Thursday, January 3, 2008


Well, it's the new year, and also therefore the year in which Ruth will arrive.

At least, we hope - but I think medical technology will have something to say about it if M's pregnancy heads toward its 70th week or so.

Things have been pretty quiet, pregnancy-wise. I finally got to feel Ruth kick from the outside a couple of weeks ago, which was pretty neat. She's developed enough that she can apparently be startled when I sneeze, too. My mp3 player bit the dust right before Christmas, and I'm waiting for its replacement to arrive, but when it does I can start playing her some music (thereby locking in her bad taste early on - I promise to keep the Devo to a minimum, for M's sake).

For Channukha, my brother gave us a copy of My Mother Wears Combat Boots, which has proven to be an interesting read. I was especially intrigued by Mills' discussion of running a cooperative childcare - it's something I'd like to try. Reading up on alternative parenting, anarchist parenting, etc. has made me sensitive to the way in which I've largely not interacted with other children in my environment (typical that I realize this now that I'm having a kid). For instance, while M has a relationship with our friends' twins, I don't really - and even she helps out with them much less than another couple of mutual friends. I'm now determined to bring Ruth around with me to stuff as much as possible (especially when she's young, I can wear her in a sling a lot) and try to integrate her into my life. But I'd also like to find ways to connect with other parents around, etc. And I know that we may meet some other parents through parenting classes, prenatal yoga, etc. - but I'm worried that those may largely be folks we have nothing in common with except the fact that we're going to have a child.

Anyway, this is kind of incohate at the moment. I think a lot of my concerns about having a child work better redirected into a positive project. The most useful perspective I've gained by reading things like the Mills book is a different view than the one peddled to fathers - even "alternative" fathers, in books like Lindbergh's - that children change your life primarily through forcing you to "grow up" and give up a lot of your self-indulgent pursuits. Which is true, but seems now like a very partial perspective. Which is more radical, after all - going to lots of shows? Or building a community-based child care group and modeling noncoercive discipline?

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