Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Delightful Twos?

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Last year I practically wrote a white paper on why I love Babywise, so I won't repeat myself too much here.  Let's just say, I heart Babywise and can't imagine following any other method because it's all about common sense, consistency, and doing what's best for your family in the long run.  

My daughter is now 2 years old (25 mos) and is simply: Delightful.  My husband and I often marvel at how clever, happy and nice she is.  Of course she's TWO and there are lots of moments, but as I said last year, it's how she handles those moments and how quickly they pass.  There are no big tantrums at the store.  There are no screams at bedtime.  There's no negotiating with a toddler.  Babywise taught us the importance of consistent eating and sleeping habits, which led us into consistent expectations with behavior, play, manners, etc., etc. We are still very regular with eating and sleeping that if we are off, that's when we see the crankiness - or when she's sick.  It's so nice to be able to tell, no this isn't normal, something's off and realize she has a cold or oops, I should have given her a snack.  Following BW gave us the the ability to better know what a cry meant as a baby, and now what certain behavior may mean as a toddler.  I can only imagine the approach will help into childhood and beyond.

I really feel that because we have such a steady and reliable routine, that my DD is more alert and available to learn, play on her own, use her imagination, etc.  She has  remarkable conversational skills and sense of humor for a 2 year old.  Of course, we think she's a hilarious genius (LOL) but it's evident that she is developing really well both physically and mentally.  She's got a pair of loving parents, lots of healthy food, and a relatively comfortable life which of course make a big difference for a child, but I would suggest following the Babywise approach has made her thrive and has made parenting less stressful and more delightful.  That is quite the opposite of what the BW naysayers might predict (failure to thrive).  No way, dude, as my daughter would say.

Now I wouldn't say that everything is rainbows and unicorns at our house: it takes work, dedication and sacrifice to not only raise a child, but to follow BW.  In the beginning you think you're never going to go anywhere again.  Now for me it's a lot better, but I still have a routine to manage, which can be exhausting.  Always being "on" is something I find tiring.  I think there is less thinking about yourself and more about your child with BW.  Not that you put them at the center of the universe (opposite really), but thinking about their needs more upfront, actually makes everyone's schedule and needs in the family get better met in the end.  I sometimes get questioned about my schedule (You really have to leave the fun playground/family event/whatever for a nap? She doesn't even look tired...) but I also don't have a screaming child that terrorizes grandma's nick knacks, that won't ever sit at the table, or eat what we eat, or ignores what I say, etc.  Going home for a nap is a small price to pay for all that.

Thanks Val for your wonderful blog.  It's really helped me better understand the Babywise principles and put them into practice.  Without you, I really don't think I would have grasped it as well.  Thanks!

Kristin P.

3 comments:

Mrs. Haid said...

I am happy for your success, Karen. I feel envious. My 23 month old has been following the schedule and things changed from what you were describing just in the last two months with the arrival of our newborn daughter. Now we've got crabby, stubborn, and a non-eating Daniel. His naps have never been better, and he does stay in his big boy bed no questions asked. However, I just wanted to pipe in that we are doing all the things we are supposed to be doing according to the book, but... he hasn't read the book. Val, I wish you would have some non-rainbow and sunshine posts and when its HARD and not working even when you are doing all you are supposed to!

Because we had to leave the library today due to a tantrum. I had to carry the 2 year old and 2 month old out and it was awful. Just awful. And I followed all the steps to prevent it, its just how he reacted to my boundaries and rules. I think I was in the funnel still. I wasn't emotional about his choices. But it was bad.

He wasn't a delight.

Kristin said...

Mrs. Haid, Sorry to hear of your hard times. When I wrote this, I was of course focusing on our successes - perhaps I painted too rosy of a picture. Yes, it's hard. I think just the basics of having a kid is hard. As I said, I find it exhausting. Add following BW into the mix, and it makes it even more challenging. And I only have one. You have two with one being a newborn. Good on you! I would imagine that dynamic would cause behavior changes in your toddler. He's now suddenly a 'big boy' when my DD is still the 'baby' - she hasn't had to adjust to anything like that. I know nothing about making that transition, but I'd suppose that it's related and a phase to work through and not about something you can do right or wrong according to a book.

Also, I actually had our first really embarrassing tantrum episode at the grocery store just last weekend. Picture me holding a crying, squirming toddler in my arms trying to push a full cart with one hand (the kind with little kiddie car in the front no less!) crashing down the aisle to go pay. I actually laughed at myself. Oh well. I expect those moments, but I don't expect them all the time.

Kristin P.

Plowmanators said...

Mrs. Haid, I do have a lot of posts that talk about difficulties; let's face it I couldn't write about how to solve these problems if I never faced them.

I am just an optimistic person and I have a policy against complaining about my children. I truly do love being a mom, and yes, it can be hard. There will always be challenges. They have to learn, and part of learning is not knowing in the first place.

When Kaitlyn was two weeks old, I carried a screaming Brayden from the playground when it was time to go home. It happens, but it doesn't mean you are failing or your child is failing. It means your child is a child :)

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