Thursday, March 18, 2010

Parental Pat on the Back

Every parent needs a pat on the back every so often. And if nobody else is going to give you one, you may as well give it to yourself. We are all our own harshest critics, but if you can find it within yourself to feel good about one little thing each day, then you are probably doing a much better job than you realise.

This sounds like a good idea for a meme doesn't it? I may or may not repeat this at regular or irregular intervals; let's just see what happens.

Here is my pat on the back for today. This morning I took Cave Baby to buy new shoes. Sounds easy? It would have been, had I not made the mistake a month ago of taking her to buy shoes when she was feeling poorly. The mere sight of the shoe measuring lady turned her into a screaming animal. We left without shoes but with a new found fear of foot measurers.

So, on to today. I had waited long enough since shoe-gate that I thought she might have forgotten all about it. Not so. Once again the crying started the minute the innocent-looking measuring device was produced. I thought we could maybe Face The Fear And Do It Anyway so I encouraged the lady to measure her feet despite the crying. We got a rough idea of her size, but she was left thoroughly traumatised by the event. Not wanting to give up, I let the lady fetch some shoes while I did my best to calm her down. We tried a bit of nursing first (I'll get my boobs out anywhere nowadays). That got her quiet until the new shoes appeared. Shoe trying was definitely not going to happen with her in that state, so I pulled out all the tactics at my disposal: carrying her around the shop, talking to old ladies, looking in the mirrors, bouncing on the chairs, taking her outside - you know the drill. Eventually, after a good 20 minutes, I managed to get her to sit on my knee, near the new shoes, without bursting into tears.

We continued to persevere, and after another 10 minutes I managed to get shoes on her and get her to walk in them! It was slow going, but my baby managed to try on about four pairs without complaining. And much to my horror, she took a shine to the garish purple patent ones with lights that flash when you walk.

So why am I proud of this? Well I could have given up again, but we managed to navigate this little shoe buying storm and by the end of the visit she didn't want to leave the shop. It may have taken an hour, but I guided her through an event which, to her, was frightening. She's delighted with her new shoes and I hope that next time she will remember that there is a reward at the end of the process. And did I buy her the tasteful brown pair with funky pink stitching? Did I heck. I went for the yucky purple patent flashy ones. They're for her, not me, and I respect her wishes.

Just think for a minute, and I bet you can come up with something parenting-related that you did this week that you're proud of. I'd love it if you told me in the comments, and it might just make you feel good too!


Earthenwitch said...

I had a similar experience of shoe-buying first time around, and a similar resolution, so this was a nice read for me. :)

This week's parental pat on the back has been our continued adventures in baby-led weaning, and the fact that the small girl will eat pretty much anything you put in front of her, even when very distracted by the presence of visiting grandma, who expressed astonishment at her lapping-up of various things. I'm so chuffed that we've managed never to be uptight about food with her, even when she went through various 'I don't like ANY OF IT!' *cue lobbing on floor* phrases.

Hope this is a recurrent one - you're quite right about a pat on the back being rather nice. :)

Becks said...

We had a similar problem with one of our boys a while ago. Dad ended up with a new pair of shoes too, just to make the experience a little less upsetting for Owen.
Our parental pat on the back would be for my decision last night to go to bed at 8pm with my poorly 3 year old and 9 month old and spend the whole night there with them, allowing them complete access to sleep and the breast as they needed. Yes, so an early night isn't such a hardship but to do that I had to ignore the dishes, the washing, the pile of nappies, the pigsty/living room, the new book I wanted to read, my supper, and the knitting I wanted to finish.
Well worth it though for two happier calmer little poeple today.

Cave Mother said...

Earthenwitch - it's good to read success stories of BLW. A friend is struggling with getting her baby to eat at the moment, and though I'm always saying "Give it time", it's just words really, since Cave Baby was a very good eater all along. But what I'm trying to say is that it's not just words because people like you find that it gets better as you persevere.

Becks- A nice excuse for a new pair of shoes? I might just have to try that one!

Pickle said...

I found your blog from Lisa_C's blog 'my world edenwild' who is my neighbor :) I love this story, I hope I remember this with my ds, 'the shoes are for her not me' I like that a lot!

Jessica said...

I love this post. Partly because I can totally relate, but also because it's a wonderful glimpse into what one would THINK should be a simple task but is actually a VERY common occurrence for a parent.

It's why when given the chance I will happily leave Hollis with his dad to run to the store. It's about 1000x easier when you're not dealing with a little person with the needs of 10 adults crammed into a super-computer of a brain :)

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

Love that you bought the purple ones! I'm often surprised at what I am led to buy now that my little one has a voice of his own. I definitely don't want to ignore that!

And good on you for taking the time to calm her through the traumatic event. You were amazingly patient and loving.