Sometimes advice meted out is so obvious that it's useless.
For example, every evening at the beach house while I would read to and/or feed the littles before putting them to bed, Grandpa and Andrew spent time teaching Rachel and Miriam the game of "Hearts." Once I was finished putting children down and they had finished their round of "Hearts," we'd move on to "Hand and Foot" since "Hearts" is only a four-player game and I make five players.
Frequently I would end up watching them finish their games.
One particular night, Andrew was coaching one of the girls on their winning strategy and he said, "Okay, on this round, ideally, you want to either get no points or shoot the moon."
This made us laugh because—indeed—those are the two best options.
The other night we were playing bowling on the Nintendo. Miriam was (already) doing rather well and on the ninth frame she'd bowled a strike. She had the tenth frame left and was gearing up to take her turn, when Andrew, who took a bowling class the summer that Rachel was born, decided to impart his bowling wisdom.
"Ideally," he said, "You want to get as many strikes as possible in this last frame."
Again we all just had to laugh because...what else would she have attempted to do?!
Like, literally the point of bowling is to get as many strikes in a row as possible.
Today the pediatrician (actually, we saw the NP) asked me about Phoebe's sleep habits, which aren't terrible, really, though they could stand some improvement. She loves to sleep. She just...is a baby...so sometimes she struggles to stay asleep.
I bragged that last week she slept two nights in a row from 10 PM to 6 AM (which was amazing). But usually she gets up around 3:00 AM to nurse. And often she wants to be strolled around the house in the evenings before going to bed (or within an hour of going to bed).
"When she gets up to nurse does she nurse for a long time or a short time?" the NP asked.
"Oh, quite a long time," I said.
"Then she's probably still doing it because she's legitimately hungry and not only out of habit. Ideally," she said (there's that word again), "We'd like her to consistently be giving you at least an eight hour stretch of sleep so that you can get the rest you need, too."
Oh, ya think? That would be ideal, would it?
I just smiled (under my mask...so mainly with my eyes, I suppose) and said, "Yup. We'll keep working on that."
Because, like, I already know having her sleep through the night would be ideal, but if there's something I've learned in the past fifteen years of parenthood, it's that you can lead a child to bed...but you can't make them sleep.
I have faith that she will eventually sleep through the night (or will at least get to the point where she can get through the night independently). Her timing for gaining this skill might not be ideal, but she'll get there.