I had a moment today that I need to write about. It is not the first time this flash of insight has hit me. In the midst of watching LP play outside with other kids I had that reoccurring thought: “I don’t know what I’m doing!”
Most of my time as a parent so far has been so focused on being in the moment and making it to the next moment, so there is rarely time to reflect or even step back from my (or the G-man’s) actions. But every once in a while some part of my consciousness wakes up and reminds me that I really don’t know the first thing about raising a child. While me and the G-man are pretty good at feeding him and changing him, the finer points of child-rearing (such as discipline, setting expectations, etc.) scare the living crap out of me. Often I feel like we’re making it up as we go along, or trying to follow-through on a plan that doesn’t seem like a great idea anymore. I’m used to having these problems in my classroom but with my own child the stakes are much higher. So when the “I don’t know what I’m doing” thought hit, I always feel like I just stepped of the edge of a cliff, and I’m falling into an abyss.
But the more I have this feeling and the more I talk to other parents, the more I realize that none of us really know what we are doing. Sure, we know what the current parenting experts think, and we know how we were raised, but really we are all just making it up as we go along. And my parents did the same thing. And their parents probably did as well.
I’m starting to think that no ones’ parents really know/knew what the hell they are/were doing. I just hope that stumbling along with love, compassion and humility is good enough.
LP’s Stuff (and Food!)
Tonight was taco night, and LP had a blast! We make tacos with soy chorizo from Trader Joes, refried black beans (from a can or homemade – depends on if black beans are already cooked) lettuce, tomatoes and avocado. LP got a little plate with all the fixings, and he had a blast and ate a ton. The refried beans were eaten one huge fingerful at a time and he was able to scoop out his half of an avocado with a spoon all by himself. He was a total beany mess afterwards, but he was nourished and entertained, so all was well! He is getting better and better at using his spoon and fork every day, and he usually wants a regular cup instead of a sippy cup when the people around him are using one. I think our little guy is growing up, at least where eating and drinking are concerned! However, we are still making him wait a few more years before he gets his hands on one of those beer bottles he is always reaching for.