The Attachment Parenting Diary


The current Time magazine cover photo for its story on “Attachment Parenting” displays a beautiful young mother defiantly breast feeding her 4-year old son as he stands on a chair.  While the image shocked many readers and drew intense comments pro and con on the Internet, the controversial child-rearing movement is meant to be the seed for a lifetime of parent/child devotion.  Extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping,  and pre-mastication are some of the terms associated with this innovative way of not only watching your child grow up but actually joining them along the way.  Attachment parenting” differs from “helicopter parenting” only in proximity; while a “helicopter” parent hovers wasp-like around each area of the child’s life, attachment parents are intent on mutual ingestion.  

Celebrity attachment parents like actresses Alicia Silverstone, Mayim Bialik, and January Jones have taken the process out of the restroom stall and into the public eye.

Opal Essence, a 42-year-old Studio City, California mother of Benny, 3, Salome, 5, and Reese, 14, and two stepsons, has been an attachment parent for five years.  Despite her late entry into the trend, Ms. Essence has generously lent her diary for publication in hopes that it will inspire and guide mothers into this intimate, joyful and wildly misunderstood trend.
  • Monday:  Extended breast feeding, child-wearing, and pre-mastication have shaped a new breed of children with powerful immune systems, strong constitutions, and advanced self awareness.  Salome's suckling has been erratic and noncommittal since getting her permanent teeth (ouch! LOL), and she's becoming rebellious, forcing me to wall-pin her to get juice box from her grip.  Also, it's killing my back to "child-wear" Reese for any distance, especially the flight of stairs to her job at Anthropologie.  Need to break out the breast pump, as Ned comes home from Stanford on Friday.  Tired all the time, but re-dedicated to building children a mother can be proud of--that can't be wrong, can it? 
  • Tuesday: Signed Reese and I up for a form of primitive playtime at a place called Floorgasm.  It's ground level ecstatic play in which the child imitates the parent's facial movements and expressions for rewards.  Lots of mirror work, with a cool-down reading period.  Today's selection was an audiobook reinterpretation and dance mix of Sendak called Where the Wild Thangs Bangin' by Tone Loc.  Remember him?  I think it's wonderful how many celebrities have taken an interest in children and literature.  I don't know how someone like Beyonce does it!   Mr. Loc was actually on NPR just this morning and I had to hear this book!
  • Wednesday:  Need to renegotiate co-sleeping arrangements after I rolled off the top bunk last night. Also need to re-assess Salome's diaper-free status as the room is taking on the olfactory high notes of a kennel.  It's been amazing to liberate her from diapers and even underwear, but at what price?  I've been so focused on her being able to recognize bladder signals that I've forgotten my own.  
  • Thursday:  36 people unfriended me on Facebook because the word got out that the veal scallopini I served to my women's group was really placenta.  Does anyone else in this community recognize the restorative powers of the body?  Nuran from my yoga class is a physician's assistant who harvests and freeze-dries them for later consumption, and I think he's providing a fabulous service.  The placenta's powers to bring people together in mutual sustenance is legendary. I guess if you try to do something healthy (I saw it on The Food Channel for heaven's sake) you'll always get taken down by a few haters.  Kids gobbled up the leftovers.  Guess who's going to live longer and thank me later, bitches?
  • Friday: Prepared a beautiful neo-vegan feast for Ned's homecoming.  He brought a friend, Jason, who was in awe of everyone's interdependence. Jaws throbbing from pre-masticating for four kids, though!  But I know they appreciate it and it brings us closer.  Jason seemed to enjoy being fed that way, although I think he was getting a little more emotionally involved in dessert than the rest of us.  We took a post-meal vow that I will always be there for them, then went to bed.  My back is killing me now as co-sleeping with Reese in the crib is becoming unwieldy.  Thank God for yoga!
  • Saturday:  Awful morning.   Caught Salome skinning Roscoe, our cat, in the side yard.  Rather than give her a punitive time-out, I applied non-shame based problem solving techniques and playful parenting, which let her know that what she did was a bad choice.  Then we buried Roscoe next to Pickles, Zooey, Skipper, Max, Dora, Fluffy, Arthur, Sid, Tippy, and Hilda.  
  • Sunday:  Ned and Jason left this morning after Jason misread my nurturing touch.  Salome has a play date with another attachment mom, and we're negotiating how we're going to work out nap time.  Reese has an afternoon shift.  I'm listening to the audiobook of Gisele Bundchen reading The Runaway Bunny and assessing the weekend for teachable moments.  They'll appreciate this later.  I'm sure of it.  


 



Comments

  1. That is one of the craziest things I've ever heard. Ricky

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