Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Over-Protective Momma

I like to joke about first-timers and uber-over-protective parents.  So do a lot of other seasoned parents.  We really need to stop, it doesn't help anyone, does it?  Since my own son is going to be a first-time daddy and my daughter-in-law has all of the makings of being an over-protective momma, maybe it's time for me to simmer down.

First-timers tend to be overprotective because they're still learning the boundaries of baby's abilities.  When a second child comes along it's virtually impossible to focus our attention on two moving bodies in the same manner.  Three or more kids?  Forget it.  Soon we learn that eating worms, squishing dog poop through their fingers and staying up past 8pm is annoying, frequently gross, but in the end no one is hurt.  Not that I encourage any of those, but it happens.

My sister-in-law insists that talcum powder will not be used on her infant son's bottom.  She's read somewhere that there might be a link between dusting our baby's tushes and asthma.   While I resist the urge to giggle, I remind myself that SIL is abiding by what she feels is important.  I could argue with her standards and point out the century of babies with dusted asses that never developed asthma.  That even though I started my own developmental years in the smoggy environs of Los Angeles, my allergies didn't kick in until my 20's.  Somehow I doubt baby powder caused it.  Yet, she is doing her best to protect her child and I must respect that.

Remember a few days ago I suggested that we develop a parenting plan.  It means defining your standards and they must be YOUR standards, not mine nor anyone elses, YOURS.  And if that means following the advice of an article warning against baby powder or limiting fruit juice or restricting hot dogs, then so be it. 

This is your child and you must raise him or her as you see fit.  What you will learn, what us seasoned parents learned many years ago, is your standards will change and your parenting plan will morph.  As your baby grows and more children populate your home it may be unrealistic or too expensive to hold to the standards you set in the beginning.  But that is for you to learn and for me to sit quiet as you make that journey.  Ultimately children survive the parenting journey taken by the adults in their world.

As a soon-to-be grandma, I want parents to be over-protective.  I want them to pad every sharp corner in the house and to monitor sugar intake.  It shows you care.  I want my grandbaby to be healthy and strong so I must trust my son and daughter-in-law to raise their child in a safe environment and that will only happen if they are in fact, over-protective parents.

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