the weird world of mama friends

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I've been very blessed to have many "mama friends". Most of us met in childbirth class and remained friends (for more than a year now!) They are each wonderful, cool chicks that I'm happy to know. While we all come from very different backgrounds, we share an interest in natural parenting and a disdain for the yuppie moms we see around town. We support each other and provide a very necessary outlet when mothering becomes too much, as it does at times. Our group has expanded throughout the year to embrace friends and friends-of-friends who have babies, and now a sizable group of us get together for playdates and fun with our babies. But lately I've been realizing that we don't really *know* each other. By meeting the way we did, and spending time only with each other's kids, we've each taken on a new, generic "MOM" profile and somehow lost our individuality. Some moms have even drifted away from the group. I miss them... but.... do I? Did I even know them? Did they know me? Does anyone know me now? Sometimes I feel like I am just a veneer. A cocoon made of threads of my old self, strands wrapped around an amorphous core of MOM.

Educational adventures

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

We (that is, I) have decided that we want Lil Blue to have a Montessori education. Luckily, Cincinnati is unique in that we have multiple public Montessori schools, and even a Montessori High School. I've been reading this book which is what the Cinci Montessori Society recommends for the 0-3 year old crowd. Its very interesting, although I wasn't aware that Montessori had so many...rules. Yikes. With the different mobiles at different ages and the special beds and the blah blah blah. Luckily Lil Blue seems to enjoy Waldorf and Montessori type toys (I mean "materials") so I've been kind of doing my part. For instance, she has a wooden play cookware set that she enjoys chewing on and throwing down the steps.

I agree with most of the Montessori philosophy, and I think Lil Blue will definitely benefit from a program that allows her to focus on her interests. She's shown already that she has a strong will but becomes very focused on things that interest her (such as dogs, certain puzzle pieces from her "shapes" puzzle, and DOGS). I can't say that I fall completely in line - sometimes I feel like the Montessori approach (at least as laid out by these authors) wants to force a child to become independent instead of creating an environment in which the child naturally achieves independence at her own pace.

Of course, one could argue that attachment parenting and Montessori are fundamentally opposed in many ways. I think that it is possible to reconcile the two, but my blended AP/Montessori approach probably would get me kicked out of both camps. At its heart, Montessori is trying to create an educational system that respects children, albeit as little proto-adults. AP also wants to respect the child, but doesn't offer much in the way of advice for how to help the child achieve independence (AP seems to say only that if you parent this way, the child will ultimately become an independent adult. So, hopefully we'll muddle through and give Lil Blue both an excellent education and a strong, attached foundation to her parents.

Oh, and in case there was any doubt that I'm raising a little my work we have a bunch of different posters propped up on the floor. Today Lil Blue crawled over to one with a pink fairytale castle on it and started patting it and laughing. She even tried to kiss the unicorns. Then she wanted to buy a pair of shiny pink shoes (she pointed and made her "gimme" hand gesture) So much for my kid that I thought I could go camping with! Instead I'll have the kid that wants to wear a tutu to the grocery store.

Bits N Pieces

Monday, April 14, 2008

First, medical stuff...

I am over my (fourth) case of mastitis. I think I am getting quicker at catching them so I don't have as much of the flu symptoms. Sucks. Moving on..

Lil Blue does not have sleep apnea! At least, the doctor says that she doesn't have any restrictions in her airway. She does, however, have fluid backing into her ears which resulted in an infection. She HATES the medicine. I've had more success giving meds to a cat.

In other news....

I am almost finished reading Into the Wild. I had put off reading this book because I thought it might make me crazy in the way that reading Kerouac does. And in fact it did. I'm currently dealing with my insanity and wanderlust by bouncing around the thought of a camping trip to Smoky Mt NP. More to come on this topic in a later post.

I only have one more week at the bookstore before I go "oncall". Meaning I'll be available to cover shifts or busy days but not working a set schedule. This is bad news for our finances, but good news for my general mental health.

I am attempting to become fiscally responsible by clipping coupons and shopping sales. Unfortunately, most of the stuff that goes on sale around here tends to be stuff we don't use or need, like conventional cleaning products, soda and junk food, or personal care items. But I'm trying! Our CSA share starts next month and I CAN'T WAIT!!