I have this theory that babies think in emotions. Like a person from Germany thinks in German, and a color blind person does not dream with colors they cannot see, a baby has no comprehension of language or really clear images. They think in feelings - which they pull from Mommy or their caregivers. First they have only comfort and discomfort, then they move out to defining them-- hunger, calm, contentment, fear. So when I was asked by a crazed up for days mom, help me 'my baby will not sleep', the first thing I tell her is she has to relax. Have a glass of wine or crawl in a warm bath. But until you are calm and confident the baby Will not be calm and secure. If the baby feels your panic, your frustration, it just becomes frightened. Fifty years ago, new mothers had their own mother or their sisters or their aunts around them to help take the baby at night so the baby can feel the confidence of an experienced arm around them. The new mother could rest, relax and know that her child was safe. But now, young mothers are forced to do this all on their own, expecting to pull their wisdom and confidence from books. But that is not working. They need to rely on their experienced mothers around them, not the perfect ones, because they will never find one of those, but the ones with happy kids. One of my daughters in laws would call in the middle of the night, trapped far away alone with a crying baby and no help. she would lay him down, put the phone by his ear, and i would just talk in a calm vocal Valium voice. Or sing, until he could relax and she could catch her own breath. Because sometimes it is just that moment when they can both take a deep sigh that they learn the most about each other.
Just recently I realized I speak in different voices. When talking to one of my kids (not one of the birth ones, but one of the many others that call me Mom) and they were seeking some advise on a rather touchy subject. What I wanted to say was not what they wanted to here, I am sure, but what they wanted to here I was not so likely to say. After a long pause I just asked....
"Okay, do you want the answer I would give you in the Mom role. Or the Friend role, . Or the 'unpaid' shrink role."
I asked this because the answers we want depend on the direction they are coming from.
Sometimes I want someone to be on my side, to hate the problem with me, just agree and tell me the other person sucks or battle for me get me to see it right. Sometimes I want someone to just tell me what to do, to step in and even if I really want to be all grown up, still give me that 'you know the right thing to do ' advise. Then other times, I need a good head shrink to see the other side of things and I know it.
so it forced the kid to make the call, on how they wanted the answer and what they were looking for. It may not have been the actual answer they wanted, but it was easier to accept when they received it the way they wanted. And in reality, all the answers are the same, just different voices.
Let me tell you that there is nothing more Immortal than helping a young mom be the star of the kindergarten parents with your ideas. The little airplanes below made my daughter in law the queen, suddenly popular and fun. Sometimes there is immense joy when they are so excited to have this success that they cannot stop telling, they cannot stop reliving it, and because of you. Trust me the planes are a huge hit.
There is a feeling that stirred today, of hope, of promise and a new America. This is a moment to save. I suggest saving the front page, writing your thoughts and how it felt to see him standing there with that amazing smile. It is an immortal moment.