In my uncle's garden
Thursday, April 24, 2003

I'm suddenly melancholy, so of course I'm posting about it so everyone thinks I'm always grumpy and miserable.

Bunch of stupid reasons. Blake is unhappy with things at work, and I ineptly tried to make him feel better and failed.

Someone on the forum posted about children and television, and whether the parents on the forum let their kids watch TV. I'm pretty anti-TV, especially for little kids, but the consensus on the forum seems to be that it's fine to let your kids watch TV; one of the parents actually has a television in a 4-year-old's bedroom. Another parent lets their kids watch TV with their mid-morning snack. I have a really strong feeling that those are bad things, but I don't have solid evidence to back me up.

I guess I'm discouraged by the impression I'm getting that parking your kids in front of the TV is inevitable, and if you don't let your kids watch TV you're a killjoy or a crazy hippie. And if you plan to not let them watch TV before you're a parent you're hopelessly idealistic and You Just Wait, You'll See.

I should clarify that I didn't get that impression directly from the board, it's just something I've picked up from magazine articles and other media. The posts on the board just struck a chord because I'm feeling delicate today, I guess.

I have no intention of letting my baby watch TV; I don't think there's any value in it, and I suspect it's detrimental. Once she's older, we'll watch recorded TV shows (and skip the ads) and movies. Together, and not over food. I think the food/TV combination is deadly, since I want to teach my kids how to eat properly, with awareness, and also since I think mealtimes are times that families should spend communicating with each other.

I imagine that mothers who are reading this are sniggering behind their hands, convinced that I will fail. Maybe they're right, maybe I will end up parking my kid in front of the TV just so I can have a few minutes of peace. But at least I can go into motherhood with good intentions, and not pre-emptively compromise my ideals. If that makes other women feel defensive, so be it; I'm already judging you for a thousand other things, one more won't hurt.

Did I ever mention how judgemental I am about this motherhood thing? I am, about ever so many things. Breastfeeding, post-weaning feeding, table manners, television, sleeping, you name it, I know how it should be done and I look down on you for doing it differently. I do it inside my head, mostly, though, so don't let it get to you. I'm sure you judge me, too. How can a person not be judgemental about something as important as rearing a child? If I don't go into this undertaking with the very best of intentions, convictions firmly held, I'm doing my child a disservice. This is the biggest, most important thing I'm ever going to do in my life; doing it half-assedly would be a sin.

One of the couples from our pre-natal class sent me email; they're in labour, and he sent the most beautiful picture of their hands clasped together in pain and support and love. How the hell he has time to upload and email pictures, I don't know, but hey. They've been in labour since 10 last night; she was a week and five days overdue. I hope everything goes well for them; they're a cool couple, and I think we might get together with them once we've all got our new lives sorted out.

Nothing has changed for me, physically, since the last entry. Delphine moves around a fair bit, although she doesn't have much room. Her feet are on the top-left of my belly, and she shuffles them around and occasionally sticks a foot out. Then I push at it and sometimes she'll pull it back in. It's weirdly cool. The midwife said she could feel little arms, but I can't feel anything down there -- I can't even feel her head. It's all butt and feet, as far as I'm concerned.

The baby thing is starting to get a little surreal. I feel like the state we're in is permanent. There's a cradle in the middle of the bedroom which just happens to live there (and it's all I can do not to use it to toss clothes on), I have a huge belly which twitches and gets in my way, and that's just the way it is, it's not going to change, there is no baby on the way, this is just our life. It's partially a coping mechanism so that I don't spend every minute fidgeting and wishing labour would start already, and it's partially denial, and it's partially just a response to the fact that I haven't been doing many baby things lately. She's on the back burner, in a weird way, and I'm back to my normal old life.

I'm in for a shock.