If someone already has experience with something, it’s easier to go through it again and not be as worried about every little detail. Like parenthood. If you’ve already had one child, then you tend to worry less about the subsequent one(s). You already know what to expect, at least in the ball park, when they will start crawling, walking, teething, sleeping through the night, talking, etc., because you’ve already lived through it once with your first child.
So I’m a first-time parent. I worry a lot about my son. I worry that his teeth are coming in very slowly, I worry that he doesn’t like to eat his solid food, I worry that he throws up almost daily, I worry that he isn’t putting on a whole lot of weight, I worry that he will grow up and need major therapy because somewhere along the line I have screwed up his life and he can’t keep a steady job and girlfriend.
We all went for a walk this afternoon, and ran into one of Cliff’s friends who lives in the neighborhood. She asked how old Joshua is, and said, oh he must be eating solid food now. I said yes, but he’s not very keen on it. She immediately commented that her son didn’t eat much solid food until he turned one and that’s when his weight improved, and there’s nothing for me to worry about. She’s not the first person to say this to me.
You know, when you already have experience with something, you’re looking from the the problem-is-already-over-side. Her son is already over the hump of not eating, so she no longer needs to be living with the daily question of, oh, I wonder if he will eat anything today.
I’m still on the in-the-middle-of-the-problem side. Every morning I wonder if Joshua is going to eat anything. And that’s not something anyone can answer for me. I have to make his food, try to feed him, listen to him scream, watch him throw the food on the floor or smear it in his hair, or if I was lucky he might take a few bites, then find out at the end of that meal if he’s going to eat anything. All the while I try the best I can to keep my cool, not show my stress and anxiety in front of him that it’s been 3 days since he last ingested any solid food. Everyday I wonder if he just hates the food I prepare for him, or if he just doesn’t feel like eating.
While I can appreciate this friend wanted to ease my fears, I was just a little tired of people telling me that my worries are not valid. Yes, I know I should stop worrying, but it is easier said than done. Maybe one day when the battle of the solid foods is over, when Joshua is eating regularly and developing properly, I’ll look back at this time and laugh at myself for being such a newbie parent. But until then, damn it, I AM a newbie parent and I’m going to worry about things that might be stupid!