Sunday, February 15, 2009
It's easy to dismiss some of the advice a new parent gets from his or her parents (and it's even easier when it comes from in-laws). We just say, "That's not how they do things nowadays," which works for a while, at least until the next time they insist the baby sleeps only on his belly and eats watermelon when he's 3-months-old.
But when it comes to contemporary philosophies we tend to get lost (unless we pretend we know what we're doing). There's so much out there, after all.
One of the main issues new parents deal with is where the newborn will sleep. Everyone told us we were making a mistake. It was the same horror story every day: If we don't teach our child to sleep in his crib he'll be coming to our bed every night until he's a teenager. And even then, he'll never be independent.
Dave at Attachment Parenting believes in
extended breast feeding, co-sleeping, non-violence towards children, and carrying or otherwise being with babies (especially newborns) every hour of the day. You can tell us attachment parenting types, actually, by the slings we use to tote our babies. :-)
In the end, we didn't have to make that choice. Our baby lost interest in breast milk around his first birthday, and when--also around that time--he started walking everywhere, including walking on our bed while we were asleep, we knew it was time for him to go downstairs. Crying because he was lonely for a minute seemed less painful than for him to walk off the bed and fall straight on his head.
Dave talks about the life of a single parent, about maintaining the anonymity of his children, and about anything else fathers talk about. And he even answers readers questions. A good place to go if you find yourself thinking about the line between allowing your child to be independent on the one hand and letting the child know you're always there for him on the other. It's all a give-and-take, I suppose.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
We worry. Sometimes I think we had our baby just to have an excuse to worry. And as he grows up and achieves his milestones, we find new reasons to worry. How come it's been a year and he still doesn't have his teeth? Okay, here they are. A cousin's baby is a month younger and already walking! Okay, he's walking now. But does he get enough protein? Are we hurting him by raising him vegetarian? He fell on his face. Again. Should we call the doctor?
But then I read this blog and my own worries seem so trivial.
Robert's daughter suffers from a rare disease that has left her speechless, and had initially left him with nothing but guilt.
Robert's blog, however, is not about guilt, but about his transformation into a father. In a way, it's about that old Hero's Journey that puts a heavy load of responsibility on the unsuspecting person, and as he learns to overcome and cherish that responsibility, he finds his role.
Through this blog, we see Robert's frustration and joy. His struggle and achievements. The never ending journey of fatherhood.
And we see his beautiful daughter. About the picture below, Robert writes,
If you want to know Schuyler and how she takes on a mean world that she nevertheless loves without limits, here she is.