I’m one of those people for whom parenting is not intuitive. I didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to use the word “no” in your baby’s first year lest she becomes more obstinate when she starts to challenge your authority. I didn’t know that television was so bad, or that alone-play was so good. I didn’t know that it’s okay if her poop is green or purple (just not red or white!).
And speaking of poop, nothing zaps the cool out of you like a stranger telling you there’s poop on your sweater, especially when you realize that several hours had passed since you actually changed a diaper.
I figured out how to breastfeed two infants at the same time. It involves sitting on the floor ‘just in case,’ latching one baby to one breast, and pulling the second baby up from the ground by the middle of her onesie. Yes, her arms and legs will flail like a dangling rubber spider in a Halloween decoration, but when you’re alone and you need to feed both your children, you will quickly forgive yourself for taking all charm out of the nursing process.
Oh there was so much to learn, and apparently, so much room for error! I thus consulted every parenting book that I could get my Butt Paste-stained hands on. I spent more time reading books on how to parent (actively, affirmatively, gently) than reading anything else in the year before and the two years after my twin daughters were born. I often found myself furiously leafing through a parenting tome while Issue of the Day was occurring in real time. I think I’ve effectively been able to find the experts’ answers on everything that has come up in each child’s individual life except one thing — and it’s an important thing: What can I do to help my twin children develop in an emotionally healthy way?
I hope my posts will help you answer that question.