Babies cry. We all know this; it's a fact of life.
Filipino parents have a hard time coming to terms with this. As a parent, your goal should be to avoid crying at all costs. Zero crying time. None.
There is nothing like impossibly high standards to make you feel like a failure as a mother.
So, you nurse your baby whenever, wherever. You bounce them. You snuggle them. You give up sleep for 2 years until they finally, finally, somehow manage to sleep through the night (this happened to my mother; she really has no significant memory of our first 2 years of life).
Even when it's not your baby, the baby shouldn't cry. Ever. Filipinos will inevitably insist the mother feed the crying baby, even if baby just ate moments before. (Of course, this is related to Filipinos' need to feed everyone they meet. In fact, most will greet you with "Kumain ka na [have you eaten yet]?" But that is a topic for another blog post).
So, during our last visit to Lewiston, when Christina and Ben came to my mom's house for a visit, they got to experience some of this crazy Filipino-style parenting. Ben was fussy, tired, and had been having some struggles with reflux. I offered to watch Ben so Christina could pack for their trip to McCall that evening. But, she was a little reluctant because Ben was a sad, sad boy, so she strapped him in his carseat, preparing to go.
While she was cooling down the car, my mom and I swung Ben in his carseat to keep him happy until his mama came back in. Lo and behold, he stopped crying.
Mom: We should really watch Ben so Christina can pack.
Jen: I know. I think she doesn't want to leave him when he's crying, though.
Mom: He's not crying now. Look. We could keep swinging him.
Mom: I mean, I think I could keep this up for at least an hour.
These are the depths of Filipino parenting! Between my aunt Becca, Mom and I, we swung Ben to sleep in his carseat for an hour. It was a good work out, especially if you count bouncing Andie on the other hip at the same time.
Christina and Steve got their car packed up.
Ben got a nap.
We got a work out.
And no babies cried.
A Filipino success story!