Right. But still, I kept right on watching and reading and joining. Then one day, when Snappy was about a year old, I read an article in one of the parenting magazines (it might have even been Parenting) that talked about creating memories. The author suggested that after going on a trip to the zoo, you should talk to your kids about the experience, asking questions like "what was your favorite animal?" and so forth. Something in me snapped. These jokers had gone too far. Now they were telling me how to talk to my kid about our trip to the freaking zoo? First of all, what did she think I was going to do: get into the car and say, "okay Snappy, our trip to the zoo is over. Let's never speak of it again."? And secondly, did I really need someone to tell me how to talk to my kid?
Who are you calling an idiot? Oh, and can I get even quicker and easier ways to bond with my newborn? I'm short on time.
I saw two problems with all this advice: one, it undermined the greatest tool in a parent's arsenal: our own intuition. Parents were not encouraged to be confident, but instead encouraged to ignore that little voice inside of them and do whatever Dr. Sears told them to do. My own "little voice" had been able to get me through having a baby with Pierre Robin (a condition my pediatrician hadn't even heard of) who the F did I think I was, doubting it on subjects like "To Rock or Not to Rock? How to Put Your Baby to Sleep with Only a Few Hours of Horrific Crying" and "Pacifiers: Mother's Little Helpers or Devil's Playthings?"?
Two: it left no room for individualism, creativity, following-the-beat-of-your-own-drum and other bastions of a well-rounded society. I worried that we were becoming an overly-advised, under-empowered country of follower parents. What would the next generation be like if they were all fed and disciplined the same way; if their parents all said the same things; if they made them all the same sugar-free, gluten-free caterpillar cupcake sculptures for their second birthdays? I imagined something out of a Sci-Fi movie: mind-control, pod people and short-circuiting housewives.
And then I read this ridiculously condescending article in the NY Times. Oh, I have much to say about that, but let's save that for the next blog.
To be continued...