Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Learned, Not Instinct

W: I admit it - in the months before the Deuce arrived, I worried as D and I barreled inevitably towards parenthood. Completely natural, I know. After all, you can't practice actual parenting until you are an actual parent, and parenting classes only teach you so much. In essence, I worried about my skills.

But now, looking back to those months through the crystal clear prism of time and experience, I realize that I also believed that some parenting skills would come instinctually. I honestly believed that a switch would flip in my brain that would turn on some unknown dormant parenting powers.

One fatherhood skill that I thought would be instinctual is the fine art of transferring a sleeping child from point A to point B without waking the the child. The pre-parenthood me thought that instantly upon fatherhood that I would somehow be able to magically
just do it.

My belief was based on the countless fathers I've watched, my own included, accomplish this maneuver with all the grace of a ballet dancer, deftly negotiating corners, doorways, and car seats all while keeping the babe-in-arms fast asleep. I'd noted fathers' perfect balance, children's arms draped akimbo just so, and the perfect harmony of the way that fathers seemed to just know -
instinctually know - how to move their bodies without waking the child.

Well, I was wrong about the instinctual part. Some fathers may be able to instinctually transport children in their arms without waking them, but like most things in my life, I had to work hard at it.

At first, I kept waking them up as I scooped them out of the crib. Then, after mastering that puzzle, they would wake in my arms as I carried them. After being able to cary them came putting them back down again. And the most difficult task of all was keeping them asleep while transferring them in and out of their car seats. Ever time I work them up I thought to myself, "I'm a complete idiot - why can't I get this right?!" The same thing kept happening over and over again.

So it is with a great deal of pride and hard work that write to report that last night I was able to keep not one, but both twins fast asleep from our friends' guest bed to car seat to car to drive home to nursery to being removed from the car seat to crib without waking them up.

Now, hopefully I'll be able to repeat it next time...

Posted by Walker Lockhart @ 2:12 PM

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High Five!

Posted by Blogger The Hiner Family Blog @ Thursday, July 05, 2007 10:32:00 AM #
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