Blog entry

sleepless in stu-addled

song of the day: Lonely At The Top / Randy Newman (from his Sail Away CD)
word of the day: Echolalia / the meaningless repitition of words and phrases, especially as a sign of schizophrenia; repetition of speech by a child learning to talk.
monk of the day: Ara (my daughter)

marci and i finished our "home retreat" yesterday, for me it pretty much just meant sitting 4 hours a day for the week and working more intensely on IS. marci sat lots and lots as well, and stayed at home quiet, cooked us amazing meals. when the retreat was done, we got up yesterday and went to home depot. we're under massive renovations of our house, teams coming in this week to remove lead paint from the front porch, fix the roof in the back of the house, rebuild the interior of the den, we were at home depot for four 1/2 hours (for real) getting all the supplies, materials, equipment that the teams will need. we had Ara with us of course, and she did great for an infant who had to walk around home depot all day. marci went back on call last night, and got emergency calls all night long, had to go out on two crisis cases, so i was home alone with Ara from 12 midnight till 6am, she cried and cried the entire time. no one in our family slept. i finally knocked out at 7am, but woke up at 9:30 again. i feel like a total fucking asshole today. holding a screaming baby for 6 hours positively, deeply fucks with me. i (and maybe it's a matter of men- maybe this is a masculine category in itself in a very general way) am not endowed with the natural capacity to do that. i thought i was loosing my mind last night, and i think i was. fucking fuck FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! flashes, waves- WEATHER fronts of rage, despair, fatigue, confusion, depression rolled through all night. holding a screaming baby all night is without a doubt the hardest yoga i know of. i can't even describe it. it's harder than all the meditation retreats, doctors visits, dentist visits, yoga postures, whatever whatever. it just sits there and punches your soul in the face over and over, punching, pulling, kicking you in the face, the gut, puking on you, spitting on you, thrashing, utterly unresponsive to any and all overtures of love, care, or affection from you, because you're NOT MOM. period, end of story, YOU ARE NOT MOM, so FUCK OFF. Ara has a binary world at this point; there is mom and NOT mom. and this leads me to what i really wanted to scream today:

FUCK ATTACHMENT PARENTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

attachment parenting, for those of you who don't know, is where for the first year or year and a half, the mom picks up the baby every time it's crying. mom holds the baby, has the baby on her body all the time, and the basic premise is that you always, always meet the baby's needs immediately, whatever they are, the idea being that security in self- the foundation for life of "i'm ok- the world is ok" is established at this time. attachment parenting is all about creating a sense of security, stability, foundation, trust, etc. in other words: Baby Trumps everything. am i all for Ara having security and a solid foundation? what kind of question is that even? of fucking course i am. who wouldn't be. the implication from attachment parenting people is that if you don't do attachment parenting then you're not "pro" baby. here's are the problems as i see them:

#1, a kid raised with attachment parenting has zero capacity for self-soothing. our daughter is 11 months old, for example, and she is very, very bright. even at less than a year old, she has quite a nuanced grasp of the World and people. she understands perfectly, for example, that she can manipulate any circumstance by throwing a tantrum. even when she is fed, has dry diapers, has all the sleep, comfort and security she could need, she knows if she freaks out she will instantaneously get mom. it doesn't matter whether the tantrum comes from a place of actual need, fear, distress (all valid, important reasons to urgently respond to a child's needs), if she freaks out for any other reasons (which comprise at least 60% of all tantrums), she gets the same result. she develops a very concrete, monological means of soothing: mom's physical body. when mom is not around (and that happens every day) she freaks out and screams for however many hours it is till mom gets back. i have no means of soothing her, she has no means of soothing herself, and it's precisely because of....TA' DA'- attachment parenting.

#2, there is zero space for parents with attachment parenting. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including in your bed while you are sleeping, in the bathroom while you are shitting, in the bath while you are bathing, in the car while you are driving- you always, always have the baby on mom's body or dad's body. you can indeed attachment parent successfully, you only have to forfeit intimacy, privacy, space, and any other parts of your psycho / sexual / emotional relationship that don't involve a TRIUNE configuration.

attachment parenting can suck my fucking dick.

all right, now, all that said, let's remember i had ZERO sleep last night, i am very, very ornery (that's states for ya'), and i have ZERO education in these matters. my wife, on the other hand has multiple masters degrees and is a licensed professional in child development, and she is the one who actually does all the hardest work with our kid. i'm just a grumpy self absorbed asshole dad trying to cope with what billions and billions of people (including men) accomplished quite nicely for tens of thousands of years.

therefore, it is all, very truly, a problem of MY perception.
recognize Reality

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