Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Surfacing

Wow… it’s been over a month. Let me begin by saying I have missed writing and posting here desperately- it’s not for lack of desire. But you know the saying… “life gets in the way”. Well, it has. And certainly not necessarily a bad kind of in the way… just in the way. I am pretty well full-steam-ahead-damn-the-torpedoes from about 5:30 a.m. until the baby beds down at around 8:00. Then I try my best to keep my eyes open long enough to spend some time with Husband. (And let’s face it.. if I’m conscious enough to be up, we’ll both want to have sex- I mean, How I Met Your Mother is a good show.. but not that good.) Then I’ll need to wake up with Baby Girl anywhere from 2-5 times over night. Lately it’s been more like 5. (We’ve had our first experience with the fabled ear infection. That bacteria made me it’s bitch.) And there’s what whole work thing, blah, blah, blah… What’s that? You’re sick of hearing me moan about my great Husband, adorable baby, and good job? Me too. So I’ll quit.

We started the kiddo on rice cereal. Yes, she’s still breastfed. No, I am not supplementing with formula. I try hard to avoid being judgmental of anyone (except for Republicans) but for a relatively well-educated suburban privileged person to have a baby and then not breastfeed even when they are capable of doing so? Well, I think it’s pretty crappy. Even the formula companies, who have a blue bazillion dollars tied up in you using their product, cop to the fact that breastmilk is the absolute best thing for your child. We’re not talking about parenting style or lifestyle choice or anything intangible like that. (Yes, breastfeeding has intangible benefits for bonding, etc. but let’s not even go there.) If we talk just in terms of SCIENCE, of what can be tested and proven beyond doubt, breastmilk is the best thing. Obviously folks will have medical conditions that will prevent breastfeeding- I’m certainly not suggesting someone should endanger their own health to do it. The kid needs you alive and healthy. And it would be insanely obtuse of me to say that a single mother working an hourly shift job in which she only gets two 15-minute breaks a day (or someone in equally difficult circumstances) can do what I’m doing with the pumping every two hours, etc. And having multiples complicates things- especially if we’re talking triplets, quads, etc. I’m just saying that if your circumstances are like mine (meaning none that would really prevent you from breastfeeding) why the hell wouldn’t you except for plain selfishness? As long as my body will comply, there will not be any formula in my daughter’s diet. Does that mean I’m pumping constantly and taking fenugreek and drinking mother’s milk tea and cutting out caffeine and drinking enough water to rehydrate Southern California? Yep. And do I think it makes me a better mother? Damn skippy.

You know, now that I think about it, being a Mom has made me pretty judgmental on a lot of fronts. I guess you get to feeling like you have a right. That’s probably dangerous, but I’m too damn tired to care. So while I’m on this bitchy sanctimonious rant, let’s talk about “crying it out”. If I hear from one more person that I have to let my daughter cry it out so she’ll “learn to sleep on her own”, I may punch them in the damn face. The cry-it-out approach is, in my book, borderline neglect. Letting a helpless infant who is dependent upon you for everything and doesn’t yet fully understand the world around them cry themselves to exhaustion out of fear and loneliness is not “teaching” them anything except that they can’t count on you and they’re right to be afraid and lonely. They’re not learning to self-soothe, they’re learning to give up because it doesn’t matter how much they need you, you don’t give a damn. Yes, they’ll get older and learn to work the system a little bit, and you’ll have to start being firm about things. But before they can even talk? Not possible. There are, of course, modified approaches in which you don’t just abandon them completely to wail until they collapse from the exertion. I find those more palatable. But just straight cry it out? Not at our house.

And speaking of shit I’m tired of hearing about, let me say this: MY BABY SLEEPS IN MY BED. GET THE FUCK OVER IT. But more on that for another time. I’m too grouchy to write a tirade about the anti-co-sleeping zealots.

Ahem.

On to things non-baby-related. Miley Cyrus, to be exact. Miley has been apologizing a lot for those Vanity Fair photos. Miley, sweetie, please stop. Because you, Miley, are the only person whose judgment in this whole debacle was age-appropriate. What 15-year-old girl, newly cognizant of her sexuality (and the power contained therein) and wanting desperately to be a grown-up wouldn’t have agreed to those photos? Poor judgment? Yep, but she FIFTEEN. It’s her job to have relatively poor judgment and to try to be too big for her britches. Now… Annie Leibovitz? She’s an edgy artist, true. And this is her “style” blah, blah, blah… but she’s also a woman. And I expect better out of women for other women, particularly for young women. This includes creating art without turning Hannah Montana into Lolita before she’s even old enough to have READ Lolita, much less comprehend the implications. I think there’s an argument to be made here about consent. If we agree by most courts’ standards that she’s not old enough to consent to sex, shouldn’t we also agree she’s not old enough to consent to having her sexuality splayed on the pages of a magazine read largely by folks too old to date her legally? Vanity Fair? Completely in the wrong to print them- but did you expect less? They’ve got a product to sell. Not an excuse, mind you, but predictable. This brings us to the people who I think should be strung up on a line by their toenails- Mr. and Mrs. Montana. AKA, Billy Ray Cyrus and whoever the hell her Mom is- Tammy Lynn Cyrus? (I don’t know- seemed like a good name for her.) My point here being, her damn father APPEARED in some of the pictures. He and Mama should have been front-and-center demanding editorial and artistic authority and USING IT. The sad part is, they seem to have a product to sell too, and that took precedence. Oh, and Disney, please stop tsk-tsk-ing at Vanity Fair for “exploiting” Miley. Your big concern here is that their marketing strategy was wildly different than yours- and you feel like you’ve got a bigger ownership stake.
*SIGH*- see? Judgmental.

Coming soon... my brush with blogger fame and why I nearly peed myself with excitement while reading this guy...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
It sounds like you are sick of what "other" people have to say about co-sleeping. Sign up as a safe co-sleeping parent at
www.co-sleepingsurvey.com

Check out the in the news section to drum up some blogging motivation.
Thanks!

Matthew said...

First, I love the way you crammed a month's worth of posts into one post. You go, girl!

Second, how long are you going to make me wait to hear this story?! :)

Mieke said...

Thank you for a hilarious post. I remember having many of these arguments.

Keep posting.

klasieprof said...

Breastfed all my kids.... Check
Co Slept....>Check
Slept on recliner with kids so they could nurse all night long ....check
cereal to supplement.....Check

REGRETS? None.