Thursday, December 12, 2013

Attachment Parenting (AP): My 2013 Top 5 List

I give myself some poetic license to make fun of attachment parenting crunchy moms because, to the extent reasonable and feasible, I consider myself a member and, at all other times, a groupie and wannabe.  So I'm going to state the obvious, what's on most of our parents' minds. Y'all is crazy.

My observations and experiences in the world of AP are as follows:

1.  We cosleep and night nurse. I wake up to an adorable smiling baby and it melts my heart. Which needs thawing by the time morning rolls around. My daughter prefers to sleep perpendicularly between my husband and me.  This is most efficient, permitting her to kick his face (I didn't believe it until I saw it.  80% sure it's deliberate) while simultaneously manhandling me under the guise of nursing.  With both tasks completed, she can go back to sleep just as we fully awaken.
I eventually found that during slow periods at work, taking a 20 min. nap in the room I used to pump in helps revive me.  My queen size bed at home has nothing on that pleather two-seater couch in a room with no windows and under fluorescent lights, and I relish those rare moments of glorious sleep punctuated by the startling, high pitched Blackberry dings of incoming emails.  Those are some of the beautiful and fleeting moments of parenting.

2.  I have been describing food wrong all my life.  A dish is edible based on the *lack* of ingredients.  Your apples and blueberries fruit salad is of interest to others if, and only if, it is properly identified as #glutenfree #refinedsugarfree #vegetarian #dairyfree #organic #nongmo #intact #novax #raw.  Cut up apples with blueberries does qualify as a recipe, and the fact that it really never includes gluten, white sugar, or foreskin is besides the point.

3.  Family drama consists of keeping your extended family's processed foods out of your children's guts, ignoring criticism of your weird sleeping arrangements and refusal to use mainstream baby products, and passionately arguing against punishment and cry it out.  (Although isn't CIO just punishment for an infant).  There's a solid exchange of links to "studies" going on during the work week.

4.  Breastfeeding.  Oh my goodness, breastfeeding.  I do it, I extended do it, and I find it incredibly important.  I even stick breast milk in every baby orifice at the first hint of illness.  However, the movement to normalize nursing has resulted in hyper-publicizing it.  Peeing, brushing your teeth, and eating vegetables are also normal and healthy parts of mothering and of life, but I don't see many pictures of Gisele doing those things.

My husband and I once experimented with those tasteful, frame-able nursing pictures.  They came out looking more "hobo flashing baby with pale boobs" than "artsy hottie nourishing child."  There was a level of over-exposure that even the most open-minded mama would prefer not to see.  That camera eventually made its way to Europe, during my first visit to meet my husband's parents.  One cozy evening we gathered around the computer to view a slideshow of the hundreds of pictures we took of our baby, forgetting that those nursing gems were on there.  Suffice it to say that I will not be taking nursing pictures in the near future.  That evening, the stern father in law I just met (and wasn't sure whether to awkwardly hug or warmly hand-shake), my formal mother in law, my husband, and I stood uncomfortably in sudden silence (no more oohing and ahhing at the cute baby) as each picture danced its way across the screen and lingered for what felt like hours.

5.  It is expected that you follow every like-minded blog and Facebook group, comment with supportive advice to other mamas (where have all the papas gone?), and post questions that a quick Google search would answer.  If you're not a stay at home mom, you are likely to miss out on many of these posts and discussions, but, not judging or anything, where is the whole "attachment" part of attachment parenting if you're at work all day.

There you have it guys, I'm strapping on my Beco and off to the co-op.  (Just kidding, I'm at work, but maybe this weekend).