From "Loud and Clear":
"What those books [on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early childhood education] taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations and the older parents at cocktail parties -- what they taught me was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all. Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything.
"One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can only be managed with a stern voice and a time-out. One boy is toilet trained at 3, his brother at 2. When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome.
"As a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself."
Thank you, Anna Quindlen.