A few weeks ago a mama-friend and I were talking about how our babies are getting older and how it gets so much easier, but in many way so much harder. And then we came to the (somewhat startling) conclusion that the first year of your kid's life doesn't really require much parenting, you're really just trying to keep them alive. This is a large exaggeration but there is some truth to it right?! And then you think back to how hard it was the first year and how it's really only beginning.
Now that Iris is no longer a baby and has started to become more independent and "assertive" (this may be a nice word for it) I've found myself really starting this whole parenting thing. And obsessively thinking about how what I do with Iris now will affect her down the road. Like she wants out of her highchair, but it's still dinner time; do I make her sit there until dinner is done or do I let her out? Am I being mean by making her sit there or will she turn out to be a brat who wants everything right this second if I let her out? Or she keeps opening the cabinet with the large ceramic mixing bowls in them. She knows she's not supposed to play with them and freaks out when I tell her "No" over and over again. Should I just let her pull them out just this once, I mean, is it that big of a deal? OR will not being consistent confuse her?! Oh god, it's maddening! There are many times when Iris is having a meltdown and Dave and I just glance at each other with our eyebrows raised, willing the other person to decide which route to take.
I feel like I could over-analyze every small decision we make with Iris but I'm trying really hard to be gentle on myself, to know that all I really want is what's best for her. And there will definitely be those times where I probably shouldn't have let her play with my toothbrush because now she acts like a crazy person whenever she sees me brushing my teeth with it, or should have just let her pull out all the laundry that I just folded out on to the floor because it really wasn't that big of a deal. But I can deal with having those moments, I figure by the fourth kid we'll have this parenting thing semi-figured out ;)