This past November, I turned 30. I believe 30 is this magical number in the U.S. that everyone starts having children or everyone starts asking if you’re going to have children. Some people ask point blank, some are a little more covert, and then there is my mother.
Last night she called to update me on some family news and somehow or another the conversation turned to her future grandchildren. My mom knows me well; she knows that we do want to have kids someday and she is awesome about not pressuring us. So instead of asking about our family plans, she just states what she’s going to do when our little one finally comes around. She LOVES her grandkids and enjoys daydreaming about having more. And since my niece and nephew are the cutest kids ever, I really can’t blame her.
But our conversation last night ended up turning to children sleeping through the night and whether you pick them up or let them cry. I found the dialog especially interesting because currently I am reading Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman. I’m not very far along yet, but even in the first chapter Druckerman makes some good contrasts between the American family chaos to the more serene French family. Druckerman noticed the difference first while at a restaurant in France where she observed the local children eating adult food, sitting in their chairs, and playing quietly. How many times have you been to an American restaurant only to see parents chasing their children around because they refuse to stay at the table? A lot, right? If most French children sleep through the night at 3 months, eat broccoli without being threatened, and rarely (if ever) throw a tantrum, then perhaps Druckerman is right and there is something to be learned from our Francophone friends.