Crossing my Fingers and Knocking on Wood

19 11 2009

I believe in science and mathematics. If I have a question about why something is the way it is, I know science holds the answer. I’ll admit that I have a problem with faith in that I need a scientific explanation for everything, and I’ve just never been able to reconcile faith and science.  I’m definitely not the superstitious type.

So explain to me why motherhood has completely knocked the pragmatism out of me? Explain to me why I actually really believe that if Azita eats breakfast one morning when I happen to be wearing my blue pajamas with the red apples on them and I’m holding a squeaky toy with my left hand, then the way to get her to eat breakfast the next day is to wear the same pajamas and hold the same squeaky toy. With my left hand. At the same exact time as the day before.

Why has parenthood made me so superstitious? I really think it’s the desperation of being so utterly out of control over just about everything in your life just about every day of your life. Especially when it comes to getting Azita to eat or sleep or do any of the other things that, you know, keep humans, specifically my little human, alive.  It’s not that I really believe that any of these superstitious rituals will work. It’s just that it’s 11:30 on a Monday night, and I really, really need Azita to fall asleep so I can go to bed because I have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning tomorrow damn it. Or maybe Azita has refused to eat anything for 3 days, and I just know that next time she goes to the doctor they’ll tell me she actually lost weight and somehow grew shorter. Or Azita will not let me buckle her in to her car seat and I’m late for work but I obviously can’t drive her to daycare until she is safely protected against all the crazy drivers out there. Or she’s doing any of the fifty other things she does that I fear will damage her for life, and there is nothing I can do to make her stop.

I read the books. Books based on science. I know all of these things are completely normal. I know how to handle most of them, and I know that sometimes just riding these situations out is the only way to handle them. Still, what I wouldn’t give for some kind of ritual that would actually get Azita to eat or sleep.

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One response

21 11 2009
Michelle Garrison Hough

As a mom of stubborn and smart little boys, I completely relate to your sentiments. May I humbly offer this opinion: you don’t necessarily need to have faith in anything other than yourself in these situations. Parenthood can bring out the fear in all of us. The more comfortable you start to feel in yourself as a parent, and the more that you love yourself in general and take ownership of your own method of raising your daughter… things will become easier. You will be at peace even when she doesn’t eat. Because you are relaxed, she will relax. The times that I am in the biggest hurry are the times that Rhys arches his back and refuses to go into the car seat. If he senses that I am stressed or that I really want him to do something, he resists. I think that all kids are this way. Just my humble opinion on a topic that pervades parenthood.

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