Sunday, February 28, 2010

Don't Distract Them!

I took Josephine to the doctor by myself this week and, like the slacker-mom that I am, forgot to bring any toys or distractions. So we had to sit in the waiting room with nothing to do. Instead of being bored or fussy though, Josephine started climbing on me and examining the chair I was sitting on and the window behind me. She didn't need to be 'distracted' or entertained. She was entertained enough by her own simple curiosity. I realized that she would have been missing out if I had remembered some toys for her. And I would have missed out on something too.

I am trying to remember now that children learn more, enjoy more and explore more when we don't force stimulation on them so much. Even AP parents who don't use tv or battery-powered toys are still too often quick to shake noisemakers in their face or try to settle them with rhymes or stories. I will try to relax more and let Josephine entertain me.

Here she is with one of her favorite "toys": my phone.

What great things have you learned from your children once you gave them a chance to teach you?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

If you're not an activist, you're an INactivist.

Last night Papa Bear and I watched The Cove. It's an amazing documentary about secret dolphin slaughter happening right now off the coast of Japan. Every year over 20,000 dolphin and porpoises are brutally, needlessly and inhumanely murdered in the small fishing community Taijji. Their meat is then harvested and sold, illegally, to the Japanese public, poisoning them with toxic levels of mercury. Please see this film. (it is available through Netflix) And then take action!

Don't look away because it's unpleasant. If we don't do something, no one will.

The film also opened my eyes about what amazing animals dolphin really are. For more information on them, and other ocean mammals, as well as some truly beautiful photographs from dolphin in the wild, check out

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thinking About Returning To College

From a journal entry:

Going back to school would be
- exciting
-scary as all hell

I am afraid to try and fail again. Maybe I didn't do well before not because I was immature and anxious but because I am not smart enough or just not cut out for school learnin'. What if I still don't know what I want to do?
What if I don't want to do anything?

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Nurse In Public

Papa Bear, baby bear and I went to visit his parents in Florida last week. This is what I wrote while traveling.

The TSA website has special instructions for 'pumping and nursing while traveling.' I understand that trying to pump while flying could be difficult but I just don't see the need for additional instruction for nursing. Part of the joy of nursing is that it doesn't require any extra planning. I don't have to pack anything, sanitize anything or worry about forgetting. It's not that I am immodest. Ok, maybe I am immodest. It doesn't bother me if you see a part of my breast. It doesn't bother me that it might make you uncomfortable. It really doesn't bother me if you can tell that I am nursing. In fact, I hope you can tell. I hope that your children can tell and they ask you to explain to them what my baby is doing. I hope to help normalize breastfeeding for women and girls who want to nurse their babies in the future. Maybe seeing me unashamed, casually nursing in the airport while still going about my life uninterrupted, will encourage them to do the same.

I was gazing down at my nursling in JFK last weekend and it occurred to me that Josephine doesn't know that breastfeeding is controversial. She doesn't feel scandalous or outrageous. She was just absentmindedly stroking my hair, playing with my necklace while doing the most natural thing she can do. She gets hungry, she nurses. She feels tired or uncomfortable, she nurses. To her the idea that breastfeeding in public could be wrong might seem as odd as judging someone for snuggling or rocking.

No pictures from this weekend, but here we are at the Commonground Fair last summer nursing in a wrap;