My week has been a bit challenging. I don’t care to share all on here; suffice to say a few days in a quiet place would not be amiss.

So many people feel the need to tell me how to act, what to think, and what their expectations are. Surprisingly, it’s never the ones in a position to do so. My boss and her superiors, the people I work with – they can comment on my work. The people who live in my house and mom, who’s rebuilding it, can comment on our house. No one can tell me what I should and should not like, or what I can and cannot have. My budget and taste dictate that. Ditto for what I eat and how we spend our time…and who will take care of Tess while we’re at work, how we work around her current schedule, what medical choices we make and how we parent. And as much as it challenges us to constantly remind people of Tess’ needs, we will drone on. Her life matters more than people’s feelings or impressions.

Most of our people are doing an INCREDIBLE job of supporting our choices for Tess. How we fit her into our lives and the choices we make seem to be viewed as target practice. It’s ok – we’ll use it to develop a thick parental skin now, the better to protect her with as we get older.

A few points: if you don’t like Tess’ name, keep it to yourself. We do. If you think all good moms should stay home, go home. If you think French isn’t the best choice or that raising a child bilingual isn’t ideal, that’s fine. It’s my choice, my child, my language and my rules in this case. Your opinion is just that. Dave and I made that decision and many others carefully, with great forethought. I doubt many of the naysayers know as much about language and the brain as I do. If you have something on that front to share, I’m all ears!

I’m a private person, and I respect people’s right to make their own choices about everything from education to spanking. I’m also very opinionated: don’t worry, I know you’re all thinking it! But sometimes I’m reminded of how it feels on the other side of all those opinions. It’s a great reminder that I don’t always need to share them.

This does not refer to the great parental/preemie/etc advice that we get! The difference is telling us what we’re doing wrong versus suggesting something that may work. Advisors, don’t walk off the job! We rely on you.

On a happier note, Tess is doing great. No change at her eye exam today, which stinks, but until the doctor tells is to worry we’ll keep it at a low simmer. Our work/life split isn’t easy but is working, and we’re talking about bringing Natalie in sooner rather than later, so we can all transition a little better. Other than Tess’ evening rumpus, she’s a sweet, amazing, snuggly child. My heart is so hers. She’s taken to hanging onto our clothes rather than a toy or a binkie, and it just melts our hearts that she’s literally hanging onto us! She’s eating up a storm the last few days, which has us hoping for a little growth spurt come her next weigh-in. I wonder if she’s passed 8 pounds, but am trying to enjoy the freedom of letting it go for longer stretches. Her coordination is getting so good she’s almost karate-chopping the bottle away when she’s had enough. She’s knocked it out of both of our hands! If only she applied that vigor to tummy time. 🙂


12 thoughts on “Nosedive

  1. HI! Just wanted to send some love to my favourite family in Milwaukee!!! I miss you guys!!! I’m all caught up on your blog now so feel *slightly* more connected, but I’m not sure it’s enough. So, I’m going to do some research into flights to Milwaukee in August while I have a wee bit of an internet connection!
    Love you all to bits!
    Jess xoxo

  2. I didn´t hear this voice, but you´re really right.
    For sure I thought I would do this or that different, but it´s your life and your decision how you want to live and I think, Tess knew what will come.
    Specer sings ” we didn´t give you up – we give you more”!!!!!
    And you´re doing this

    – Tess is getting a lot of freedom when her mum and dad is not always around
    – Natalie will be different to Tess then you, so she has new experinces
    – she is getting more posibilities with to languages. And for all they don´t know. When you´re learning a second language in the brain are built connections. And any further language will use these connections …
    – you´re so great with Tess
    – you have a nice and huge family and that´s realy wonderful
    and Tess is TESS how else should she named?

    I can give you a tip, when you ask me.
    Otherwise its a critic on you. We use to criticize, when we´re in a bad mood, when our life is´nt that, what we want and in this case we´re not the right person to say anything – for sure!

    You´re doing, what you think, what would be the best now – that can be right or wrong – nobody can say this in the moment, that is life ….
    I send you my love and admire you for being so magnificient and so generous that you alow me to be in your life!
    But I understand, when you stop it from one day to the other day!
    You´re an awesome family

  3. this with the pocket
    there are less fathers, who escape this destiny (I´m sorry)
    therefor it´s difficult for doughters to bring their first 10 ( or ….) boyfriends home
    this is the unwritten rule

  4. You go, momma. You might just make a list of your top ten pet peeves regarding Tess advice and hand it to those you suspect might need the list most. Then you would not have to get yourself worked up every time. 😀

  5. You and Dave are doing a fantastic job raising Tess and that should not be a point of argument 🙂 I think each family offers different experiences and set different goals for their children based on the family culture. There is nothing wrong with that and it is unfair for others to say what you should/shouldn’t do if they don’t understand your family culture. So keep on keeping on!

    P.S. When did Tess get so big! She looks so grown up in the photo of Maggey holding her. Also, we can’t wait to see you guys once Tess is ready to play 🙂

  6. Was Karin um 5.36 Uhr schreibt kann ich voll und ganz unterschreiben. Schon vor langer Zeit, als du einmal anzweifeltest, dass ihr alles richtig macht als Eltern, wollte ich euch sagen: Wägt gut ab was man euch rät, aber weist jede Kritik energisch zurück. Wenn Ihr wie bisher auf euer Herz horcht und mit eurem Verstand handelt kann nichts schiefgehen, außer, dass die Kinder später irgendwann ohnedies alles falsch finden, was du gemacht hast :)) egal, was du gemacht hast. Und Ihr werdet euch fragen:”Oh, Gott, was haben wir falsch gemacht, dass sich unser Kind so entwickelt =( ” Und, wenn diese Zeit vorüber ist, und ihr weiter zu eurem Kind gestanden seid, werdet ihr überglücklich über euer wunderbares Kind sein, und das Kind wird mit der Zeit seine Eltern auch nicht mehr eintauschen wollen 🙂
    Noch einmal: Lasst euch nicht beirren !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eure Meinung ist für euer Kind richtig – es hat sich ja euch ausgesucht !!! …und Tess weiß, was sie will !!!!!!!!!!!!!! und sie hat gut gewählt !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Das ist ja furchtbar, was der Computer aus meinem Kommentar macht. Das ist ganz unverständliches Zeug. Tut mir leid.

  8. Mom, I absolutely LOVE an FUC page (Frequently Unasked for Criticisms). Just add it to the site right next to the FAQ.

  9. It probably doesn’t help that that kind of crap happens to everyone. If it wasn’t her name or French it would be breastfeeding and German. Nobody is going to agree with how you do things 100% of the time, but you guys are 100% of everything to that sweet girl right now. And like the rest of us, you’re figuring it out in your own unique way. Just remember that there are legions of people who (quietly) support what you and other mums do. And are glad that a one size fits all approach doesn’t work in parenting.

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