July 8, 2011

How to Parent.

The day after I found out I was pregnant with Tessa (almost exactly two years ago), I went to Davis-Kidd Booksellers and bought What to Expect When You're Expecting. I was on my lunch break from work, and I sat alone downstairs in the crazy quiet of the bookstore cafe and folded myself between the pages of this book. Barely anyone knew I was pregnant yet. When I saw the waiter glance at the title I was reading, I felt proud and afraid at the same time. That faint nausea in my belly--which was only a tiny precursor to the morning sickness that would radiate through my next few months--felt like the beginning of something magical and terrifying, which is the best kind of feeling.

I feel like What to Expect gets a lot of flak, but I loved it. And it began my general interest in parenting books. The best part is: If I disagree with a parenting book, I can tell it that I think it's wrong, dead wrong, and fling it against a wall. I'm not supposed to do that with other parents. I like the one-side-ness of this kind of parenting advice. There's no risk of me getting huffy.

With Tessa in this new stage that she's in, I now need more than just advice on how to treat a horrific diaper rash. I need to know what to do when my kid is freaking out and bucking and screaming on the floor like a fool. Hugs and smooches aren't cutting it. Knowing how to respond to this sort of thing does not come second nature to me. I've already decided that my technique can't involve spanking, not because I'm absolutely opposed to spanking, but because I have a temper and have already decided that I'm not capable of being level-headed about spanking.

So this morning I ordered the three books above in hopes of getting some ideas. One thing I heard recently from another parent is to be consistent, whatever you do. So I probably need to figure out a gameplan and go with it. Do you guys have any favorite parenting books for the toddler-age?