God, what I would give for some confidence right now.
Most of the time I feel pretty confident about what I am doing. I mean, Lucy is happy, healthy, and she still has all of her fingers (despite an unfortunate nail clipper accident a few days ago. Sorry, sweet pea). She eats well, sleeps, and I'm still sane. Our house isn't spotless, or as spotless as it used to be, but she still is wearing clean diapers (Confession: when she just wets a diaper, I let it dry out and re-use it. It's just baby pee, right?) On the big Are We Surviving? checklist, I feel like I meet most, if not all of the criteria.
We're definitely surviving. And that's fine, and most hours, I'm fine with that.
And then there are the hours where I think if I were just doing x, y, or z a little better, she would be so much easier. Or if not easier now, she would be easier in a month. Or tomorrow. Or in a year.
Take her naps. Before, she was getting them very sporadically, and I didn't understand how they worked. Now, she gets them regularly, and is not as cranky all the time. But she doesn't sleep very long at any stretch, and she has to be on me, and if I don't get conditions just right, she often wakes up. I can only wonder: is this because I'm doing it wrong? Or because this is the stage she is in, and in a day, hour, month, things will be different?
Or peeing in the sink. We inadvertently trained her to pee in our sink. Not in containers, or toilets, or other places (such as apartment complex signs). This was a function of the sink being fairly easy (water right there! nearly self cleaning! Over tile, not carpet!) and her not reacting well when we offered other choices. But now, I wonder--if I only offered the toilet for a week, would she start preferring the toilet? She'd be very cranky if I did that--I'm not sure if I want to go there (and spend even more time than I do holding her). But toilet as a default option would be easier in a lot of ways than the sink (for one, it's more socially acceptable to have your baby pee in strangers' toilets, not sinks). Could I have avoided this whole problem if I'd offered a potty cornucopia those first weeks? We'll never know.
Anyway, all the should have would haves drive me up a wall. And since we're doing the more touchy feely sort of parenting, where we decide that crying is a form of communication, and not manipulation, and that we'll go with Lucy's preferences, within reason (and especially when she's so small and helpless), there's always that niggling question: what is within reason? And what if within reason changes? Or if I need it to change?
Of course, then you change it. But sometimes change is more trouble, see. More of a pain in the short term. And without confidence, you're not sure that short term pain will pay off.
Maybe that's what babies are. Short term pain, for long-term pleasure.
In theory. Talk to me in another two years.