Attachment Parenting: Beyond the Sling by Mayim Bialek


This post is off topic but my wife and I have been toying with the idea of starting a parenting blog. My wife is a childbirth educator and someone recently gave her a copy of Mayim Bialek’s new book Beyond the Sling. I have been perusing it in fits and starts. While I read plenty of novels (latest favorite—The Art of Fielding), I don’t think I have ever finished one of the many non-fiction books that we have laying about the house. I much prefer ingesting them a paragraph at a time.

From what I have read of Beyond the Sling, it gets the point across in a very nice way. My wife and I could be accused of being attachment parenting in the loosest of ways.  We followed many of the core tenets—breast feeding on demand, baby in the bed, lots and lots of baby wearing, using the potty very early on (though diaper free was a little beyond us). The most profound part of early child rearing was my wife’s complete surrender to our children’s needs. She basically sacrificed sleep for five years to provide them with a bed and a breast at something of her own expense.

In large part our experience of attachment parenting fell under the weighing the scales determination—Is any given action better for the baby, or better for the parents.  We tried to choose in the babies favor whenever possible. It seems to me that a lot of baby advice is the exact opposite.

And this brings me to a completely other topic in terms of parenting. My children came into my office yesterday to announce that they had found the Barbie channel and I had to see it. The concept of the Barbie channel made me ill before I even reached the TV. And then I had to sit through about five Barbie videos.

Here is where is gets ugly. There was absolutely nothing redeeming about the Barbie videos. They were horrible… But my daughter was loving them. Laughing and singing, oh my pain. And here was my big moment—do I go the route of the curmudgeon and tell her how bad the music was or do I dive in to share the experience.

I never thought I would be caught dead humming Kelly Clarkson tunes, nor did I ever see myself singing along to Barbie and yet there I was giving in to the joy of a six year old and letting go of the jaded adult who loves criticism too much.

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