One of the blogs that I follow pretty consistantly is called Mostly Zoey and Sometimes Us. Its a blog by a first-time mom about her beautiful little daughter Zoey. I love it because there are always pictures and even videos a lot of the time. I’m sure following this little 10-month old baby on the internet violates all kinds of moral parameters, codes of conducts, and/or state laws, but I’m willing to take that challenge because Zoey is so darn cute.
Today, Zoey’s mom blogged about how she is 10-months-old and she made a list of all the things that Zoey can do at this age (which is really helpful and insightful for a mom-to-be like me, I have to say…). The list included things like making the motion of “This big!” and feeding herself and eating with a spoon and giving high fives and bouncing in place. Major accomplishments in the life of a 10-month-old. And actually, the eating off a spoon concept is a major accomplishment for most pregnant women when you consider we try to feed ourselves mostly from a completely horizontal position on the couch. Spoons are tricky.
As I read, I got to thinking about another major responsibility that comes with parenting. Teaching. Everything that baby will learn, he’ll learn from Chris and me. How scary is that? Do we get a lesson plan for this? Perhaps some kind of manual? How do we know what to teach him and when? Like, I would never think to teach a baby how to bounce. I just wouldn’t think of that. I might try teaching him the electric slide or the moon walk when he’s, like, 5 years old or something, but I would have completely skipped the bouncing at 10-months-old thing. My son sits in one spot for 5 years like a rock all because we didn’t think to teach him how to bounce.
There’s a story in my family that is brought up at every holiday, every get-together, every time more than one of us are in a specific place and especially when non-family members are present. When I went away to college, I had to buy postage stamps for the first time. But I had no idea where to buy them. I knew what stamps were. I had used them before. But when I needed them, they had always just been in my dad’s desk drawer. Like magic. I figured they had something to do with the post office, but I wasn’t sure. So I had to call my parents and ask them where to buy stamps – the grocery store? the post office? City Hall? People laugh at me for that story, but I see it as a terrible parenting mistake (sorry, mom and dad). How could my parents let me live 18 years without ever telling me where stamps come from?
What if I make mistakes like this with my child? What if my son is at the playground with kids his age when he’s, like, 7 years old and everyone starts untying and retying their shoes and my son has to stand there like a moron because his parents just never thought about teaching him to tie his shoes? Or what if he’s afraid to go to the bathroom at school because his stupid parents never taught him how to work his belt buckle?
This poor Bean. Sometimes I think he’s better off in my belly than in my home. Then again, I’d look pretty narly with a 15 year old in there.