Saturday, December 20, 2008

Apparently - I Did It All Wrong

I didn't raise my son correctly, and I made a lot of mistakes. This is what I'm being told by all the things I read in contemporary books about how to raise a kid. Seems you're not suppose to feed them anything other than breast milk or formula, but at the time I couldn't make one and I couldn't afford the other.

When I brought my son home from the hospital I had no idea what a mom did with such a little baby all the time. I didn't have a steady job and no day care would take him under 10 weeks so it looked like I was going to be there for a while -- holding him and you know, being a mommy. One of the first memories I have of my inability to be said mommy was when I woke up with him next to me and realized I hadn't put him back in his crib. I could have rolled over on him and not realized it.

The same day, a little later on, I realized I hadn't fed him. I realized I had completely forgotten to do it, and I also realized that I had diapered him with his hand stuck inside the diaper! Wow. This was really going to take some thought huh?

Something else I wasn't expecting happened. When I brought Reuben home from the hospital I also brought home a condition which didn't allow me to breastfeed for more than a couple of weeks. I was told the best formula to start him one was milk based and I tried that - but we found ourselves at the hospital with what appeared to be meningitis, but it turned out to be a severe allergic reaction to milk based formula. OK. I get it, I've just about killed my kid a couple of times and I've only had him for less than a month. I think I even dropped him once. It was snowing and I lost my footing. At least he landed in the grass.

When I couldn't afford formula and was too proud to get on welfare, I remember something my mom told me about a formula she either made for us, or she heard about. It would have been a 60's thing, not something any sane person would have tried in the late 80's, but I was poor and I never claimed to be sane, I was just a mom without a job and without any means of feeding my kid properly. I had options you know, there were people at my church that wanted me to let them adopt my son. This was settled before I gave birth with me screaming at them and I think I used the one-finger salute in the hallway of God's house...not my best moment. If anyone thought I would give up my baby they didn't know me. Hell, he's 22 and I still wouldn't let anyone have him - - they could pry my dead fingers off of him before trying. (oh, and yes, that goes for Caity Baby too, I tease, but I wouldn't ever really let her go.)

I bought a can of Milnot brand canned milk and poured it in a pitcher. I added 3 more cans of water, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. THAT became my child's formula. I know, I know, I'm the worst mom in the world, I should be arrested for child abuse, I should be hung by the neck until dead...but as you see, he's fine. Milnot cost about 25 cents a can and you know, I probably even got the generic brand if it were a few cents cheaper. I know I used tap water, which is something I probably wouldn't do now either - - and the maple syrup came into play because I didn't want to use just sugar. It dissolved better and when you mixed it up it looked like formula so no one complained at the church, or at the daycare when they finally took him at nearly 3 months.

Something else I did that we're told not to do. I spanked my kid. Yes, yes I did, I admit it, I turned him over my knee and let him have it a few times. I even popped him in public - - in front of GOD and everyone. I was actually approached once and I told the woman I was within my religious rights to spank my child. She asked if I was a Pagan, I told her no. I explained that I was a Baptist - - we do that still. (Keep in mind that was 1988 I don't know if Baptists still spank or not, I haven't needed to do that for 15 years or so.) LOL

Well - there you have it. I bought him 2nd hand clothes, used books, old school supplies, let him eat pizza off of plates at Chuck E. Cheese rather than paying for a pizza when we went to parties. I never stopped him from rolling down hills, playing in the pond water, and from time to time I even yelled at him from the bleachers like a hillbilly - - telling him to "KILL" someone. I meant the quarterback of the other team usually, but he knew what I meant. We had hand signals too, I could have been a Defensive Coordinator - - he got every call.

I let him drive without a license. I know I bailed him out of trouble too often, and yes, I lied to the school secretary several times when he just didn't' feel like going to school - or when I wanted to spend time with him. I screwed up big time I guess, but even after all the faults, and all the drama I put upon this kid he became a man. He did it. He grew up, and he made good decisions. He worked for over a year at his first job, again for more than a year at his second (granted it was Hooters, and any boy would show up for that one) but you know what - - he turned out fine. Oh, and he got over the milk thing too. I don't know when, but by the time he was 11 he was drinking nearly a gallon of regular Whole Vitamin D milk every day! Tell me that wasn't expensive! I was working then. Thank God.

So, go ahead young moms...make mistakes. It's part of the plan. Just remember even if you forget to feed them - - to love them. Somehow that seems to be the key to success...that, and prayer.

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