Wouldn’t you know I thought this observation was somewhat original, and then I read at Salon.com tonight that Ayelet Waldman said it earlier, and more concisely.
“Another parent’s different approach raises the possibility that you’ve made a mistake with your child. We simply can’t tolerate that because we fear that any mistake, no matter how minor, could have devastating consequences. So we proclaim the superiority of our own choices. We’ve lost sight of the fact that people have preferences.”
In her lengthy article on everyone minding their own business, she notes that attachment parents, particularly the Berkeley, non-TV, organic, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, sling-wearing, word-for-word Searsing (guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, not guilty, not guilty; phew this isn’t me [of course it is]), tend to be the most sanctimonius and in-others’-faces of the “my way is best why are you ruininng your child” set. Honestly, I think that’s because the hardcore Sears group works harder than the rest to make things harder for themselves, and feels pretty damned insecure because nobody else is having such a tough time. But what do I know? I only fit, like, half her criteria for the most annoying parent on the planet.
In fact, Salon notes that I’m way behind the curve. I’ve been calling myself a bad parent for months on this blog, but apparently I was supposed to write a book about it. This awkward joint review of totally different books shows why I should have penned a memoir about how totally I’m failing at this impossible fucking job.
You know, I’ve been thinking of ditching the nighttime parenting, the bending over backwards not to do packaged food or television, the stay-at-home, offering options, respectful thing for the past week or so. It’s really just too much. So maybe I will ditch the surity that I’ve chosen the best path for us, get a T.V., get a babysitter, and have some goddamned Capt’n Crunch with my kid. Maybe I’ll like both of us better if I ease up a bit. [those who know me are laughhing right now. I havne’t been known to ease up a bit on anything in my control since my conception.] Because between “The Case Against Breastfeeding” and “Mind Your Own Kids,” I’m kind of feeling like, if they can justify letting their kids do some of that stuff, I can certainly make Pudding Day an everyday kind of thing.
And starting next week I’m Ferberizing my three year old. And circumcising him. With some fries from McDon*lds.