Is where I was dropped as a baby.
No, really. I have a big scar and everything. It’s in my hairline.
Seriously, though, I have had babies on the brain a lot lately. And, given 1) my career and 2) the fact that everybody on the blogosphere seems to be procreating at a simply astounding pace–is it really that surprising that I spend a lot of time thinking about babies?
This doesn’t mean that Jeff and I have any plans to procreate anytime soon (though I promise y’all will be the first to know, lol), we have already had lots of discussions about what kind of parents we would like to be, and steps we can take to try to somewhere within spittin’ distance of that ideal.
And, as someone who has *never* had children, but has spent many, many years around other peoples’, and is a legally certified expert on other peoples’ children, I figure I’m in an unarguably *perfect* position to be the ultimate judge of Good Parenting, right? (note sarcasm. For god’s sake, please note sarcasm).
Most of my ideas about good parenting come from the way I was raised–after all, perfection breeds perfection breeds perfection, right? I’m also strongly influenced by the ideals of a simple, eco-friendly, natural lifestyle–the one to which I aspire. Finally, by something a friend of mine (the mom of one of my *adorable* students) told me: “You don’t need a bunch of crap to have a baby. All you need is at least one working boob, some cloth diapers, a sling, and a good carseat.” And really, she’s right. That’ll get you through the first few months, at least.
Here are our thoughts:
~We WILL decide to have a child only when we are emotionally and financially ready–not within the next couple years, at least.
~When that time comes, I WILL do everything I can to have a healthy and natural pregnancy.
~We will NOT find out the gender of our child before he/she is born, choose one name for Absolutely Gosh Darn Certain, and spend our last months as a couple obsessively planning (read: buying unnecessary shit) for the Hoopling.
~I WILL avoid drugs, unnecessary cesarean sections, and a hospital environment if at all possible.
~I WILL attempt to breastfeed our child if at all possible.
~We WILL use cloth diapers whenever possible, to avoid all the waste and unnatural substances that accompany disposables.
~We WILL NOT schlep the Hoopling around in a carseat or stroller, we WILL carry him/her in a sling (like the Maya Wrap) whenever possible.
~We WILL consider co-sleeping, depending on our situation at the time (jury’s still out on this one).
~We WILL NOT buy a bunch of plastic crap to artificially stimulate the Hoopling. Babies need attention, love, natural stimulation and playtime with their parents–not dangerous chemicals.
~We WILL NOT expose the Hoopling to passive smoking. Ever.
~We WILL NOT partake in Baby Einstein (or Baby Mozart, or Baby Shakespeare), or whatever other “TV for infants” idea that comes up in the next few years.
~We WILL NOT impose any sort of religious beliefs upon the Hoopling before he/she has reached an age at which he/she can choose for himself/himself (IF he/she even wants to).
~We WILL NOT feed the Hoopling bland, overprocessed, chemical-laden foods just because they’re “kid friendly.” I was sucking barbeque sauce off my dad’s finger when I was 6 weeks old, and look at me today! Kids only dislike flavorful foods because that’s what adults ‘tell’ them to do.
~We WILL treat parenting as our primary and *most important* job. A Hoopling is not a cute accessory to be handed off to the nearest caregiver at the first moment it becomes an inconvenience.
~Female Hooplings WILL wear an abundance of pink and lace and ribbons; Male Hooplings WILL have a tiny Cardinals onesie (already bought it! )
~We WILL remain aware at all times of the fact that human(oid)s have been successfully reproducing for millions of years before now, and they all survived fine without bizarre, neck-straining chunks of foam. So surely we will too.
I am unashamedly a hippie (Jeff denies any hipppie-ish tendencies on his part). Any parent can raise their children however they want, but that does not mean we have to raise ours that way. We try to live our lives free of unnecessary, harmful chemicals (except caffeine) and will do so with our children. We do not need plastic junk or junk to distract the kids. Children may be inconveniencing at times, but they are not an inconvenience. What kind of message does it send to them that we treat everything having to do with them (from disposable diapers to mindless entertainment), as an inconvenience?
Off the soapbox.