Monday, November 17, 2008

Leave it to me...

I've mentioned that I have an obsessive lil' noggin, right? Yup, it's true. So, leave it to me to turn a perfectly perfect night into a complete disaster because I obsessed myself into thinking that something perfectly perfect, perhaps, was not. I like to research things. I enjoy reading. I'm also a bit of a perfectionist in compartmentalized areas. Here's the problem: I got myself on an "attachment" phase. Yes, we are now SUPER attachers. We are basically either testing the attachment (adhering to all codes of ethics) or working on attachment building exercises. Last night's experiment went slightly awry, so I'll share.
Background info:
My son is a flirt. He likes socialization. A LOT. Jude prefers me when he hurts himself, is hungry, wants something, or to give kisses and hugs. But, if he's not needing me, and someone else he feels comfortable with is around, he'll let me know. He thinks nothing of telling me to back off.
So, I read. I think it's because I work full-time. It must be because he thinks he's "on his own" and needs to be friendly with everyone. I feel guilt and I get teary and panicky. If I didn't obsess, I'd honestly be in heaven. He loves me (and it's not just a one-sided "I love him so much I think he MUST love me back" love). What we've got is real and it's passionate.
BUT, I read and worry. Too much. Too obsessively. I want to be a better mom. I want to be perfect (which is obviously ridiculous).
SO, I try to convince Tommy last night (it took a very long time) that it's WRONG, VERY WRONG, that our baby sleeps through the night. WHAT IF, seriously, WHAT IF, JUDE doesn't think we are available to him during the night (thus, seriously compromising our attachment being secure). So, I decide, quite passionately that we (a) need to start stalking our child during the night, so that if he happens to wake he sees us, (b) need to co-sleep if the stalking happens to wake him up.
Oh, I have a lot more cerebral attachment crap going on, this is just what can be accomplished while our child is unconscious. Mind you, I do not have a meek child. Jude speaks his mind and even knows how to play me. I even know his baby style, ever so slightly manipulative "mama" that's for requesting bottles and when daddy's changing his diaper vs. the super sweet "mama" when he wants to give me sugar. I also know the demanding "mama" when I haven't met his needs quickly enough (he's still training me).
We went to bed. At 2:00 AM I hear Jude cough (I hope it's not due to the smoke, poor SoCal). No, it's not a terrible cough. It sounds shallow, harmless and not continuous. Regardless, we are on attachment mode, so I wake Tommy to create a plan. Our child is uncomfortable. It is NOW the perfect time to let Judah know we are there for him. Whenever he wants.
Tommy finally guesses, "should I wake him?"
I reply, "if you want." (read: if you want to be a good ATTACHED parent...although, it was never discussed that JUDE'S MOM, the one with the issues, wake her poor child. Remember: this is a 2:00 AM plan).
The GOOD parent goes in. He gently rubs Jude's back. Jude wakes, smiles and puts his hands up. Tommy takes him to our bed. Jude thinks it's morning. He laughs and plays. Then, since it's the middle of the night, he gets annoyed. Jude asks for his bottle. We've created a baby with edge. He's screaming the demanding "mama"...He's crazy tired. It took hours to put him back to bed.
Point: If YOU are thinking about waking your sleeping baby, DON'T. Babies apparently need their sleep. Tip: Just hang out with them while they are awake. Your husband and child will like you much better.


Celeste Flores said...

first, i've observed you in action and i think you're both fantastic parents. second, you know my background is in psychology right? okay. what you have on your hands is a securely attached child (he plays comfortably and reacts well to strangers when you guys are present. in all liklihood he wouldn't be easily comforted by a total stranger; he prefers you for this). he's not anxious/avoidantly attached(indifferent to you guys and equally likely to be comforted by a stranger). he's also not anxious/resistantly attached (anxious around everyone even when you're there.) you know what this means? that you're doing your jobs, and doing them well. a securely attached child is a happy and well-adjusted child. :D so kudos!

Jocelyn said...

You crack me up:-) That's all I have to say!!

Lea said...

Danielle- You crazy cat!!

Let the poor boy sleep! I am laughing so hard my side hurts!!

Lori said...

Oh Danni! This is hilarious! I think we might be related because our minds work very similarly!

That little Judah! Oh, little man!

It's obvious why you can't keep your hands off of him! :)

Rebecca said...

Your story IS hilarious! It's good to know that you have a sweet husband who is willing to do whatever you think is best for your child...even if you find out later that maybe it's not so great :)

nana said...

Oh, well. Experience is the teacher. Lesson learned! I love that you share these treasured memories. Love Nana.

Heather said...

Ahahahahahaha. The facebook dialogue makes SO much more sense now. Poor crazy Walker family.

jen said...

Danni this is so sweet! I'm serious, I think you have the best heart. And, Tommy, good job supporting the sweet mama.

J'Laine said...

You are both amazing parents...I do love the story and have my own ways of obsessing..and creating trouble for myself...

I love your makes me feel less crazy!