Because I Cannot Leave Well Enough Alone

I was curious about the assertions about What to Expect When You’re Expecting being a dangerous book full of misinformation. So I did some Google searches.

I know, it’s not the best way to research something, but I’m kinda short on time these days.

Here are some of the Google search results:

search term: what to expect when you’re expecting harmful

search term: medical community recommends against what to expect when you’re expecting

search term: what to expect when you’re expecting has misinformation

Most of what I found lead to reviews at Amazon, sites about the book itself (not exactly an unbiased source), and a link that was provided in the comments here.

I did not come across an AMA site, or a peer-reviewed article in a medical journal, or even a blog or site by a health care professional. No, I did not “drill down” through all the pages. I want to spend a little time with my husband this weekend.

Readers either reviled this book or loved it and found it a great source of information. Wikipedia does mention that the books has sparked controversy.

I will admit, because I am a big girl, that I did not realize that the primary author is not a medical professional. She’s just a mom, and a writer. There are plenty of sites related to the book where she goes on and on about why she wrote What to Expect (she had a lot of questions, and didn’t feel she was getting the answers she wanted). That is definitely a interesting factoid, and I think if that were more widely known, this book would have fewer readers. I mean, give me a book by health care professionals, please. (For the record, the author of another pretty popular book, Your Pregnancy Week by Week, is an M.D. and M.P.H.)

The following is my opinion: I do not think the authors of these pregnancy books mean to be fear-mongering, paranoid-inducing, misleading jerks. I think the kind of mother — like myself for the record — who wants to be informed about her pregnancy, especially the first one, may also be the kind of mother who is going to worry and fret about some of that information that she has discovered. I remember telling women I knew who got pregnant after me: “There is such a thing as too much information.” I think in terms of pregnancy this is true.

What to Expect… can be a very scary book because it does talk about what can go wrong (as does Pregnancy Week by Week). DearDR can tell you about how I called him up after reading the chapter that should have been called “All the Awful Things that May Possibly Happen to You or the Baby, and Then You May Actually Die”. I was freaking out.

But I’ll reiterate: I don’t think the authors meant to freak out the mothers who tend to be worriers anyway. And based on the few comments I read, the two camps were moms who loved this book and thought it was full of great information, and the moms who thought it was scary as hell.

And I find it hard to believe that one of top-selling, most trusted name brands in pregnancy and childhood information is full of factually harmful guidelines.

I liked What to Expect (except for that aforementioned chapter). I read a number of other mothering and birth books, including Week by Week, and a number of natural birth and breastfeeding books. I am a gatherer of information. Ask my midwives.

Did I “follow” any book slavishly? No. I’m more about informed decision making (thank you, Michelle) than hewing to any one or only one way of doing anything, let alone mothering. It’s probably why I’m a better cook than a baker.

What did you read when you were pregnant, if anything? What did you recommend to other to-be moms?

Anyway, I am absolutely exhausted; the girls have gotten up much too early this Saturday morning, and they are crying and screaming at me. We are all very, very cranky. Better get some coffee on.

As usual, I welcome concise comments that are not flaming. Thank you.

Quickie Updates

I took Bun off the Augmentin on Tuesday night because of the poop problems, the obviously painful cramping, and the terrible diaper rash and yeast infection. Wednesday, the doctor changed the Rx to Zithroamax, and I have such a happy Bun again! Diaper rash has disappeared, poop is back to normal, energy levels are off the charts (hers, not mine unfortunately), and she’s eating great again. I feel so much better!

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So far on the rewards chart Monkey only consistently clears the table. I don’t think she’s ever gotten a magnet for “No Whining”; sharing, listening, and no temper tantrums also remain challenging; on the other hand, she is getting very good at remembering to say “please” and “thank you” without prompting.

Last Saturday we went to the toy store to buy a birthday gift for my oldest nephew, who is 8 all of a sudden. We counted up Monkey’s money, and between the chart and a couple little holidays (Valentine’s Day, etc.), she had $9. I did let her get a $7 Little Pet. She immediately started making plans to buy more, more, more!

I don’t think she’s quite getting it yet.

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Either my allergies are going to be a nightmare this year, or I’m getting a cold.

Lost Day: Namaste

Was it worth the wait? Well, no one took his shirt off (come on, Sayid!), so in that area, it was a little disappointing. Much more subtle than usual, refusing either a big reveal or leaving us with big questions that we don’t already have.

Now we know Amy’s baby is named Ethan. But is that a mystery solved, or simply a coincidence? After all, the Ethan we meet — Alpert’s right hand man when the Others are wooing Juliet on the mainland, the psychopath who kidnaps Claire and kills Charlie — is an Other. So how can he be from the Dharma?

In his preview yesterday, Doc Jensen theorizes that The Purge was a coordinated effort behind some Dharma people and the Others. This would mean that Ben did not act alone, that he had cohorts within the Dharma Initiative (i.e. Ethan as an adult).

The other popular theory is that the Left Behinders end up in 1977 in order to stop The Purge. I think The Purge kind of drove the Island crazy (assuming that the Island is a conscious entity, of course), and it further deteriorated under Ben’s leadership of its people (see Mommy issues in that Jensen preview).

Am I the only one who thinks Sayid was tempted to reach between the bars and just strangle young Ben? I honestly believe that the thought crossed his mind, and I think he’s going to (try to) kill Ben as a youth.

How about I am totally rooting for the leadership of the O6/Left Behinders to remain with Sawyer and Juliet? Sawyer was right when he told Jack last night that he (Jack) reacted as a leader instead of thinking. Granted, Sawyer has found himself in a pretty cozy situation with running water, plenty of reading material, clean clothes, and Juliet to curl up with at night. At the time of Jack’s leadership, reacting was pretty much the best way to survive.

Also, parallels between Roger Linus, Ben’s father, and Jack being slotted into “workman” roles? You could see Jack wanting to yell at Pierre Chang: “I’m a doctor, dammit, not a janitor!”

See? Reactionary.

Stay tuned for a catfight between Juliet and Kate. You know for whom I rooting. Which is pretty ironic, because up to now, I have not had much sympathy for Juliet among the survivors of Flight 815. Up until this season, I think she was playing both sides against each other, seemingly throwing herself into Jack’s camp, but hedging her bets in case Ben won the day. (Ben is a bad, bad man.) But this season, with the benefit of (again) some space, time, clean clothes, and Sawyer’s lovin’, I think Juliet’s really come into her own. And she deserves it.

It’s over now, though.

I’ve no theories about Sun and Frank, and how they are getting to 1977. But I love, love, loved when Sun clocked Ben with a canoe paddle (outrigger, whatever), and told Frank, “I lied.” That’s my Sun. It’s very clear that Sun and Jin are crazy for each other, and will go to any ends to be reunited. Which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Remaining mysteries: Where is Daniel Faraday? Dead or time-traveled? I think the latter. Can the past be changed? I am hoping so. Where is Desmond — and Penny and Charlie? Who has Aaron?

We’ve only about eight more episodes this season. Can you stand it?

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Note to writers of Lost: There is no way in hell that baby Ethan was one day old and Amy was lounging in a hammock after having an emergency C-section. No way. This is similar to the problem I had with baby Aaron, especially after Claire disappeared at the end of Season 4: who was feeding that baby? If you need a consultant for things womanly and/or pregnancy- and childbirth-related, I’m available.

What I Am: Reading This Week

I have been making my way through The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan, for six weeks now. I finally finished it yesterday. Which is good, because it’s due back at the library.

It is books like this that make me wish I could still ride the bus to and from work. I suppose I could try books on CD, but I’m a “visual” learner — frankly, my attention wanders during a two-minute NPR story. I’m not sure I would make it through an audio chapter. It’s probably akin to reading the same sentence ten times in a row.

Back on point:

How many times a day do you think or hear, “What’s for dinner”? As a mom, and the primary shopper and meal-preparer in my house, the answer for me is A LOT.

Michael Pollan set out to answer that question by examining from where our food comes. Over three sections, he surveys the way we get our food in this country, from factory farming, organic farming, and hunting and gathering (yes, there are people who still fall into this category). For more of an overview, see this review from the Washington Post.

This is my first time reading Pollan, but it will not be the last. My inability to actually sit down for an extended period and read this book is directly inverse to my desire to do the same. His writing is compelling, accessible, and honest. He takes a hard look at the way we eat as a culture, a species, and as individuals.

The first section, “Industrial: Corn”, makes me very glad to be a vegetarian. To sum up: If we are what we eat, then we are corn. And maybe some petroleum.

The second section, “Pastoral: Grass”, examines the movement of organic food; plus Pollan spends time on a small farm. The first part of the second section exposes organic industrial farming, and briefly made me consider giving up food altogether.

Then I got hungry.

The second part of the second section made me want to get a few chickens and maybe a goat.

The third section, “Personal: The Forest”, about his experience hunting and gathering, was my favorite. Probably because it’s much more removed from what I could ever see myself doing to get a meal. (Well, maybe I’d gather mushrooms.) It’s very entertaining to be taken along on Pollan’s experience and read his writerly reflections. I especially enjoyed reading about how he decided to cook and serve his foraged meal, and his thoughts about it.

One aspect about Omnivore’s Dilemma that I especially like is its lack of assertion. Pollan doesn’t declare of any one process: This is how one should eat! He recognizes the pitfalls in our American society that have led to the CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation), McDonald’s Happy Meals, and high fructose corn syrup, as well as the industrial organic complex. He condemns neither General Mills nor Whole Foods. Nor does he exhort us all to return to our hunter-gatherer roots.

The book is written in such a way to make you think about the way you eat, and to make you decide how you are going to eat. As for myself, I will continue to buy organic from my grocery store, but I think I will try harder to find local meat for DearDR. I will strive harder to go to the local farmers market regularly, or join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). In time — like, 10 years — I want to get into the Slow Foods movement, too. (As a mom of toddlers, I’m aware that right now there is no space for Slow Food when it’s time for dinner.)

I especially appreciate the work he did deciding whether or not to be a vegetarian. Although he ultimately decides to remain omnivorous, he consciously chooses it, after reading such vegetarian advocates as Peter Singer and John Berger. In every section he is respectful, thoughtful, and honest. He buys a steer in the first part, and meets the animal at its CAFO before it is slaughtered. He works at a grass farm. He goes out into the woods to shoot a feral pig. Over and over Pollan literally looks his dinner in the eye.

His book asks us to do the same: “…[I]magine for a moment if we once again knew, strictly as a matter of course, these few unremarkable things: What it is we’re eating. Where it came from. How it found its way to our table. And what, in a true accounting, it really cost… [W]e eat by the grace of nature, not industry, and what we’re eating is never anything more or less than the body of the world.”

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How do you eat? Where does your food come from? And what are you reading right now?

Moving Right Along

I was having a perfectly pleasant night. The kids had a great dinner, a treat, and they were each contentedly munching on apples. (Monkey is clearly about to shoot up in height again. The sentence she says most these days: “But I’m still hungry!”) I had managed to get a meal cooked for later in the week and empty the dishwasher. The girls took their apples into the other room; I sat down to start my dinner and try for the umpteenth time to finish The Omnivore’s Dilemma — when Bun waddled into the room with her diaper around her ankles.

Two baths, about a half hour of crying about her tummy hurting (damn, you, Augmentin), plus the most disgusting BM I have experienced in my time as a mom (at least it was all in the “little potty”, her training potty), and I was totally wiped out.

I’m very grateful that DearDR bathed the kids Sunday night, because Monkey just got a quick wipe down (hands, face, lady business). I usually wash her hair the nights before she goes to school, but I did not have it in me last night. I wish I knew how to do braids — or that she would stand still for them.

Bun has definitely turned the corner, though, health wise. She’s napping again and eating well. I have to remember to keep her away from juice until she’s done with the antibiotic. Because I do not want to face what I faced tonight ever again. If it can be helped.

Addendum: Bun is also climbing out of her crib. This is a new development as of this past weekend, and something that Monkey never did. So I guess we’ll be buying a big-girl bed this weekend. I’m not clear how we’re going to be keeping her in that.

Parenting 101

Before I get labeled a hypocrite — which, granted, it may be too late — I want to make one thing absolutely and completely clear: I have no issues, problems, judgements, or bad things to say about the way that phdinparenting (PHDIP) chooses to parent, raise, school, feed, diaper/potty train, and/or otherwise bring up her children. She has opinions and positions that I do not share, but I don’t have a problem with that. I know many people — even many people whom I love dearly — who don’t share my opinions and/or positions — parenting, politically, spiritually, laundry- and otherwise.

I’m hardly a radical.

I did get a bit snappish and territorial over the rather lengthy comment she left on my Down with the Mommy Wars post, leaving me in a quite ironic position, of course. I’ll put the question out there: was the length of her comment out-of-bounds? A bit long for usual blog etiquette? Or am I talking out of my ear? I did, it is true, ask her the questions, in a private email response to her original comment.

She deems her reply not suitable for her own blog. *Ahem.* So she left it here.

Phdinparenting, as she terms herself online, has a rather interesting blog. I’ve looked around a bit. She seems to have a good following of like-minded parents too. It’s also quite well-written, which coming from me as a professional writer, may (or may not) be a big compliment.

I am curious about something, though, and I’ve been mulling it over. Have I ever!

It’s the idea that parenting is a science, or that one can parent scientifically. For the record, PHDIP also talks about it being an art. Please, please, please, for her whole take on the parenting gig, go visit her site (you can get there via the comments on the Down with Mommy Wars post). I am not providing a summary of her ideas here — I’m not telling both sides of the story. I am writing about my feelings, opinions, and positions. These ruminations are in response to reading some of PHDIP’s stuff.

This, combined with that Atlantic article by Hanna Rosin, have gotten me … stewing. Thinking. Mulling. Bubbling. And then some.

I used the term squishy science in my emails with PHDIP. There is, of course, non-squishy science out there too. The “Back to Sleep” campaign and carseats are the two that immediately come to mind. The Back to Sleep campaign was started in 1992, so it’s 17 years old. Before Back to Sleep, putting infants on their backs to sleep was considered dangerous. Seventeen years ago, the science changed. Carseats for children and infants can only be some 35 to 40 years old. I was not put in a carseat as an infant or toddler; nor was DearDR. (Were you?) I guess we got lucky. In the meantime, there’s no arguing that infant mortality rates from car accidents dropped dramatically.

I’m not about to undertake a point-by-point “scientific” smackdown, though. If you have questions and want to do research, well, that’s why Google was invented. (That’s a joke, son.) (Kind of.)

My point is that I never thought about or adopted a certain philosophy about raising my children. I mean, I thought about having kids, of course, I just never thought that hard about it. And I certainly didn’t set out to raise them based on any certain something — philosophy, science, chemistry, whatever.

I guess one exception is that I do want to raise them in the Catholic faith. But that’s not, in my view, a parenting philosophy.

Oh, I read the books: What to Expect…, Your Pregnancy/Baby Week by Week, some Dr. Sears, Dr. Spock. I talked to people; I listened to people. I went to midwives; I wanted to have a natural childbirth; I wanted to (and did) breastfeed. But I never sat down and said, “Well, I’m basing my parenting decisions on XYZ.” I felt that the reading and listening I did was more a matter of information gathering to know my options — more like guidelines than any hard or fast rules. And I certainly never thought to myself, “Well, I’ll do this scientifically.” I never would have thought that was an option.

All that science out there now, it’s not really that old. Humans have been parenting for tens of thousands of years. The first edition of What to Expect… came out in 1984; the venerable Dr. Spock started publishing in 1946; Dr. Sears’ first book, The Baby Book, was published in 1993.

Once the girls got here, I followed my guts, used what my instincts told me were right. I checked sources, read more, talked to my pediatricians. Discovered what the range of normal was, if my girls fell or fall into it, constantly checked in with myself about what and how I was doing. Cried on the phone to my mom. You know, the usual.

The way my mom probably parented. Was my mom perfect? Yes of course! (Hi, mom. Look away now, please.) Seriously, depending on who you ask, she did a bang-up job or utterly screwed me up (it’s okay, mom, that’s probably dad’s fault. It depends on who’s reading this). Perfect? Probably not. For example, she didn’t buy organic; she didn’t raise me a vegetarian; she spanked me (but she spanked my brother more!). (Actually, my dad probably spanked us.)

Now-a-days, you can look at all those resources above, plus popular magazines and on-line communities and resources, and so on, and you can exclaim, “We’ve come a long way, baby!”

And we have. But I’m not 100% sure that the current onslaught of information can be considered hard science, in any sense of the word. Science itself is a squishy word — as DearDR puts it, “What does science mean as a way of knowledge? Why isn’t science the best way to approach Mozart’s 40th symphony or Starry Starry Night?” Why does science, why should science, take priority?

What do you think? Do you have a parenting philosophy? Did you decide before you had children what kind of parent(s) you were going to be? Has that changed since actually having children? How?

My philosophy, if I had to put a name to it? Fly-by-the-Seat-of-my-Pants Parenting. I’m-making-this-up-as-I-go-along-How-am-I-doing-so-far Parenting. Somedays: Really?-I’m-a-Parent? Parenting. I have a lot of those.

As always, I warmly welcome comments — say, between 300 and 500 words long. 😉

Oh, Crap

No, literally.

Bun has gone to the little colon who couldn’t to the little colon who cannot stop. I think she poos a little every time she coughs. I must have changed 12 diapers today (and DearDR did another two or three).

On the plus side, Bun doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort; she’s a little red, and we are applying liberal amounts of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. The very liquid poo is completely odorless, if still utterly gross. And to face it 15 times a day. Well, you can imagine.

Also, I am in a heap of trouble, so Oh, Crap, figuratively, too.

On Thursday, Bun took a short nap. On Friday, at DCL’s she took an even shorter one — about 1/2 hour according to DCL. Today, no nap. Not only no nap — climbed out of the crib. Poo’ed on the glider, on the pad underneath the seat cushion of all things (she took the cushion off and cast it on the floor). At least I don’t have to try to clean that cushion. But: GROSS.

I have no clue what I will do with two toddlers (is 4 years old still toddlerhood?) up all day. I am hoping that the no nap is a blip, an anomaly, and once she feels better, Bun will continue to nap, at least until summer. By summer, if all goes to plan (hey, you, quit laughing) Monkey and Bun will be sharing a room, and quiet time will be initiated. Quiet time will not necessarily have to be quiet (or not totally quiet) but it will have to be confined to their room. For an hour. Maybe two.

I can pretend this is a valid plan. Don’t interrupt my daydream, please.

Miss Misery, and Down With the Mommy Wars

Bun has been sick since November.

She has had repeated ear infections, two visits to an ENT (a third is upcoming — this time, I’ll be advocating for tubes and/or removal of the adenoids), and I think she has picked up every virus that has come down the pike this winter. She’s had colds galore (hence, the ear infections), the puking version of the flu, constipation, hives, and now another cold or flu virus that has come complete with snot, coughing (no chest congestion, thank goodness), a fever over 100 degrees, and another ear infection.

I stayed home with her yesterday, and we had a difficult day. I don’t know why I do it to myself, but if I end up at home with a sick child, I actually think I will accomplish something: cleaning my room, for example, or doing laundry, or swapping out the girls’ clothes.

Bun would have none of it. Her usual 3-hour nap was only 1 hour and 45 minutes, and I spent the whole of it driving to and from Target to get her prescription filled (and do a little shopping, of course. On a completely unrelated side-note, I just want to say that I only bought the items on my shopping list — a mean feat in Target, as everyone knows — and that I spent under $100! Okay, so it took three coupons and a $10 gift card to come in under $100, but I did it.) When she wasn’t napping, she was sitting on my lap demanding to be read to, or sitting on my lap demanding to watch TV, or demanding food that she had no intention of actually eating, or straining pathetically to produce some poop.

Constipation is the worst in a toddler. She’s been suffering for about two weeks. I thought it was the last antibiotic she was on, but that’s a week behind her now. We have a pretty high-fiber diet (being vegetarians and all), and she’s good at taking in plenty of liquids, but I upped everything anyway, and cut back a bit on stuff like cheese. Now she’s on Augmentin, so her constipation will switch to the other end of the spectrum, and her diaper area will be inflicted in Biblical-plague proportions. My little girl cannot catch a break.

Part of my frustration, of course, is having a sick child, worrying about the continued use of antibiotics, losing time at work, etc., etc. Part of the frustration comes from the fact that I breastfed Bun and Monkey, and it hasn’t done jack to protect either of them from (at the least) ear infections. I have been reading a lot of articles this week about breastfeeding, and they’ve sparked some discussions on forums other than this blog, and I just couldn’t let them go unremarked.

First off, is this wonderful piece from the Atlantic by Hanna Rosin, a woman who also writes for Slate.com. (The title, I think, is misleading. Summary: All the science that “proves” breast is best may be more of a bill of goods than hard data. That said, breastfeeding does have immeasurable benefits.)

Then there’s this article from Slate.com, regarding the brain boost breastfeeding may or may not give to children. (Summary: There is a gene involved, and if your child doesn’t have it, it doesn’t matter how much boob milk he/she gets. That said, most children seem to have it.)

Then there is the lovely, intelligent discussion on Slate’s XX Factor blog regarding both these articles.

And lastly, here’s a viewpoint from someone I briefly tweeted with regarding that first article. This post is not about that article, although it is on the topic of BF’ing (pro, of course).

If you are inclined to read any or all of that — and it’s all good, thought-provoking stuff — then maybe you’ll read further. I’ve been ruminating on this all since Wednesday, so I apologize if I seem to be going on a bit. I hope you’ll stick with me.

Let me say first: I am pro-breastfeeding, and I did (as I said) nurse both of my girls. I also pumped and supplemented with formula. I did it all, baby! And this as a W/SAHM. If I do have another baby (never say never), I would do my best to breastfeed and/or provide him or her with breastmilk, too.

Did I make that choice because all the “science” that promotes BF’ing? Maybe that influenced my decision. I certainly derived a lot of information and support from external sources (from books and magazine articles to my mother and SILs). I feel extremely lucky that BF’ing was not a struggle for me. I put both my girls to my breast within an hour after they were born, and they pretty much took it from there.

Did I love the intangibles about BF’ing? To wit: the skin-on-skin contact. The rush of warmth and pride that I could do this, that I could nourish my baby with my body. The bone-deep feeling that what I was doing was natural. Yes, yes I did.

Was it always comfortable and convenient? Hell, no. Was I a sleep-deprived zombie mommy for six, eight, twelve weeks? Hell, yes. Did I in a desperate bid for sleep or freedom give my babies a couple ounces of formula to get them the heck off my boob already? Hell, yes! Do I feel bad about that? Hell, no.

Would I ever let another woman make me feel bad about that? Again: Hell, no.

And here’s the crux of all this rambling: Would I ever let another woman — mother or not — make me feel bad about any decision I made regarding my child? No. Would I ever, on purpose, make another woman question or feel bad for any decision she made regarding her child? No. Not if the end result was a healthy and thriving baby, and a happy and healthy mother. (Please note: Ain’t nobody happy if Mama ain’t happy.)

I hate Mommy Wars. Passionately. I hate the stay-at-home moms who insist that their decision is the best decision period. I hate work-outside-the-home moms who think SAHMs are a big waste of brains. I hate moms who make decisions for their children based on what their peers will think of them instead of making decisions based on what is best for their children. I hate the whole BF Brigade and the lactivists who insist that “breast is best” in such a way that it makes moms who turned to or chose formula feeding feel like bad moms. I hate mothers who insist that motherhood is the end-all-be-all of womanhood. I hate child-free women and couples who act like kids are such a drag and/or devastating to the environment, and women should be ashamed for even longing to perpetuate the species. I hate people who look cross-eyed at women BF’ing in public and get all offended. I hate lactivists who wave their BF’ing boobs around and say, “It’s natural! Suck it!” (Pun intended.)

All of these are deeply personal choices that women, that mothers have to make. From the private, personal decision to become a mother or not in the first place. What right do I have to stand in another woman’s shoes and tell her that she made the wrong choice? And what nerve!

If a soon-to-be mom asked me about breastfeeding, I would wholly and enthusiastically encourage her. If a new mom was struggling after two weeks, I would encourage her to continue to try. But at some point where mom’s health and mental stability were bumping up against the need of her child to be fed — whether it be five weeks or six months — I think a mom has to be left alone to make her own decision.

If a mom decided from the get-go that she was going to formula feed, I would be surprised, but I certainly wouldn’t presume to judge her. It’s not my decision.

It’s not my decision.

It was my decision to become a mother. It was my decision to breast feed. It was my decision to supplement with formula. It was my decision to go back to work full time. It was my decision to raise my girls as vegetarians. The only other person who gets to weigh in on my decisions regarding my children is my husband, DearDR. And even with his input, it is still, in the end, my decision as the primary caregiver in the family. (Things like joining a soccer team or a dance class and schooling are much more a team effort.)

Opinions are like bellybuttons: everybody has one. (I know the adult version of that, too, but this strives to be a family-friendly site.) If you cannot offer your opinion without insulting anyone, please keep it to yourself. If you cannot express your opinion without making another party feel shame or guilt, it has no place here.

Thanks for your time.

Could someone help me down off this soapbox, please?

In the Meantime

I have a really long post that has to do with Bun being sick, breast-feeding, and an article from the Atlantic. But it’s all in my head.

Instead, please enjoy the following video. I can’t decide if it’s brilliantly subversive that TMBG were on Top of the Pops — or if someone didn’t do his homework. And look how young John Linnell is!

Lost Without Lost

So here’s a gratuitous mommy-and-girls shot instead of Lost theories. Thanks to H for the picture and for the brownies from a gluten-and-dairy-free bakery in Squirrel Hill (name? website? H, help me out!), the remains of which you can see on Bun’s face. They were unbelievably good.