August 03, 2010

mommy guilt

I don't usually fall prey to mommy guilt. Generally, my belief is that, I do the best I can, and that my best really is, usually, good enough. I believe Eliot chose Brady and I as his parents (cosmically speaking). And there's a reason for that. He's with us for a reason. I try to do the best I can, but if I screw up, well, I really was doing the best I could, so why should I feel guilty?

I have found one area where this does not apply, and I do feel guilty. Sunburns. He hasn't had any bad sunburns yet, but sometimes his skin gets pink, and I always try to be hyper vigilant about keeping a hat on him when outside, and putting sunblock on him (the mineral kind, without any chemicals). Skin damage is skin damage, and whether he tans or burns, the sun can cause long-term damage to your skin. And most of the skin damage you experience will occur during childhood. That said, we do all need vitamin D, and the sun is the best place to get it... but I'm not sure how this fits into my paradigm. I think my theory, so far, is that we live much longer than we used to, and vitamin D is important, but probably most people got plenty of vitamin D long ago from being outside in the sun without sunblock or hats, but died before they would have gotten skin cancer, or before they would have looked super old and wrinkly. So, I give Eliot (and myself) vitamin D oil as a supplement.

I digress. The other time I just recently felt mommy guilt was on Sunday. Eliot and Brady and I went to Puget Sound with some folks whose family has a cabin there. It was awesome. The owners of the cabin are the family of this woman Monica, who is married to Jeremy, whom Brady coaches boys' soccer with at Franklin H.S. in Portland. Jeremy and Monica have older kids, one has graduated h.s. this year, the other is I think just finishing or finished college. Anyway, they like Eliot, and v.v., and are really sweet people. On Saturday at their cabin, we took Eliot out in their canoe in the sound. So fun. Eliot was so chill, just sitting in the canoe, very relaxed, sipping his tea (he really loves herbal tea; like LOVES it and gets soooo excited about it; we give him nettle tea, which is really high in minerals, including calcium). Then on Sunday, we took the rowboat out. The rowboat is big enough to also fit our two dogs, which was an adventure. The dogs behaved fine, it was just a little cramped. Anyway, Eliot was such a pill. Whining, crying, couldn't be consoled in my arms, so unhappy, so difficult to please. FINALLY, we got back to the cabin, and I changed his diaper. No poop (I did check for that in the boat), but he had been drinking so much tea, that he was peeing a lot, and his diaper was really really wet, and his bottom was really sore and abraided, and the pee was just hurting his bottom a lot. Once I changed his diaper, he was fine! And happy. I felt so bad about wanting to throw him overboard earlier.... He really is such a sweet kid, and so easygoing and mild tempered, that when he is a brat for any extended period of time, there really always ends up being a good reason, usually related to pain. I am hoping to remember that more often. I wish I had realized it on the boat. I would have gladly let him go naked (I hadn't brought a clean diaper on the boat because we really weren't going to be gone long).

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