Parenting…Harder Than it Looks!

By: Chris Coyne

I have to agree with my good friend Heather.  She told me parenting is a hundred times harder than she expected and at least a hundred times better than she ever dreamed.  CJ is going to be fifteen months old this week.  I have been stuck in the past over the last few months blogging about how things were.  I would like to share how things are now.

CJ started walking Thanksgiving day, when he was only 10 months old.    I had no idea the months to come would be filled with such joy, terror, and change.  We moved to the Washington DC area last fall and we are trying our hardest to be so far away from everything we know.  We purchased a home in a wonderful little suburb that has amazing schools.  It is spring and I love watching the trees change from ugly winter torn branches to amazing flower-covered trees at a blink of an eye.  CJ tells me all about the trees on our daily walk with the dogs.  Today he said to me “aduba duba duba” and I believe he is trying to tell me he likes being outside.

This is an interesting town for me to raise a child.  Most of the women at the park watch me like I am a weasel in the hen house.  I must be interesting to watch because they do not take their eyes off of me.  CJ and I do not mind it much.  He loves the attention.  I take the opportunity and make CJ show off his mad baby skills.  He is a bruiser.  He pushes every large four-year-old out of his way. He has a funny English/Spanish baby language that only Jon and I understand.  I thought our home was baby-proofed but every hour of the day CJ proves me wrong.  If it has even a small chance of hurting him he will find it.

CJ and I have a class on Mondays.  Tuesday through Thursday we have a nanny who comes in and helps keep our little man busy during the day. That is my biggest challenge these days.  Friday is my full day with CJ.  We might hit up Target, go to the park a few times, or walk around the neighborhood.  There are endless things to do when the weather is good and nothing to do when it is bad.  Jon travels more than we expected.  It sucks.  CJ calls for his Papa every night and every day he is gone.  I am so glad he has the attention span of a 15-month-old; you can hand him a toy or point at a bird and he forgets that his loving, fun Papa is away.

When CJ was born we read so much about what we should and should not do.  No television before 3:00, no sugar, no this, no that.  We feed him all organic, wholesome food, balanced meals and such. We were not going to use a pacifier; we were going to get rid of the bottle.  We thought we would be the completely balanced parents who never used the word “NO”.  The reality was a bit harder to deal with.  These little people come out with more than we give credit for.  We used a pacifier from Day Two.  He was drinking from a bottle until two weeks ago.  I made his baby food myself until we moved, but the jar crap is so much easier!  To top it off, CJ’s favorite response is “no!”

Every few days a new skill is mastered.  This causes some stress for me.  Last week I pulled him off the second step of our stair railing.  The very next day I pulled him off the fourth step.  I had to put up three gates in order to create a baby jail to keep CJ off of the stairs.  Today he learned to scale one of the gates. I strive to create a loving and nurturing enviroment where CJ can play and be safe but he only want to do things that would require a trip to the ER!

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