Today marks four months since I started this blog and Nolin came into our lives. It has been four months filled with learning, growing up and a lot of funny stories. This past weekend, Jenn decided to look online to find out exactly what parents and children should be doing at four months old.
Jenn scrolled down the list and started naming developmental milestones. She called out “the child can hold his head high and raise his body while on his stomach”…check he’s been doing that for a while in fact he’d love to start running if he could just figure out his legs. She also read that at four months the baby begins to show a clear preference for caregivers. While Nolin is comfortable with other’s he is a big fan of mom and dad (which I have to admit is pretty awesome). The list also said now you should start reading brightly colored books to your child. Jenn pretty much started that at week one and now his room resembles a library with such classics as That’s Not My Monster, Let George Do It (a literary classic by George Foreman) and several foreign language books that I bought because I thought they were written in Spanish and clearly are not.
Then she came across one that said encourage your baby to console himself by putting your child to bed awake…insert record skipping sound effect. Well we really haven’t done that, and haven’t thought to because Nolin is such a good sleeper. Oh well if it is on the Internet, it must be correct, right?!
I have since learned there are a few things wrong with this developmental milestone and the people who created it. First it was created by someone who clearly thought torturing kids is an enjoyable pastime. Second it was developed by someone who didn’t live in an open floor plan house where the murderous screams from your child echoes your lack of parental nurturing skills loud and clear. Third, they must not have invested in a fancy video monitor so that besides simply hearing your child scream, you can watch the horror unfold on a tiny black & white screen.
Last night, we put Nolin to bed and the crying began which is already unnerving since typically our child is laughing and not crying. We were bound and determined to be strong. We closed the door to his bedroom, turned the volume down on the baby monitor, went downstairs and turned the TV volume up. Jenn and I didn’t look at each other, but rather focused all of our attention on the season premiere of How I Met Your Mother.
Then like a page torn from The Tell Tale Heart we started hearing cries in the background of the TV show. I looked over at Pancake and he seemed to be crying. I started to think I was going crazy. And then I glanced over at the baby monitor and while the speakers weren’t distorting from the piercing screams, the little light gauge at the top was completely floored on red. That’s right, thanks to technology you no longer just have to listen to your child’s discomfort, they give you a light indicator to let you know how bad of a parent you are.
Well I am happy to say that Jenn and I were able to stay strong. We only went upstairs to his room twice to give him his pacifier and then immediately walked back out. So what if that was in the span of ten minutes, and so what if I finally walked upstairs during the first commercial break to rock him back to sleep. With my method, he fell asleep in two minutes and slept until almost 5am. Therefore, I am inclined to say that I think that my way was infinitely better.
Plus Jenn and I decided that last night he was still only three months old…and there is really no need to push developmental milestones early.