Or how to teach your child to give up, in three easy lessons.
The sweet new mother was horrified, near tears, as she related to me the latest theory in child rearing . . . They say you're not supposed to pick your baby up when s/he's crying at night -- that you'll teach the baby bad habits -- that you'll teach the baby that whenever the baby cries, you run -- that you'll train the baby to train you! "Just let the baby cry; it'll eventually give up and go back to sleep!"
The young mother cried out: "Teach your baby to give up? teach your baby that when it's fearful, unhappy, uncomfortable, that there's no help out there? What kind of parenting is that?"
The conversation took Marash Girl back many a year, remembering how her father would tell of, or perhaps brag about, how he had "trained" Marash Girl to sleep through the night. It seems that when new-born Marash Girl was brought home from the hospital, she would cry at night; when her mother Jennie picked her up, baby Marash Girl would stop crying; when Jennie put Marash Girl back in the crib, Marash Girl would start crying again. Marash Girl's father Peter (a first-time father) deducted from this scenario that there was nothing wrong with Marash Girl, that Jennie should simply stay in bed and let Marash Girl cry. Jennie was heartbroken, as we may assume was Marash Girl. So for 7 nights Jennie lay in bed, suffering, listening to her new baby, her first baby, cry. The first night for three hours, the second night for two hours, the third night for an hour, the fourth night for half an hour; the fifth night for fifteen minutes; and finally, Baby Marash Girl had learned her lesson; no one would come if she cried out for help.
Poor Jennie, whose heart would break every night; poor baby Marash Girl, whose heart would break every night.
Marash Girl was thankful that when she had her own babies, Marash Boy's mother would encourage her to pick up the crying infants . . . Medzmama encouraged her hars with these words: "You can't spoil a baby!"