Asking for help has always been hard for me. For some reason I have often seen asking for help as a sign of weakness. I have overcome this feeling more and in my professional life, but it is still difficult for me to ask for help in my personal life. I think that I can lift things by myself that I really can’t (which lead to no end of people yelling at me when I was pregnant). I assume responsibility for watching my son and cooking a meal at the same time when the G-man is actually available to help – but I don’t want to ask. We have marvelous friends and neighbors that offer to baby-sit, but I don’t want to ask when we need it, because I don’t want to feel like I am relying on someone else. I know that this is ridiculous, but it is the way I think. I’m trying to get over it because I know that it truly takes a village to raise a child, and my child is no exception. So I’m going to try and ask for help at least once a week, even if it is just asking the G-man to watch our little guy, or asking a neighbor to listen to the baby monitor while the G-man and I go out at night. And I’m going to try and remember that asking for this help is a strength, not a weakness.
One of the reasons I’m writing about the difficulty I have asking for help is because LP is starting to refuse our help – but in a good way! As LP does more and more tasks on his own he also wants to be more and more independent. He has never been one for hand-holding (literally and figuratively) but now he wants to do more and more things by himself. He has been able to go down stairs by crawling backwards for a while, but recently he has figured out how to use the banister to get down the first few stairs in our house. But he definitely doesn’t want our help doing it. He makes sure I’m standing several steps below him before he starts walking down, and he stops and shakes my hand off if I try and help him. LP also wants to be in charge of his food. Just yesterday he was enjoying some greens and caramelized onion pizza, but he did not want the G-man to cut up pieces for him. Instead he enjoyed the whole slice while walking around at his leisure.
LP isn’t talking much (although he does now say “ha” for “hot”) but he communicates with us just fine. He has signs to tell us his very important desires such as when he is done with his dinner, when he wants us to remove his tray, when he wants a snack or a drink or when he wants us to sing his “little frog” song. LP enjoyed his first music class a lot last week and the “little frog” song has become his favorite – possibly because it involves mommy making a loud burp sound at the end. The G-man can’t wait to take him to his next music class tomorrow (while I am stuck in mandatory teacher training – boo!)
One of the aspects of vegan parenthood that has become a big part of our lives is fat. Not avoiding it – getting it! Growing kids need a lot of fat both to get enough calories and also brain development. Babies are supposed to have lots of fat, and parents are often told to give them cheese, whole milk and other high-fat food. As a vegan parent these are not really good options, for a number of reason. So, we have a different fat-dispensing system that we think is a bit better that the advice our nutritionist gave us (deep fry his food!). We put coconut milk and creamed coconut in LP’s smoothies and we feed him avocados on a regular basis. We also still give him formula (we probably will until he is two) but we add in DHA-enriched soymilk to it. And he is still growing well, and developing quite nicely if I do say so myself 😉