I think, as a parent, most of the time, you really don't know if you're doing a good job or not. In fact, being me, most of the time, I'm pretty sure I'm screwing the kids up in ways I can't even imagine yet. But every now and again, I see actual tangible results, and the pleasure I feel is huge.
As many of you know (you know, the three people I know of that actually read this blog), I've been struggling with extended nursing. It wasn't necessarily a path I wanted to walk, but it is the path that Sam has planted himself along, so I'm doing my best to work thru it. It's been really difficult, in terms of family support (non-existant), pregnancy (suffice it to say - remember those first weeks of nursing, when it just hurt and you'd have to do lamaze breathing just to get thru it - that's NOTHING compared to nursing while pregnant). Sam's started skipping his nap (he's almost three and a half, so I guess it had to happen sometime) and (miracle of all miracles) has started falling asleep at night, cuddled up in DADDY'S arms - NOT NURSING. I can actually see the end of the tunnel now - the main nursing sessions that I couldn't talk him out of where nursing to sleep. He still nurses on occasion - but it's nowhere near as frequent, and I think we've at last managed to break the habit of needing it to sleep. THANK GOD! It actually worked - letting him wean on his own DID NOT mean letting him nurse until he was 30, despite what everyone in my family thinks. I'm psyched that we're finally making concrete progress on this matter ;-)
Miss Jess is one of those kids who just doesn't LIKE going to school. Likes school, but doesn't like the process of getting up and dressed and out the door. And many, many mornings, she lobbies to stay home. Claiming an upset stomach, or sore throat, or her ankle hurts (it's random stuff - I know she's just throwing it out there to see if I'll bite). Today was one of those mornings. Complicated by the fact that I actually AM sick - sneezing, coughing, lungs congested, I feel awful. And I was so not up for the fight this morning - because there have been days when Marc has had to drag her out the door, crying and wailing (not that she's not FINE by the time they get there - but I have a drama queen, and she's well aware of how easy it is to make me feel guilty). I just couldn't do it this morning, I didn't feel well enough for the fight - and after about five minutes of it, I called her into the living room, and told her that I knew she wasn't sick, but I didn't feel good enough to fight her on it. So she could stay home - but that going to school was her job, and her responsiblity, and I would be very disappointed if she chose to take advantage of the fact that I was too sick to force her to go. She slammed back into her bedroom, and my heart was sinking - because I knew that she'd choose to stay home. BUT SHE DIDN'T. She came out and asked for help picking out clothes, got herself dressed, ate breakfast and left with an extra hug and I'm so proud of her for making the right decision. It was definitely another moment when I felt like all my struggles to teach her responsibility and compassion were working - when the chips were down, and it was totally up to her, she made the right decision.
It's a good day here - now if I could only take a deep breath without coughing...