January 3rd, 2004 | Published in Uncategorized
Timeris a piece of Palm software that, well, times contractions.
For women in labor.
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So add the Palm to the list of encumbrances I’ll be keeping close
over the next few weeks, along with cell phone. I keep the phone on
about three days out of the month, then I forget to plug it back into
its charger and it sits under a stack of magazines or papers until I
think I need it again. Starting next week, with a return to classes,
I’ll be doing better about that.
But downloading Palm pregnancy software is a welcome diversion from
patrolling parenting web sites.
I collected a lengthy list of links to representative samples of
assorted parenting issues, like the efficacy/desirability of
circumcision, the whole “attachment parenting” thing, discussion
boards about how to teach the kid to sleep, and web pages devoted to
debunking parenting theories the authors didn’t agree with. After a
few days of chasing down each of those rabbit holes, I’m relieved to
say I’m going agnostic on the baby ideology thing.
We’ve got a “baby game plan” that smells about like what we are as
people. We each know what we got from our families that we wanted and
can look back on as good things, and we know what we didn’t get that
we want to provide. We’re trusting ourselves to sort that out as we
go, with help from a few guides here and there. Much more, and I
suspect we’d be moving into the territory of a lot of well-intentioned
but doomed approaches involving attempts to turn the baby less into a
human being and more into a deterministic system from which the
parents can hope to extract predictable results based on consistent
Folks might note the presence of a few buzz-words in my list of
site topics, but little in the way of specifics. That’s because the
other thing I learned as I read through these sites is that people
hang a lot of hope on these methods, and stake a lot of their own
belief in their efficacy as parents on having backed the right
developmental theory horse.
I’ve met a few people hung up on adherence to the right baby
ideology, or the need to file regular status reports on the
curve-busting rapidity with which little Baby X is growing into a
dimension-shifting neo-human, and it always makes me nervous, not
because I think “My own parental fervor will need to be as great,” but
because I sense that discussions on differences in approach will never
be free of at least a little unpleasant dissonance.
Put this all down as incomplete thoughts, I suppose, but it
just seems like hanging so much on “Dr. X’s Guide to Making Your Baby Y
and Z” is a good way to guarantee future misery when the child proves
him or herself to be a human, and not a deterministic system.
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