So my baby is in intense teething mode. I was mentally prepared to hold her if she ever cried and soothe her with nursing but I was not prepared for days like today. After Gymboree, it took me an hour to get her in her car seat. One hour! I tried singing, nursing, playing, giving her anything she pointed to... nothing worked for longer than a few seconds. There was no way to put her in her seat. At one desperate point, I tried to strong-arm it and bend her into the seat by going back behind the knees, but that didn't work either. She now weighs more than a quarter of what I weigh so I was no match for her strength and will. Honestly, I don't want to be a match for her. I don't want to fight her. I did lose it for a minute and start to raise my voice while I tried to force her in, but then I thought, "Wait a minute. I could scream and freak her out and force her into submission that way or I can try to calm her down, soothe whatever awful feelings she was having at the moment, stay calm and BE THERE for her." That thought was a major splash of cold water. So I took a deep breath and did just that. It still took a bit and at the end of all of that I wanted to curl up into a ball in bed and cry, but at least I had no regrets.
It happened again after picking up our produce at the farmer's market. It took 25 minutes that time but was just as challenging. I was about to lose it again. I nursed her and when she fell asleep, I put her in her seat and began to drive to my husband's place for some comfort. On the drive there I thought about these words in the book I am currently reading... "a parent can only give their children the same amount of love and attention they were given." I refuse for that to be true in my life. Sure my mom loved us but that generation and the ones before had no idea how to parent. There was no respect for children there. Smacking, slapping, cursing, igoring, yelling... All of that under the guise of "discipline". Riiiiight. I could do exactly what my mom did bc that's the easy way. We were imprinted and conditioned with those faulty coping skills and it's easy to default to that. However, I choose to end that cycle of madness. One big episode of losing my patience and irrational behavior is all it takes to lose my child's trust. And I choose for my child to not have to go through years of therapy and emotional/body work to simply feel the way she was supposed to feel: innocent, happy and free.