Sunday, June 03, 2007

Cruising with Emelia

Just one month ago, I enjoyed seeing Emelia standing with support for the first time. In the brief time since, Emelia has become proficient at pulling herself up, and has started moving from support piece to support piece. In other words, she's cruising. Her mobility is a wonder to behold, and it triggers serious maternal (and a little paternal) concern that we need to babyproof our house. We've in many ways operated in a style of parenting that could be called, to borrow a phrase, "benign neglect." On this matter, such an approach probably isn't a good idea, even though I tease Kathy that not babyproofing is consistent with Darwinism.
Yesterday I sat feeding Emelia, who lay on the Boppy, which was on my lap. Emelia only took a little from the bottle, and decided she didn't want any more. I put the bottle down. She started to squirm in my lap, quickly shifting her weight to the edge of the Boppy, and looked down. I knew what was coming next, and let it happen, all the while continuing my conversation with Kathy, who was seated partway across the room. Kathy covered up her eyes in terror as Emelia went headfirst downward toward the floor. Of course she never got there, my grip firmly keeping her in place about a foot off the ground. I really didn't think anything of it -- I knew what E was doing, I knew what I'd need to do, and when it was time, I did it. I had no intention of tormenting Kathy, but of course that's what I ended up doing. Lesson learned.
In my last update of Emelia, I forgot to mention another VERY important milestone -- she's sleeping through the night. It started the first week with Avery (the nanny). In hindsight I think it may be because Avery feeds her more than we do (cue major tangent). From the beginning, all the milk we provided for Emelia when she's with Avery has been consumed, as is some supplemental formula, along with most of the solids. Emelia's beginning to get a bit of a belly with all the food she's been getting. Kathy asked what should have been obvious a while ago on Wednesday, i.e., is Emelia feeding herself (as she does at home, and as we asked Avery to do) or is Avery feeding her. The answer is the latter. Needless to say, Avery is much more efficient at getting food into Emelia than Emelia is, so that she's not just eating some more with Avery, but a lot more. Avery explained that it's difficult to let Emelia feed herself without a high chair.

I'm bothered by the feeding thing. While we prefer that Emelia feed herself, that isn't what bothers me. Rather, it's that we asked Avery to do something, and she didn't. The way I see it, she had two choices -- either do what we asked, or tell us that she had a problem with doing what we asked. We're perfectly willing to listen when there's a problem with carrying out a request, such as the absence of the high chair. If we know that the absence of a high chair is an issue, we can either provide one or endorse Avery's desire to feed Emelia. We don't have a long list of things we want Avery to do -- generally, we leave it up to her how best to take care of Emelia. But where we have expressed a preference, I think that we should be the ones who make the final decision, not Avery.