7 May 2011
control :: (unschool monday part one)
I often wonder what might have happened if little owlet didn't arrive in our family. In our early days as parents, we spent loads of time trying to figure big owlet out. Reading the books that told us to resist the urge to respond to her. Trying to work out her schedule and fit her into ours. Trying to be in control. For the most part, she was compliant and so things worked out well, although the many hours spent rocking her back to sleep in the middle of the night might suggest differently. Perhaps if we'd known how quickly that time would pass, we'd have been less diligent, more lenient. Then little owlet came along and things changed. Otherwise we'd go nuts trying to win the battle. Trying to control her. What we found in the process of parenting her was a gentler way. One that took her needs into consideration and saw that they were met, alongside our own. Now that tiny owlet is here, we know there is no battle. It's not us against her. The opposite of control is not chaos. We don't desire control, only to help her find happiness and whatever she needs at that point in time. And we wake to happy smiles everyday... and manage an almost full night's sleep in the process.
We also strive to see those happy smiles on our eldest two owlets. Even when we are opposed to what they express that they need... Big owlet has been dead keen on a Baby Alive doll for as long as we've had tiny owlet. I've always thought them hideous with their oversized eyes and creepy expressions. They come with all sorts of unnecessary accessories made from copious quantities of plastic. They are NOT the kind of toy we'd like for them to have. The owlets know that. But they love them. Even after the spiel I gave them about the environmental damage among other things... So we reached a compromise. If you can call it that. At least the dolls they settled on drink from sippy cups and don't normalise formula feeding like so many like their counterparts. They wanted babies who would drink and wee like a real baby. Even after I walked around pointing at tiny owlet exclaiming "Baby! Alive!" *grin*, which was met with deadpan expressions and rolled eyes. They saved all their money and looked at the range of Baby Alive dolls and we held our judgement as they asked to go and buy them. Big owlet's best friend secured a second hand Baby Alive doll last week, so time was of the essence. We let go and even chipped in to cover the bit extra they needed to buy them.
Tonight two very happy little owlets are sleeping tucked up in their beds next to their new babies, Fiona Benlet and Ruby Khalo. They are mothering them beautifully. And I'm trying ever so hard to bite my tongue and ignore my aesthetic distaste. A task made easier when looking at my new happy purchase...
A bag! From France! A green bag! With a bike on it! Now all I need is a bike to match :)