I spend an awful lot of time writing for other people, and it recently occurred to me that I have the perfect spot to do a bit of writing just for me. Blogs began as online journals, and they’ve evolved into the sponsored link/inbound marketing/SEO goldmines they are today.
But not this blog! Nope, I’m going to keep it real, keep it pure, and stick to writing about all the things on my mind, which, I’ll be honest, is probably limited to bitching about parenting, moaning about clients (just kidding! I love you all!), sharing recipes for stuff I shouldn’t be eating, that kind of stuff.
I don’t do much in the way of parenting writing anymore – MPMK aside – but memories are deceptive. It feels like I’ll never, ever forget the exact way my littlest (two in July!) squeals “How pasturrrrrr!” every time we drive past the cow pasture, and “Me-cycllllllle!” every time she sees a motorcycle, but I will. At least then I’ll be able to read through these posts and with a little luck, it’ll trigger something for me.
this is a true story
So here we go. First post about parenting on my very own blog. If I were doing this for a client, I’d publish a brand new post for the extra page and work relevant keywords into the headline and throughout the text. I’d debate tags and the meta-description copy, and I’d search for the perfect picture to set it all off. But because this is just for me… ta dah.
It’s a piece I submitted to some parenting website that got rejected because it wasn’t a good fit – they’re getting away from little kid stuff and focusing on tweens/teens. I sent it on after reading their submission guidelines, which snootily explained it’s very difficult to be published on their site. Challenge accepted, biatches! While I waited, I browsed their site and was… not blown away. I mean, if you’re going to lay it out right there on your site that you have insanely high standards, you better live up to them yourself, right? Anyway, here’s the rejected piece (and I love it, so there).
So, I’m still lying to the pediatrician. It’s something that started six years and two kids ago, and damn it, it’s a habit I can’t even break with number four, which is the minimum number of kids you need to hit parenting level: high intermediate. But why the hell does this man care where our kids sleep? As long as we’re all getting some decent shut-eye, and no one is, you know, sleeping in a cage, isn’t that what matters?
Well, no, it isn’t. Because he pulls out the same little checklist every single time we drop by for a well-baby visit.
“Okay, let’s see here,” he says, gearing up. “Making soft poops? Not a constipated kiddo?”
“Yep, she’s good. No constipation,” I say. (Truth.)
“And are you giving her a bottle? Not nursing anymore?”
“No bottle, and I weaned her since our last visit. She’s just using a cup now. We give her whole milk and water,” I answer. (Also true.)
“Okay, and she’s sleeping through the night now, right? In her own bed all night?”
“Right,” I mutter. (WRONG. This is where it happens. This is me lying right in front of my own kids.)
It’s a lie, all right, because in her twenty-some months on this planet, this child has never slept in her own bed, let alone by herself. Like, not once. Ever. Her crib is bumped up to our bed and it’s missing one side so we have this level sleeping surface. In theory, this is for that co-sleeping nonsense where the baby has her own safe space but is still within arm distance, or whatever. But let’s be real, at this point it’s actually set up like that so I can get away from her after she falls asleep in my bed. I move my pillow over and situate myself kind of diagonally so I can play footsie with my husband for a minute and then get seriously comfy without a hot little body pressed against me. And also, you know, because it makes me feel like we actually tried to get her used to the crib. I mean, it’s right there! In theory, we could move her right into that crib whenever!
When she was really tiny and new and still liked being swaddled, she did actually sleep in her own crib, right next to me. But then she got bigger, and winter came, and her crib is right next to the window and she started kicking off her little blanket and I worried that she was freezing. I’d touch her icy little hand and freak out. So I started laying her down in between my husband and me, where she couldn’t roll off the bed and she’d stay cozy no matter how much she tossed and turned (cue the SIDS comments in three, two, one…).
These days, this is just how we sleep. When she conks out on the couch or in my arms downstairs, I take her up to our room and plop her right in the middle of the bed. When my husband and I are in desperate need of an early night, and we make everyone go to bed before eight so we can be in our own by five minutes past, she snuggles right in with us. And we like it! She’s cute and funny and she says “Nigh nigh” in the most adorable freaking way while she pats our faces, and then she goes right to sleep. Why would we not want this? It’s so easy, and that pretty much sums up our parenting philosophy: whatever’s easiest.
We’re actually kicking around the idea of switching her crib to a toddler bed and trying that out, but here’s the thing. Sleep trumps having our bed to ourselves. It really does. We’ve figured out how to make, uh, adult time happen (I have tips! So many useful suggestions!) so that’s no issue, and she is our for-real last child, which is what we said about number three but this time it would take a legit miracle (not the pill failing epically again, but a magically reversed vasectomy). So what’s the big deal, you know? Her three siblings all snoozed in our bed too, and guess what? They’re sleeping in their own beds just fine, with no weird issues that we’d have to blame on infant/toddler sleep habits and our own sheer laziness.
I lied to the pediatrician about it then, and I’m lying about it now. He may have the “degrees” and the “experience,” but I’m parenting at a high-intermediate level. I think I have this handled.