Saturday, July 15, 2006

Stole this from the Feeding Choices Debate Board. Had to post it here. Fits the mood I'm in today. Well, the mood I've been in a for a few days.

A week or so ago, we had some friends over, a couple with a young daughter. They're really nice people, and they're daughter is a beautiful little sweetheart, who Guthrie is madly in love with. :) It was kind of late, Guthrie's sleep schedule was all messed up, and I knew it was pointless to try to get him to bed when there was a little girl here for him to play with. And, because he was tired,he was being a maniac at times.

While the men were standing outside drinking a beer, I was inside with the other mom, talking. Between Guthrie's staying up late and less-than-perfect behavior, she was telling me that he ets away with anything, and that I really needed to work on some discipline with him.

Okay, first of all, we've only been in this house for about 6 weeks, we haven't even gotten everything unpacked, and the kid is only 2. He's still trying to adjust to everything. Cut him some slack.

Second, I hardly think spanking or leaving a child to cry (which is how she suggested I get my 2 month old to start sleeping through the night) is a very effective or positive form of discipline.

But I didn't say anything. I didn't feel like arguing, or pissing anyone off. We really like her husband, and want to maintain the friendship (although I can't exactly see having a friendship with her), so I kept my mouth shut.

And this has just been how I'm feeling lately. We are, quite obviously, making a conscious and deliberate decision to actively reject many of our current cultural and societal norms, standards and behaviors. It is, quite frankly, much much easier to do now, here, where we are so far from family and others we know and who would criticize us for it, but it's still a difficult thing to do and stand by sometimes. We parent differently than the "mainstream," we eat differently, we value different things.

When you walk into our house, you'll notice immediately. We don't have a TV. (Well, we do, but it's still sitting in the garage, and that's where it will stay, unplugged) Our walls are covered (almost literally) with framed family pictures. We have thousands of books. We don't have a dining room, but instead have a library, which will also eventually be the room we use to homeschool the boys. Our bedroom has 3 beds - a futon on the floor, one on a frame, and a toddler bed. All four of us sleep in the one room. Guthrie's train set takes up half the living room.

We are, according to the standard American mindset, a little (lot) weird. So? What's so freaking great about being normal? Was Einstein normal? Newton? Darwin? Anyone who's ever made a difference in this world?

But we still feel the need to defend ourselves, at times, and it can still be hard to fight the prevailing mindset.

So, for anyone who wonders:

1. No, we don't plan on bringing the TV in from the garage, ever. We don't want cable. The one TV show I watch I plan to buy from iTunes, if I feel the need.

2. Yes, the boys do sleep in the same room with us. Yes, Turner sleeps with me, and most nights Guthrie comes to bed with me in the middle of the night. Yes, that does mean Eric and I don't actually sleep in the same bed. Yes, we like it this way. Yes, there are other places, besides the bed, for that.

3. No, we're not vegetarian, we just don't eat conventionally raised beef. No, I don't really miss it that often. Yes, you can get enough protein and iron without eating cow.

4. Yes, Guthrie still nurses to sleep. Yes, he will wean before college, I'm certain. Yes, it is healthy, and no, I'm not doing it for myself.

5. Yes, we do plan on homeschooling the boys. No, we're not fundamentalist Christians (about as far from it as you can get). Yes, they will get adequate socialization.

6. Yes, it is all by choice. We could afford to eat McDonald's everyday, like the person who seemed so proud to tell me that was her reason for doing so. However, the very thought of it makes me want to vomit, and I'm proud of the fact that Guthrie sees the "golden arches" and announces it's icky. And thought our friend's SpongeBob toy was Humpty Dumpty.

Any questions? Concerns? Comments?

If you really want to know why, ask. If you really want to pass your uneducated, ignorant "opinions" off and judge me, keep it to yourself. We're doing what's right for us. It's not right for you? Okay, fine, it's your life, you live it. Just let us do the same.


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