Being at peace with yourself – aka being in the moment, detachment, self-love, other synonyms – has the side benefit of helping you tune into your environment and those around you. I realized today how much this can enrich parenting.
We are doing a watered-down version of elimination communication EC with Baby where we put her on the potty when we think she will need to use it. This could be either just after drinking, waking or getting out of a car seat/carrier; or when she signals us that she has to go, through particular looks or whines. When I am calm and tuned in I hear her signals much more often, and thus “catch” more of her elimination. Today she was whining and I clued in that she might have to go potty. She sat there for a few minutes and didn’t go, so I let her stand up and play beside the potty with no diaper. After a number of minutes of play she turned and looked at me and I knew she had to poo. So I put her on the potty, and there you have it. Since one of my dreams as a parent is to practice EC much more effectively for its own sake and because it’s a beautiful form of parent-child communication and care-giving. I can see how building my own peace can help me do this.
Baby has been babbling for a while and her assortment of sounds continues to grow – deep “guh guh”s and “tuh” “kuh” along with her shrieks of excitement and the incredibly sweet, high-pitched “euh!” when she’s delighted with something. Today I tuned in and heard her, several times, say “dada” when she spotted her daddy. I can’t guarantee that that is her first word, but it might very well be, and if I weren’t listening I would miss it.
Paying attention: not something to demand of ourselves and others, but the natural by-product of inner peace.