Apples and Oranges
I keep coming back to the post I wrote complaining how much I hate parenting advice because…well…I can’t seem to stop asking for and giving parenting advice. After a few weeks to think about it, I’ve realized my problem isn’t so much that people give advice – even if it is preachy, annoying, unsolicited and unwanted – it’s that a huge percentage of the time the advice is not at all helpful. It’s hard enough to go through a difficult stage with a baby, but it’s extra depressing when you hear “Oh we had the same x problem and after we did y it went away!” over and over…only to have it do absolutely nothing for your child. It can be especially difficult if the thing you need advice about is how to get more sleep. It may also lead to totally unnecessary mom-style panicky OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY BABY WHY DOES SHE HATE THIS THING EVERY OTHER BABY LOVES thoughts when the answer is, truly, NOTHING is wrong with your baby. She’s a person. All people are different and like very different things. I mean, I really hate basketball but there are millions of people who practically worship it. There are plenty of fans for both the Dallas Cowboys and the Yankees. A huge percentage of the country actually thinks Sarah Palin is genuine and charming. There are no explanations for these things.
Even my own kids, who are only 20 months apart, are light-years apart when it comes to their likes and dislikes.
Things Caroline loves that Evan disliked or didn’t care about:
– Lying down and looking at things dangling over her
– Taggies (those blankets with the little bits of ribbon on them)
– Bouncing (as opposed to the vibrating feature on the seat)
– Swinging (as opposed to the gliding option on the swing)
– My singing
– Chewing on things
– Her feet
– Watching the people on TV
– White noise
– Toys meant for infants
Things Evan loved that Caroline dislikes or doesn’t care about:
– Being worn (saddest realization EVER for this carrier addicted mama – I’m hoping when she’s a little older she’ll learn to like it)
– The dog
– Nursing every 30 minutes
…and I can’t think of anything else, because a) It was a long time ago and b) Evan liked a LOT less stuff. He was a much more difficult baby just in general – another major difference that can’t be changed or cured with any sort of advice. And that list is just the stuff I’ve noticed during Caroline’s first 4 months. I can’t even imagine how different they’ll continue to be as she gets a personality and hits more milestones.
So, there, THAT’S my advice on advice.