When our daughter was born my wife and I (mostly my wife; I just do what I’m told) launched wholeheartedly into attachment parenting, with all the cloth diapers, nursing, natural baby food, gentle discipline, co-sleeping, baby slings, Waldorf dolls and wooden toys that went with it. Then after a while, we realized sanity trumps being one of the cool hip parents, and started to mix up attachment parenting and mainstream parenting styles into a hybrid I like to call semi-attached parenting. In these tales of semi-attached parenting, I share our triumphs and travails in using, attempting to use or abandoning attachment parenting concepts.
For the first several years of her life, “sleeping alone” just wasn’t a concept that our daughter was down with. Put her in a crib, and she’d cry incessantly, pee herself and crap her diapers rather than go to sleep. And if she was asleep when you set her in the crib, she’d wake up shortly thereafter to register her displeasure by screaming, peeing and pooping herself.
Pretty early on, the crib became a place to hold the laundry that had been washed but we weren’t ready to put away yet.
Even those little crib-like things you attach to the side of your bed, so that the baby is sleeping right next to mom and can roll right over to her for nighttime nursing, were unacceptable. No, our daughter had to be sleeping right up against (or preferably on top of) either me or her mom.
Being a self-employed, freelance writer and editor working from home, this could present a wee bit of a problem when nap time needed to be had and daddy had an article to write or edit, or a phone interview to conduct and type out. What ended up happening—at least when she was a baby and this was still physically possible—is that she would nap on me while I sat at my computer.
No, not in a sling or a Baby Bjorn on my back. On me. ON me.
Imagine if you will a tiny adorable child, butt and legs settled on my left thigh/hip, belly or back snuggled against the crook of my left arm and head resting on my forearm as she snuffled, snored and dreamed.
Yeah, it was sweet. Cute. Adorable. And a time to bond.
It was also hell on my typing and accuracy, with a sleeping body (that’s still dead weight, no matter how tiny she was) pinning down a limb that was responsible for half the keyboard duties. As anyone who enjoys live-cam web porn shows or engages in heavy sexting can tell you, one-handed typing isn’t easy. And while none of my many prurient activities in life has ever involved one-handed typing, I’m here to tell you that one-and-a-half-handed typing probably isn’t much better.
Probably not nearly as fun, either.