8.18.2008

I'm not a bad momma

Tummy time. I had never heard the term before I had a baby. Ironically, I never even read about it during my pregnancy--and I read a lot, especially during those mysterious 2 AM I'm-wide-awake-for-no-apparent-reason bouts. But during those last moments in the hospital, before I was about to give up 24 hour room service and expert baby caregivers, my mom asked the question, "How much tummy time should she have each day?" I rolled my eyes, What is she talking about? I bet that's a term she used when she had us 30 years ago. But then I cringed when I heard the nurse say, "I'm glad you reminded me. Five minutes at a time, 3 times a day." One point for mom, zero for rookie.

So, I came home and started baby Andie on tummy time. At first, I loved it and so did she. We spent most of tummy time with her curled up on my chest, and we would both quietly fall asleep into momma-oblivion. I loved those moments! Then, she got older (all of a couple of weeks) and sleeping on my chest was no longer her first love. tear. Tummy time became a daily ritual, something to be checked off the list of things to do for the day. And as I began routinely laying her down on a blanket, tummy-side down, she started crying, and crying, and screaming, and crying.

"What did I do wrong?! How come my child doesn't like her tummy time?" 

We went to get professional pictures done with Andie's cousin. The photographer asked us to put both babies tummy-side down. I warned him that Andie doesn't enjoy that, but we tried anyway. I was right. There's a picture of the cousin happy and enjoying the bright lights, and there's my baby girl, faced scrunched, looking like her head weighs a bazillion pounds, and screaming. Cute picture, but I'd never by the admission of my errors as a parent.

Why do all the photographers display babies who love tummy time, arms flexed tight, head held high and smiles on their faces? Why doesn't my baby look like that? Each baby ad screamed in my face, "You're doing it all wrong. This is how a baby should act during tummy time!"

Finally I asked a friend if her one year old ever struggled. Angels sang hallelujah; her baby hated tummy time too! Then she listed off all of her other friends whose babies hated it. Ah ha! I am not alone! 

The next time I laid cute little Andie down, I patiently waited through the cries and even did some demonstrations for her of what to do. And, within the next couple of tries, Andie started lifting her head fully up. Victory! I cheered. I clapped. I danced around the baby and got my husband to join me. I'm not a bad momma!

1 comment:

kyna said...

Love it!! We all have those moments of, "what am I doing wrong, am I a bad momma?" That is why we have friends to let us know "nope, that is normal." :o) You are doing a great job and your sweet little andie's smiles melted my heart. Love you guys