To a point.
Lesley and I were having a conversation about co-sleeping the other day and I told her about this mad impressive bed I had seen on facebook.
When I found it the next day I posted it on her facebook wall. The reaction from a few people, Lesley included, is that co-sleeping is okay – to a point.
I see the reaction to breastfeeding. While I haven’t heard it yet I know it is coming. Gus is one now and I have no plans to wean him. I don’t know when I will. I don’t know that I will nurse him until he is four but honestly I don’t know that I won’t. The reactions I see to breastfeeding are similar to that of co-sleeping: It’s great – to a point.
A few weeks ago I was out for a walk with Gus and the dog. I had Gus in the Tula and a woman commented that he’s getting too big for mom to carry everywhere. Because carrying your baby is okay – to a point.
I’ve been thinking a lot about entitlement. About how someone thinks it is okay to shoot other people. And I think some of it is our culture that teaches us we are special. We get participation ribbons as an award for showing up. We hold ourselves as better than others – we propose building walls to keep out our neighbors and refuse to help people who are packing onto boats because the sea is safer than the land. We believe we are better, individually and collectively.
And when that is the case why is meeting my child’s emotional needs okay only to a point? Why is making him feel safe and secure bad? I believe the parenting decisions we make are right for us because I want him to feel safe and secure so we can deal with the hard stuff. So we can talk through his feelings good and bad. I want him to be able to make decisions about his world and be there to support him when he feels bad. I want him to know disappointment and sadness and to learn how to cope with those things. And sometimes coping will involve my bed, boobs, or arms.
I think people argue that this style of parenting makes kids less independent. Those people have never met Gus. In all fairness, he is away from us during the work week but he has one on one care at childcare. Gus is fiercely independent and thriving. My hope is to nurture his emotional needs so that continues.
I was talking to a friend about taking a vacation this summer with us, them, and a third family. The problem is my friend and I have some issues with family three that make me want to have a limited interaction with them. They’re not bad parents but they’re not great ones either. My biggest complaint is that they do nothing to meet their kids’ emotional needs. They don’t pick up their baby when she cries. They don’t let their 3 year old make any decisions for herself. They punish the 3 year old when she is upset. Those things don’t work for me. And that’s okay. I bet a lot of our decisions do not work for her. I bet she looks at some of the stuff that we do and thinks it’s all okay – to a point. Maybe the difference between parents is really just where that point is.