Rachel Henderson Photography Blog [Archived]

3 unrelated thoughts

March 11, 2008   |   by Rachel

1. I was rocking Win before his nap and thinking about parenting. Win has had an ear infection. His attitude is so difficult when he gets sick. He's throws tantrums, whines and disobeys at the drop of a hat. Moody, grumpy toddlers make parents assess their parenting like nothing else. I had this thought.In high school I was one of those kids who spent a lot of time in the art room. Sculpture was my thing then. As a part of my sculpture class I had access to the pottery wheels. To throw a pot on a pottery wheel you start by getting a lump of clay and putting it roughly in the center of the spinny part. As the wheel spins you cup your hand around it and gently but forcefully guide the lump of clay into the center of the wheel. Getting the lump exactly in the center is the most important part. If it is off center and you begin pulling the pot upward the whole thing goes crazy. It starts spinning and flapping back and forth like a washing machine with off balance clothing and, if you get a pot at all, it looks like it belongs in a Dr Suess book. Getting the lump centered is really hard. It's a lot like getting up on water skis. It takes a lot of force and control but it is really easy to overdo. I never got it. I tried a lot, but I never seemed to be able to find that sweet spot between too gentle of a hand and accidentally shoving the clay off the wheel. Parenting is a lot like that. Jared and I want to gently and firmly guide our children. For me it is so easy to seem like my hand is always either too light, too firm or both at the same time. Yesterday, when Win lost it and threw a screaming, arm-flailing, never-ending tantrum at the park. I could see that his emotions had overwhelmed his ability to handle them. I wanted to help him. I know what it feels like to have raging emotions-it stinks. But I also wanted him to know that his behavior was inappropriate and punishable. Sometimes I feel like I did in high school trying to center the clay. More is too much and less is too little. Oh well, I'm probably overanalyzing it. 2. Win is trying to fall asleep right now. He's practicing saying my name over and over again. It's really funny to hear his slurry little voice say, "Rachel, Rachel, Rachel, Rachel." 3. Jared and I saw U23D last night. I recommend it.

Posted in: miscwin



sorry to hear about the ear infections. they really stink. i think your reflection on parenting is right on and it is helpful to know other people get overwhelmed by toddler-raising, too! i feel the back & forth of too much/not enough on an hourly basis sometimes! praying for his quick recovery and for you in the process. oh, yeah, we can't wait to see that movie, too!


Beautiful thoughts, those are trying times, but you guys are more than up to it!

Carrie Shumaker2008-03-13

I enjoyed reading your comment about parenting. I've been thinking, lately, how the approach and level of firmness depends completely on the child, as well as the situation. So what works with Win won't work with Harriet, either. The discipline that works with my nephews would leave my 2 yo very, very traumatized. But it's great for them. I've been trying to figure out how to adapt my discipline for my 10 month old, who is much more "durable" than my 2.5 yo. Sigh.