On Guns, Pools, and Porn Stars. And Babies.

29 06 2011

I took up prenatal yoga because a) yoga pants are incredibly comfortable in the third trimester and b) because we plan to breast feed and cloth diaper and baby wear, and when you join the ranks of those parents, yoga kinda gets thrown into the mix, right along with organic produce and baby sign.

The above list of parenting choices leads me to wonder about the type of parents we’ll actually be.

My own parenting philosophy?  It’s loosely based on a book called Freakonomics, which if you haven’t read, you should – even if you don’t have kids, because it’s not a parenting book.  It’s just a book of random correlations based on economics and statistics.  However, if you are a huge James Bond fan like me and plan on naming your daughter Plenty O’Toole, or if you are like Jason and own more guns than shoes, Freakonomics assures you that neither will impact your child’s success in the world so long as you have a college education and live in a neighborhood without any swimming pools.  In our case?  Check and check.  That baby’s going to be just fine.

I love a book that tells me nothing I do is going make or break my child (statistically speaking, mind you).

But at a certain point, I decided I needed a little more information.  I was having a crisis because logic told me that a convertible car seat rated for babies from 5 pounds to 70 pounds is just as good as an infant car seat rated from 5 pounds to 30 pounds.  Yet a small part of me felt like I was being wildly irresponsible for not spending $100 or more on the infant car seat that would only be used for 6 months because clearly infants need infant car seats.  Those convertible car seats are just made for the rare 5-pound toddler.  And then there was the dawning realization that I’ve eaten deli meat more than once during this pregnancy and oh, god, my child is going to be a nitrate-ridden freak of nature and I’m already the world’s worst parent.

This is what an abundance of parenting advice and child-safety products and societal pressure do to us: they turn our brains into total mush, and everything you learned about parenting from reading an economics book goes out the window.

Freakonomics made me feel safe in that my child will more likely go to college than have a tragic gun-related accident even if I give her a porn-star-ready name.  But now that I am beginning to make choices for this baby, I have found that there is so much more to parenting than fire arms and pole dancing.  So I turned to Free-Range Kids, which really is a parenting book.  Written by a woman who really is America’s worst parent, at least according to some in the media.  Now there’s an author I can respect.  Plus, if she’s already the worst mom in the country, that means however awful a parent I am, I will only be the second worst mother.  The pressure is off.

Free-Range Kids is a step-by-step guide for being the kind of parent that leaves your 10-year-old home alone while you run to the store.  Granted, that’s a decade away for me, but think about it: it may take 10 years for friends and family members to forgive me for making such an irresponsible decision, so I might as well start preparing them now.  The author also advocates for craziness such as letting your toddler bump her head, and even scrape her knees.  And how about letting your 7-year-old ride his bike down the block to a friend’s house?  Never?  What if the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children backed that decision?  Ha!

I love this book.

I’m not saying that I will be thoughtlessly combining guns and unattended children based on poorly understood (by me) statistics, only that I am hoping that logic and common sense will matter more in my parenting choices than media-and-market-driven anxiety.

And that is my blog’s first book review.  Sorry if the post title made it sound like it was going to be a way more interesting post…





Namaste, Little One

29 06 2011





Summer, At Last

28 06 2011

Summer vacation arrived two weeks ago, and with it came a burst of summer-like weather… finally.  After a cool, wet, and overcast May and early June, temperatures in the 70s felt hot.  Good weather, free time, and, naturally, the summer cold from hell arrived simultaneously.

At the same time, Jason’s 8 crew members showed up to camp out at our house for a week while they trained.  Nice and polite as they are, it is nonetheless a challenge to nap when 11 people are in your living room learning how to give CPR, or when there’s a chance you might join them for a rafting trip down a short Class III.  Or when a mushroom one of them picked and left on the kitchen counter explodes with maggoty-looking worms that spread through the kitchen in the night.

In other words, my plan for near-daily blogging was delayed by illness.  And worms.

I did, however, make it out of the arid high desert for a few days in the valley, where the still-green hills and riverside reminded me more of Costa Rica than of my own neighborhood just two hours to the east.

Now, though, a week shy of the 4th of July, it seems like vacation is finally here…





There’s This Guy…

27 06 2011

Baby, I’ve got to tell you something.  Right now, I’m the most important person in your life; for this moment, I can say that with 100% assurance that I’m telling the truth.  At some point in the next few months, that might change.  But for now, it’s just you and me.

But there’s this guy…

And I have to admit it, whatever you might think of him, I think he’s a rival for the position of your Number One Fan.

He likes shopping at Grocery Outlet and Food 4 Less, but he won’t have you drink anything less than organic milk – preferably from a local farm, even at $7 a gallon.  And by drinking, I mean in utero.

He’ll eat two-week-old pot roast that spent at least one night on the counter, but he grumbles if I tell him I’m feeding you a bowl of cereal for dinner.

He calls you Baby Spoon.

He shot down my plan of buying that cheap crib because it wasn’t safe enough for you.

He has missed some of our midwife appointments because the poor guy can’t be on time to save his life (but I bet he could do it to save yours), but he’s attempted to make every single one so far.

He woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me one more time how excited he was that you went down a Class III rapid.

And, speaking of nights, he falls asleep every evening with one hand on my growing belly, waiting for you to say hello.

Some day soon, I’m going to have to share you.  There will be many, many people who will love you and cherish you and care for you.  And there’s a part of me that’s a little sad that you won’t be just mine any more.

But, Baby, let me tell you this: I can’t wait for you to meet this guy.





Third Trimester

26 06 2011





Still Going Strong

20 06 2011

 

Other than a bout with some kind of stomach virus, Charlie is doing well and loving life.  In between naps, that is…

 

 

 

 

 





Father’s Day

19 06 2011

It was Jason’s first Father’s Day, at least according to the alien who has begun swimming around my abdomen with a regularity that is both disconcerting and wonderfully reassuring.  Since the little demon isn’t here to finger paint a necktie for him, I was on my own for creating a gift for the dad-t0-be:

Here it is, Jason’s very own diaper bag, complete with pink bottle, pink diapers, and a packet of Disney Princess butt wipes.

Luckily, the new mid-range driver and two PBR pounders are something just for himself – even if the disc is a pretty shade of pink.

Happy Father’s Day, Jason!








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