My love borders on obsession when it comes to this little monster. Everything she does amuses me. She isn’t the extension of myself that I thought she would be. She is her own distinct Gemini Dragon Baby. She has opinions and purpose all her own. Sometimes I get the feeling that I’m just here to shuttle her from one engagement to the next and provide the laugh-track to her little baby sitcom.
When I started this journey I expected to be a totally different mom. I was going to be the mom who returned to work after my maternity leave. I was going to be the mom with a well-disciplined baby who slept in their crib down the hall, never waking in the middle of the night. I was going to be the mom to successfully breastfeed till my baby turned 1, then successfully wean and gloat over my accomplishment. I had read “What to Expect”, I had read “Happiest Baby on the Block”, I had read “Heading Home With Your Newborn”, and I knew everything there was to know about having a baby.
Then I had the baby. June 19, 2012 was the beginning of the rest of my life.
Dragon Baby washed over us like a tsunami. In her path she left nothing of the former life we knew. We had to reinvent ourselves as parents and begin anew. If you had told me back in my prenatal days that I would give up my independence and income to spend every waking hour of every day with this little pixie… I would have wholeheartedly disagreed with you. If you had forewarned me that we would trade in our Queen for a King size bed to fit the 3 of us more comfortably, I would have laughed. If you would have told me that I would forgo a full night of sleep for the next 2 years of my life so I could co-sleep and night nurse… I would have scoffed at your ignorance. Had you told me an anecdote about a woman nursing her kid ’til they were 3, I would have raised my eyebrows in distaste and informed you that I was “not going to be taken advantage of like that”. Instead, I was re-educated in the art of baby. I traded in my Dr. Karp for Dr. Sears. I found solace in the mothering I read in “The Nursing Mother’s Companion” and “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding”. I became a “lactivist” before I even knew what was happening, and now I AM one of those “crunchy” ladies you see walking around the Farmers’ Market with my baby tied in a wrap on my back, both of us covered in berry stains.
This blog is about my experiences, about the new things I learn every day. About the countless other moms and dads I meet every day and the wisdoms they impart on me. Though I borrow from its doctrines, I dislike the term “attachment parent” because of all the negative associations it brings to mind. I believe that you cannot just subscribe to any one kind of parenting style – you must continue to grow as your child grows. Your parenting philosophy should be as fluid as the world is. This approach is what I call “Practical Parenting” and it’s my attempt to infuse love and logic into what I know about child development and reach a middle ground. I hope you enjoy being a part of this journey with us and sharing in the love of our Little Beings.