Recently someone asked me what my thoughts were on organic foods and television exposure with kids. My answer was short – where I started and where I am now are two separate places. What a perfect blog topic!
You spend nine months (or forty weeks as the case may be) with this alien growing inside you. It’s an alien because as many times as you may be exposed to other people being pregnant and having babies, you can NOT wrap your head around the fact that you (this person you’ve known in a completely separate capacity your whole life) will have a child that will redefine you in such a dramatic way. As that alien continues to grow, you are more or less able to control what they are 100% exposed to. The doctor, magazines, books tell you to avoid certain foods – you avoid them. Friends and family give you suggestions – you follow them.
Then the alien comes out. Low and behold, it wasn’t an alien but it’s a really noisy little person who you love more than anything that completely changes your life. And because all you had to do in those nine previous months were follow recommendations in pamphlets and books, you feel like you can keep that momentum going. I will nurse as long as possible. I will only provide homemade, organic foods. I will teach them sign language, forbid screen time and spend hours singing songs with them. They will then become a healthy, well-adjusted, Pulitzer prize winner or something.
Somewhere from the point they were in your belly and you were able to control almost all the controllables to the point where they can say “WAH!!!” everything changes. Sleep deprivation causes you to allow your spouse to give a bottle of formula. After the third attempt of them fashioning your walls with the homemade baby food that took you forever to make, you crack open the jar. And all those other ideals you once had go out the window.
The truth is that I still believe organic is probably better, screen time probably is the devil, etc. etc. but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. So where I started is somewhere completely different than where I’ve landed. All it took was six years of parenthood. Can you imagine how much my ideals will change by the time Noah goes to college?!?!