Parenting the Easy Way

Misty’s and my parenting style can best be summarized as, “Enh, let’s not go to too much trouble.” For instance, Eli has a habit of dropping his pacifiers between the crib and the wall, so that they’re incredibly hard to reach. Fortunately, he has many binkies, but after a few days I start running out of pacifiers to give him at night. So the other morning, after I freed him from his crib, I told him, “Eli! Go under your bed and get your binkies!” Quick as a flash, he crawled under his bed and liberated all of the lost pacifiers. He dropped them in my hands and said, “You put my binkies up and you go get me orange juice.” It’s a fair trade, and far below minimum wage. Do minimum wage laws apply to child labor?

Through no planning on our part we’ve trained him to play happily in his crib until we come in to get him. He often talks to himself while we doze. We’ll hear him over the monitor, but as long as he sounds okay, we’ll sleep in. The monitor is old and muffled, with the kind of sound quality associated with cheap Radio Shack walkie-talkies. This morning we lay in bed listening to him, unable to understand a word over the monitor. It was as if we were receiving a radio talk show from outer space, and it was strangely soothing.

I like this approach of letting him fend for himself and making him help out around the house. Next summer I’ll put wooden blocks on his feet like those Short Round wore in that Indiana Jones movie and see how he does with the mower.



  1. katre
    on July 28, 2006 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Please enlighten me as to how this “he plays happily in his crib by himself” thing works? Every morning it’s (a slight variation on) the same routine: we sleep, Alim wakes, Alim cries, I go change a diaper, I put him back into the crib and try to go back to sleep, more crying until I get up and fetch the boy, who is then the World’s Happiest Baby.

  2. Joyous
    on July 28, 2006 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    This is my kind of parently. Is there a manual? Do you give lectures? Is there a series of promotional videos, maybe?

  3. Joyous
    on July 28, 2006 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Er, make that “my kind of parenting.” (Proofread, durn it!)

  4. on July 28, 2006 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Please enlighten me as to how this “he plays happily in his crib by himself” thing works?

    I wish I knew. It happened without us realizing what was going on until it was too late.

  5. duchess
    on July 28, 2006 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Er. Alim *does* play in his crib when he wakes up. He coos a little, and explores the bumpers a bit. If I am functional, I usually toss some toys in the crib at this point, and he keeps playing. If I am not functional, he starts crying because there are no toys!

    Of course, his father is rarely awake until he starts crying.

  6. on July 28, 2006 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Duchess and Katre,

    Is Alim in the room with you? I have discovered that Eli demands to be removed from the crib MUCH earlier (as early as 4 a.m.) if he is in the same room with us. If he is in a separate room, even at a different house, he stays in the crib much longer.

  7. katre
    on July 28, 2006 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    He is now, yes. Once we have the Fabled New House, however, he gets his own room. Unless we move him into the kitchen this weekend. 🙂

  8. on July 29, 2006 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Stephen, Stephen, Stephen. Mowing the yard? Come on man. Do something really useful: teach him to type, and let him do your proposals for you. After all, most RFPs seem that they might read better with Toddler Logic.

    [Guess who got faxed a ROM request that frustrated him late on Friday afternoon? Yeah, him!]