Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Somewhere in Time
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My problem: My CIO SIL's second husband's daughter
Thanksgiving is the second time I've met SIL's husband's daughter, mother of a 7 month old. From the little I talked to her, she sounds like a thoughtful, well meaning new mother who has put some research into her parenting. I noticed the formula container amidst her belongings. Baby played with other children, disappeared into the basement for a nap, and woke crying during dinner.
Someone's awake, I called, since no one else seemed to notice. A discussion at the table followed with newMom telling her husband NOT to get the baby, then newMom, SIL, and MIL all talking about exercising lungs, how he has to learn to be by himself, etc etc etc as I'm unable to eat. This woman has been carefully studying the wrong sources.
My AP techniques were a big source of tension in the family though all charges of weirdness have been dropped since Dd is the best adjusted child in the family. MIL (who gave me years of misery over my AP style) is the one who says this, this is not from me.
I did not want to start WWIII at the table, but I said I'd be happy to get baby if newMom wanted to enjoy her dinner. The crying escalated and so did my 'suggestions'. I said, it's a long time since I've held a baby and I didn't mind. Dd bumped my knee under the table and I wondered if it was a message telling me to please not horn in on his family's business, to which they don't generally take kindly. I headed off any such request by whispering that my milk was about to let down from the crying and my shirt would be a mess right in front of everyone. This would reveal that I still have milk, an awkward revelation in this family since Dd is 6.
newMom said, You can get him ONLY if you have fininshed eating. Of course - baby must fit into the adult world and his need to know that he is not alone in the world of a strange dark basement must come second to any adult desire for another bite of mashed potato.
I'm done, I said, and got up and got baby. He was happy to be rescued, quiet and smiley. But his eyes were wet which prompted a discussion among IL ladies of the 'real tears.' Baby remined content until of course he saw Mama across the table, and then he started howling. NewMom got up and took him, at which point he stopped crying. She gave him the old, tired, 'oh, you can turn those tears right on and off.'
I said, You are his whole world, you are special.
I didn't think a few words would make much difference, this woman has clearly been indoctrinated. And I couldn't find quite the chance to sit down and talk to her - and I don't know her well enough to know how she'd take yet another person and her advice - we all know how vulnerable new mothers can feel.
Solution: So I decided I'd send her something in support of AP. Since I didn't want her to feel that because she isn't breastfeeding she can't AP, I actually wanted something that stressed other aspects of attachment. I have on order a copy of Connection Parenting by Pam Leo, which I will be sending along to her as soon as it arrives; after I peek at it since it's fairly new and I haven't seen it myself. But it seems like it will do the job as much as anything might. I want to set this woman straight!