace. Still, when all the babies was sitting up strong, and Lentil was propped against me, I went into sitting-up-bootcamp (we did this for tummy time, too).
I find that when she starts achieving a new milestone, I sometimes back off on support, but she slips back a bit.
Although I would like to be the kind of person who does not compare her child to another, I concede there are periods when I can't help myself. When Speed Racer and Cindy Lou Who were crawling but Lentil's preferred method of transport was the roll, I wondered if everything was okay (it was). She was still eating mixed purees when they had moved onto soft chunks. Was I failing my child?
This crazy time passed, but not without long conversations with Mister and my inner voice about our Lentil strategy. It helps that Mister and I are on the same page for most of our decisions. We deviate over things like activity centers — I want them! He isn't so sure. But we individually push her in different ways, too, which I think helps her development.
Rather then compare her to the other babies, I decided to take the glass half full route and take what applies to us from the other babies. Should we try big slices of plum? Yes. Should we experiment with walking around the coffee table? You bet. ut her needs are her own. She has gag reflex that sets in with certain textures and foods so I'm a little more cautious with how I cut things up.
Ultimately, we'll be fine. As my friend Mac pointed out yesterday, all of these babies are growing up secure and safe, and will likely be assertive and confident later. They all know that they can take chances with new tastes, new experiences, new movements, and if they bump or bonk or barf, a mama or a papa is there to support them and help them through it. I can see with Lentil's excitement at the museum, her delight in other people that she is not lacking for confidence or happiness.
(I still can't wait for her to walk!)