My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Five Questions, A Poem & Thou!

2005-04-22
Five Questions From Beth:

1. What is the most ridiculous piece of parenting advice youíve ever received?

ďLet her cry it out.Ē Followed by ďPut her on her back to sleep.Ē

God, really, you do not want to get me started on bad parenting advice because what I have figured out from reading copious books and magazines (esp a very scary book about child rearing from the 1930ís that recommends potty training at 6 months old. I ask you!!) is that advice about how to raise children is all about making things more convenient for the adults. If you donít want to be inconvenienced? Donít have kids.

This ďlet Ďem cry it out thingĒ is a load of shit. Why canít people realize that children never cry for no reason? That, when they cry, they are in need of something or are in pain, sad, uncomfortable, alone and lonely, etc? And that this is the only way they have of communicating this information to us. I am really hoping I live long enough for researchers to discover what really causes colic and that YES, babies are actually in pain. You don't cry like that, for hours on end, just for kicks.

Why must we persist in making babies suffer? Why canít we just pick them up and take them to bed with us? Why canít a baby snuggle with her mother rather than be forced to lay lonely and alone in a crib on the other end of the house? And cry until she pukes out of rage and frustration? All that teaches them is that whatever the problem is, tough shit. Nobody's coming to rescue you.

If they need to suck, whoís it hurting to let them? If they are having trouble sleeping, havenít we all had this problem? Babies canít turn on the light and read a book until theyíre sleepy or pad into the kitchen and fix a bottle of warm milk for themselves if thatís all it takes to go back to bed.

And all that sleep advice is also crap. Eventually, your child will sleep through the night even if that means theyíre sleeping in your room. Why should they be kept away just because itís easier for the parent? Why did you have kids? I mean, yeah, Iíd like a decent nightís sleep as much as anyone but Iím now the mother and my job is to help my children sleep as best they can on good nights and bad (and last night was a bad one. Thank you f*&king pollen!). And to comfort them and feed them and whatever else it is they might need that I can give.

The whole paranoia over SIDS and sleeping on their backs? Prove the link to me because Iím not seeing it. Both of my children sleep on their stomachs and always have since birth because they find it more comfortable, especially when Dusty had reflux as a baby. She was miserable on her back. Why should I force her to sleep that way when a) sheís NOT going to sleep that way and b) her crying tells me that sheís trying to communicate this information to me and I should be listening rather than doing what some propagandist literature that has drawn NO conclusions about the causes of SIDS tells me to do. I slept on my stomach and somehow lived to adulthood.

2. Whatís the best piece of parenting advice youíve ever received?

Trust your instincts.

See my rant above. This was the conclusion I drew from experience and trusting that my children knew best what they needed and all I had to do was LISTEN and find a workable solution. My instincts tell me that children know when theyíre full so we are not having any of that Clean Plate Club crap in our house.

I also let Dusty choose what she wants to eat because a) I donít like wasted food and b) I canít expect a young child to have the same tastes as an adult. As long as sheís eating healthy food, itís all good. Do I mind fixing a number of different meals? No. Sheís a kid. She canít be expected to like pesto and tomatoes. But, she does eat a variety of nuts, fruit, cheese and olives, hummus sandwiches and broccoli (yes, she does like broccoli). I refuse to have battles over food. This leads to bigger problems later on.

3. If you could live anywhere (realistically), where would it be?

Well, I donít know about realistic because whatís realistic is where Iím living now, which is as good as it gets around here. London would be nice except for the weather. Otherwise, Iíd love to live at a beach that is not full of fundamentalist Christians like Virginia Beach is (despite being the Edgar Cayce headquarters of the universe), preferably oceanfront but not where a mudslide would destroy the house. A private island would be nice as long as my living there didnít destroy the ecosystem.

4. What is your favorite room of your house?

Either the family/tv room because of my comfy couch and the lovely dark colors of the room or my kitchen because it gets a little more sunlight and itís where the food (and beer) is located.

5. What would win in a fight: a gnome or a leprechaun?

Oh, a leprechaun would totally beat the crap out of any gnome any day of the week. Leprechauns are evil Ė havenít you seen the Porky Pig cartoon where heís harassed by two leprechauns? Leprechauns are also part possum. Which explains everything, doesnít it?

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Hereís a bad poem I wrote yesterday while driving down I-95 in the pouring rain to pick up Dusty:

Spring is the morning of the yearís day.
Summer, the long hot afternoon,
Endless while it lasts.
Fall, open the windows but close the doors.
I feel a chill.
Winter is the dark hours of night
That go on and on and someoneís coughing
And sleep walking into closets.
Until the horizon is pierced by
Promise again.

As Dusty might say, Iím a poet-er!

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And, I donít know what the hell is going on with Diaryland but it refuses to update my reading link. Hereís the most recent stuff Iíve read:

15. Banvard's Folly by Paul Collins
16. Nat Tate: An American Artist by William Boyd (a bio of a fake artist)

Currently Reading: (for real)
The Sitwells by John Pearson

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3:06 p.m. ::
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