Friday, June 26, 2015

How I came to AP - a guest post from The bearded man. An ex-marine/cage fighter. Father of 3 humans, 3 cats, a dog and a bunny who suffers from extreme nursing envy with a new blog coming soon, Wendt and gone crazy, a SAHD story

     I’ve been procrastinating doing some writing. I know, I hear you saying “who in the hell procrastinates writing”? And I’m write there with you (get it?), but I’ve already passed the deadline I’ve set with my friend at Attachment Parenting 24/7 about how we found ourselves in the attachment parenting tribe, so I’m all fired up and my creative juices are flowing. Let me just take a 5hr energy drink. 
     Ahhhh much better. Okay. Today is the first day of summer break that we (myself and three littles, 7.9 Legolas, 4.7 Mystique, and 2.5 Puss) have not been able to spend a large portion of our time outdoors, so I took the littles to see a dollar summer movie. The second (of what I hope grows into a trilogy, fingers crossed) live action film in the thrilling Smurf genre reboot. 
     Whilst ensuring 12 hands and feet were kept to themselves, children were considerate of others and food wrappers were not crinkled excessively I over heard in the film Doogie Howser M.D American actor, writer, producer, director, comedian, magician, singer, and television host AND FATHER, THE Neil Patrick Harris’ss’s onscreen wife consoling him about his terrible step father (because his biological father had abandoned him as a child) by saying “At least he was there. That’s more than most fathers.” And the movie goes along its merry way as if it hadn’t just dropped a WTF in my lap. Most fathers aren’t even there. WOW. Now I’m very hulk like in regards to anger and I used to get angry at this kind of tripe, but the longer I’m a father (and I stay at home so I see it at almost every level) the more I see just how we are perceived and portrayed by media, mothers, and even the government who runs PSA’s aimed at fathers, trying to elevate the bar of expectations of what we as a country and community want out of our fathers. The tag line for this project to make American fathers the best they can be? “Just be there”. That is the expectation the populous has of fathers, they’re absent, and they just want us to please be there. 
     So now you know where my motivation to write finally came from. [Symbol] 
     Looking back, I came to attachment parenting via my wife Linda Belcher, not only is she smart, she’s smarter than me! She’d already convinced me we would cloth diaper, and the thought of formula never entered either of our minds (the Mrs. Is a scientist and much of the science suggests breast is best [I HATE that I have to hedge my words about that and I won’t about keeping boys intact, but, there it is, I get a lot of flack if I suggest {as a man} that nursing is in any way better than formula and that women are buying a lie about their ability to nurse]) and we were lucky enough to have the ability and support to pull  off nursing for  8 years now, 5 tandem and still going strong! But when I first thought to write this, I thought the reason I’d come to live in this camp was because a nurse in a birthing class for our first of three children Legolas, brought up circumcision and said quite off handedly and unremarkably about circumcision “you don’t have to do it, insurance may not even pay for it soon.”  Then as soon as she brought the topic up, said what needed to be mentioned she moved on (knowing what I know now about how people react to the idea of not circumcising and that Michigan is number 2 in the country for doing it, I’d love to shake her hand and let her know she saved at least two baby boys. It was expertly done and with scalpel like precision). That was all it took for the big brain on my epidemiologist wife to kick in to gear, that MILF can research. We’d never discussed circumcision. It wasn’t even something I thought there was any question about. I thought we’d do it going in, but I came away saying we’d look into it. Linda did some research and the first link she sent me had a thumbnail image of a baby boy during the procedure of being circumcised. I couldn’t even open it for fear of more images like that and knew immediately I did not want to risk making my son feel like that for any reason. No way, no how. 
     Legolas was born healthy and strong and kept intact. He wanted to nurse all the time and would not let us put him down without wailing in such obvious distress we immediately picked him up. We held him in shifts as long as we could, and one of us Parents was Attached to him 24/7 in a vertical direction until someone from LLL told Linda over the phone on a consultation I thought was sometime after midnight (Linda tells me I am delusional because I was only able to get 6 hours of sleep a night and it was the middle of the day[we fought a lot in the first year of having a family of three, so it was in the middle of the day]. Something in the way she said it sounded a little sarcastic now that I think about it…)  “don’t be afraid to sleep with your baby”. Linda works in Public Health so the ABC’s of the sleep mantra (Alone Back Crib) were drummed into her every day and we were averse to the idea of co-sleeping. But after days of him (and us) barely sleeping, Linda brought him into our bed, with Legolas on her outside away from me. I remember the moment Linda laid down next to me after that call, Legolas was asleep in bed with us and from then on, all were happy east of the Anduin for the off the floor clean laundry staging crib but wait the cats sleep in it too, we gained. 
  After that we saw The Business of Being Born and things progressed naturally (just like we all hope all our births will) from there. We’ve had two homebirths and are thinking of having a free birth if we are lucky enough to have a fourth. For the first three it’s been just like shooting womprats back in Beggars canyon, so if that trend continues I should have some news for you soon. 
Also we do sometimes have sugar cereal. Please don’t report us to any AP groups on FB. Especially the ones dedicated to eradicating sugar cereals.  
Its our little secret. 
And I’ve switched to disposable diapers after 7 years of cloth. Phew. That was hard to type. 
Is there a penance for that? 
I have uttered the words “You aren’t getting ANY ice cream if YOU DON”T FINISH YOUR PIZZA/HOT-DOGS/MCDONALDS 
But this is all just between us SAH’s right? 
      


Photo credit Johanna Madden Gross

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