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Thursday, July 27, 2006

So, I have a confession to make . . .

Dacey turns 18 months tomorrow. How that is even possible is beyond me. But anyway, my confession is that today I went to my very first ever meeting of La Leche League . What on earth would posess me, you might ask, to go to an LLL meeting when I have already been breastfeeding for 18 months? Well, as much as I love, love, love my online community of mamas in varying degrees of crunchy-hood, I find myself yearning to hang with some real-life, reach out and touchable like-minded mamas. And boy did I find some today!

There were seven mamas there total, including the LLL leader. The leader is a cute, smart woman with a cute, smart name (Megan - hee hee). Of the seven, three were pregnant - very pregnant, like due any day now pregnant, and the other mamas had babes younger than Dace. So it felt kind of strange, but strange in a good way. Mostly because when I was pregnant, I would have never even dreamed I would be breastfeeding a toddler. Confession #2 for today - I used to think that breastfeeding past infancy was creepy. I felt quite sure that once teeth started to come in, it was time to get the babe off the boob. But then I HAD a babe who responded so enthusiastically to breastfeeding that, well, the creep-out factor has long since disappeared. And interestingly, the discussion topic today had to do with weaning! :) So there we were, living proof that just because your friends and neighbors all think that 12 months is the upper limit for nursing doesn't mean you HAVE to get put away (or burn) that nursing bra just yet.

I gotta tell ya, friends, these three women who were there who are pregnant are cuhhhhhhhhhhhrrrrrrrrrruuuuuunchy! They were a great reminder why I titled my blog "sorta crunchy." While I do try to incorporate natural living and parenting into our lives as much as possible, there are some areas I just can't give myself over to complete and utter crunch. Air conditioning, for example. One of the moms-to-be lives here - in sweaty south Texas - with no air conditioning. By choice. And she is great with child. Wow! I totally admire her for allegiance to natural living! But I can tell you right now that I would be loathe to spend a day with no a/c, let alone be preparing to give birth in such circumstances. And yeah, all three women are planning home births attended by the local midwife. And this is another area where I failed the test of granola-ific-ness. Confession #3 - I didn't even entertain the thought of a natural childbirth. Seriously. My suspicion that I have a tremendously low pain threshold was decidedly confirmed for me by the time I hit 4 cm of dialation and had labored for 8 hours. I formed a strong emotional bond with the man who got me my epidural. Really, I did - he was a great help and support to me through the c-section process. And so I applaud with reckless abandon the women who are able to deliver babies into this world without any medicinal relief. You should probably just know I am not one of them.

And all of this ties back into the article I posted earlier. Attachment Parenting, natural living, crunchiness . . . whatever label you want to put on parenting choices, does not (in my humble opinion) have to be a 100% sold-out lifestyle. As I discuss with you the natural parenting choices we make, I will be sure to point out the ones we have chosen not to and why. But like the article I posted reminds us, it really comes down to a state of mind. It is much more important to be authentic to who you are as a parent and as a family rather than to make parenting decisions based on that which is expected of you by your community.

Okay, one LAST thing -- I shamelessly put Dace in a sundress that I knew would show off her cute little lavender Happy Heiny in hopes of sparking some cloth diapering conversation. And it worked! One of the mamas stopped me afterwards to talk cloth! She is thinking of making the switch because it pains her to see all the disposables that go out in the trash when they so meticulously recycle most everything else. I had a hot pink Fuzzi Bunzin the diaper bag to let her touch and experience. :) So maybe a seed was planted . . . we'll see.

What is Attachment Parenting?

First of all - YAY to comments! I am so excited someone is actually reading! hee hee! Meghan - you sweet mama. I stalk your blog relentlessly so I can relive all those wonderful newborn moments vicariously through you and Xan. *sigh* Treasure those days, woman!

Okay, that's probably enough exclamation points for one day.

So yesterday I shared my thoughts on my own introduction to Attachment Parenting and why it was the best choice for myself, for my husband, and for our daughter. I know not everyone is familiar with the concepts behind Attachment Parenting, so I wanted to share this article by Diane West that I think sums up the philosophy wonderfully.

AP State of Mind

It seems to me that in a lot of AP communities, both on and offline, there is a lot of emphasis on the parenting choices that often go hand-in-hand with APing . . . things like cloth diapering, babywearing, choosing not to vaccinate or circumcize, etc. But as the article so wonderfully explains, Attachment Parenting is a state of mind that governs all parenting decisions, not just parenting practices.