I have decided that parenting is the best job I have ever had that I completely suck at. (pardon my use of the, “S,” word but for context it seems appropriate) If parenting were a job I wouldnt even get past the first interview. The problem is I have absolutely NO idea what I am doing. I spend half my time trying not to drop, hurt, kill or psychologically ruin my son’s life. I have heard too many, “I have daddy issue,” stories to not at least worry a bit.
Case in point…my son’s head bounces around like a bobble head on crack. Not only does it wobble around but it seems that every time I hold him he wants to push off of my chest just to let his head come slamming square into either my shoulder, chest or yes even my face. He definitely has good aim, which he did not get from me. If he isn’t aiming for my face he tries his best to do a swan dive off my chest. Sadly he needs to work on his form. The other day he did this with such precision that right as he let go his forehead met my jawbone. I could see it coming but had no time to stop it. There was this brief moment when our eyes met, well I think they met. He was looking up at me with the same glossy-eyed look my teenagers give me on a wednesday night. As soon as he moved his arms all I heard and felt was the soft, “thud,” of his head smacking me. He cried…..I felt horrible…..ergo….BAD PARENT.
The other half of my time is spent encouraging my wife that we are not complete morons. The funny part is my wife seeks comfort from someone who is completely clueless. I give my freshly Googles/ Wikipedia-educated opinion and she listens. How insane is that. I do my best to encourage her. I personally think she is doing excellent but I am biased. The problem is most of the time I just feel helpless.
My response to all this helplessness is to tryout almost any idea people have given me.
Case in point…the other evening Eli WOULD NOT SETTLE DOWN. We had tried everything to make him calm down. I remember that someone suggested that skin contact was good for babies. My first response was that was good for mommies but NOT for me. However at 3:45 A.M. when your baby won’t calm down…..I will try anything. So I took off my shirt, grabbed Eli and laid him smack down on my chest. He screamed nice and loud at first. His little body squirmed for a bit until I was able to secure in a semi- bear hug. That’s when the magic happened. As I laid there talking to Eli he suddenly became really calm. He just stopped fighting and laid there on my chest. I will never forget the feeling of his soft little fingers laying down on my chest as he gave up his fight.
I laid in the darkness for 30 minutes while my son slept. It was a bit uncomfortable for me but I didn’t care.
I would love to tell you the sleep lasted for hours, it didnt. Moments after I put him back in the pack-in-play he went back to screaming.
I hate not knowing what to do.
I hate feeling helpless.
It is actually a pet peeve of mine to not at least have a small grasp of what is going on. I have spent all my adult life doing everything I can to control my surroundings. I do not have to be the one in control, I just want to have influence over the outcome. However in parenting I am learning to embrace it with a big hug and sloppy wet kiss. I wont lie, I tend to have more, “bobble -head,” moments. I tend to feel completely lost in this thing called parenting. But just every once in awhile Eli will fall asleep on my chest and I think to myself, “I completely SUCK at doing this but I LOVE IT!”