Thursday, August 23, 2007

Inspired By Connor's First Day of School

It is on an August evening that the young mother of three steps outside her back door to gaze at the moon. The air is warm and humid, as is typical of the land of magnolia trees and antebellum homes in late summer. There is a slight breeze, however, that foreshadows the coming season, a time filled with hayrides and visits to the pumpkin patch.

The moon hangs low over the trees, a large white orb that brings comfort as it always has, even before she saw it as a symbol of deity. August is a month of change, and she has never liked change, her life being so constantly full of it. She wants things to forever remain the same.

Her oldest child must grow up tomorrow, must leave the nursery, as Wendy told Peter Pan. The first star of the evening twinkles, and she blinks away a tear. She remembers the old rhyme and before she can stop herself, she makes a wish.

She thinks about the story of Thumbalina. What if her child were tiny enough to need her always? What if a wish could make it so? Would she make him a bed from a walnut shell and tuck him in every night? Would he long to fly away, as Thumbalina did with the fairy prince?

"All children must grow up and leave their parents," he would say, and she would know this was true. "But I'll always need you, in some way," he would tell her, and she would know this was true, too.

She leaves her thoughts where they belong and finds him ready for bed. He curls his fingers around her hair as he has always done for comfort, and she pulls him into her lap. She kisses his head and he places it on her shoulder. "I love you," she whispers.

"I love you, too, Mommy."

Monday, August 13, 2007

On Babies and Being Different...

You mustn't hold your baby too much, or you'll spoil them! If you don't let them cry, they'll expect you to pick them up at every whimper! They have to learn to put themselves to sleep in order to become independent! If you let them into your bed once, you'll never get them out of it! You have to control them, or they'll control you!

It makes me want to puke. Can someone please explain to me when we as a society decided that babies are capable of manipulation? Who assigned such a complex thought process to such simple creatures? Why is it so wrong to baby your baby?

A good friend told me today that she's going to have to "de-spoil" her four-month-old son because he wants to be held all the time. If it's possible to smile and nod over the phone, that's what I did. I don't think she was interested in my thoughts on the subject, and since she's a good friend, I don't want to criticize her parenting. She's also a first-time mom and quite sensitive about such things.

She had called me to ask what kind of baby juices she can give. I confessed I had no clue because I've never given my babies juice. I think she took it as a criticism, but I didn't mean for it to be. Who am I to judge? As a first-time mom, I gave Connor baby food at the age of four months on the advice of his (former) pediatrician. I didn't know any better, and neither does my friend.

I've done a 180 since then, and I'm completely confident that this attachment parenting thing works very well for us. I'll also not-so-secretly (since this blog is public) confess that I think attachment parenting is the best way to parent. Oh I know it's politically correct to say that what works for one parent may not work for another and all that bullshit. Come on, let's be honest. We all know that we think the way we parent is the best way, otherwise we'd do things differently.

That said, it's hard to be an AP mom around here. Come to think of it, it's much like being Pagan...which I also am. Strike two on the freak-o-meter. On the rare occasion I meet someone who calls themselves an attachment parent, thoughts of playdates in the park race through my head. Reality quickly sets in; I always meet these parents in Columbia, and I live too far away to make friendship a likely possibility.

I'll admit to being disappointed that my friend doesn't share my parenting views. We have so many things in common, including being Pagan, that maybe I assumed we would be alike in that regard as well. Another friend of mine just found out she's pregnant, and I already find myself hoping to find that commonality with her. Hey, her sister considers herself AP, so it could happen. ;)

I look back and try to pinpoint when exactly I started wandering off the beaten path. It's not like I consciously set out to be different from everyone else. Attachment parenting, like the Pagan path I follow, just seem to fit me. It makes sense, feels right, and all that jazz. Maybe I've always felt a little different. When I look around, I have to admit that I don't always think that's such a bad thing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Good Weekend!

A little bit of "me" time makes for a happy mommy. :)

Jess and I went to karaoke Saturday night, and even though I got home way too late, I had a lot of fun. We met this guy from Greece who bought us drinks and taught us some interesting things about his culture and religion. And this guy hit on Jess, which is always good for the ego, lol. I totally blew the Dixie Chicks song I sang, but oh well.

Yesterday I took Addison swimming at Heather's. Jess and Eric had Cameron there, and Olivia and Jackson were there, as well as a couple of friends of Jess'. It was a relaxing afternoon, and Addi loved the pool. Afterwards, Jess and I went to Once Upon a Child, where I bought Addi cute clothes that she doesn't need. Heehee! I also found Connor a Beatles shirt for $2.50, so that was cool.

Michael also got time for himself this weekend. He went to a party at his co-worker's house on Friday night, and yesterday before I went swimming, he and his dad went to see The Bourne Ultimatum. It worked out really well this weekend; there was no fighting over who was stuck at home and no pissing contests about who gets more time to him/herself. Now if we could only manage for things to go so smoothly every weekend. LOL