The average American mom must go through an average of 200 (just a guess - it might be more) worrying thoughts and related bits of reassurance , per day. Take the teething problem for instance. I have not met a single mom who has not worried about giving their child toys that can ease the pain of the teeth growing and bothering their babies. If in the old days children were encouraged to deal with the pain of new teeth attacking their soft gums all by themselves as a way to learn and become strong, nowadays children are given "pacifiers purpose" rubbery toys of all shapes, colours, textures and sounds to put in their mouth and chew to make them feel better. These colorful evil things are hanging on the handles of strollers, car seats, they clutter people's cars and houses. You see them each time you meet a baby. I once heard a mom, whose's son was not sleeping through the night, say that she was considering buying the 20 dollars giraffe teething toy that mostly all moms I have met end up submit themselves to in order to avoid feeling the guilt that their children were going through more pain that they should have gone through!
I don't want to get too much into the food topic because that deserves a posting on its own but I will add some questions that are stuck in my mind from hearing them so often. "OMG, are you giving your daughter finger food at 8 months? Are you not scared that she is going to choke? What finger food are you giving your kid? Organic, right? Does that special cup from Fisher Price works? Cool, I am going to buy it!". As an Italian I grew up in a country where children are given pasta con il pomodoro straight from their plate in the first few months of their life (at 4 months). Despite children are kept either at home or bundled up to protect them from getting colds, in Italy being a good parent also simply means not leaving the kids unattended, at home or in the car for example. So I can't help finding the American super cautious moms' thoughts overwhelming. What do I do when William gets older and goes to kindergarten? Am I supposed to become that kind of mom too? Last week the super cautious better mom's behavior reached its highest point. First, a bunch of frightening emails on the bacteria present in the tap water, which were threatening the life of us and of our children, reached my inbox. My husband drove me all the way to Sloughton to get hold of bacteria free water. We ended up going home with nearly 300 bottles of water of 8 ounces each because the other bottles were gone. Did we really need to buy all those bottles to get through the two days of 5 or 10% of unsure water we could have been drinking before the 100% safe lawsuits proof Bostonian water would reach our houses again? At least we had some extra water, just in case, the temperature would suddenly rise up in the next couple of days, or just in case the baby would suddenly decide to eat more solids and to be more thirsty. But in this latter case, "would you give your child bottled water with no fluoride destroying his teeth?" were wondering a bunch of worried moms in one of the moms list I belong to. Here comes the question that has bothered me for a while now: "should I worry to worry less or to worry more?"