Sunday, December 13, 2009

different families, different philosophies

One of my much younger cousins has a baby only a few months younger than Acorn. She married the father of the baby, who is my age...which frankly makes the whole relationship feel a little skeevy, as far as I'm concerned. At any rate, this cousin of mine is an only child, and her parents are apparently deeply involved in parening the little girl.

We definitely don't see eye to eye on parenting methods, based on what I've seen of their interactions with my cousin when we were younger.

We're heading to my brother's wedding in January. We're taking Acorn - we've spent too many nights leaving him in the hospital to be ready to leave him somewhere now, even if it's with nurses all weekend, so we've been putting together all the crazy details needed to take him along. The happy couple did not say no children, and they are aware that we cannot leave Acorn with anyone who isn't trained, so there's no issue, right?

Except....last night I got a call from my uncle.

He wanted to know what we were doing with Acorn during the reception.

Before I go any further, in that context I really hate the phrase "doing with" - it makes it sound like your child is a toy to be put on the shelf when it's inconvenient to take them wherever you're going.

I called back a little later to find out what they were getting at. It seems that they were getting at was that they (my aunt and uncle, not the baby's parents) were planning to split shifts caring for her - one would miss the wedding, and the other would miss the reception. And they were sort of hoping that we'd be interested in taking one of those shifts with their little girl, if we were going to be skipping something with Acorn anyway. And that if we thought he'd stay with them, we were welcome to leave him - not that they know anything about his medical care, really, but you know, it's polite to offer to trade off if we were going to watch their granddaughter.

But....beside the fact that they're not at all knowledgeable enough to sit with Acorn for an evening, they're not the kind of people I'd leave him with, even if there weren't medical concerns.

I generally figure most children who are taken everywhere learn to behave appropriately - if you don't expose them to these things, how will they learn? We very rarely use the word "no" - it''s too vague, and too easy to tune out - no was their favorite word.

And, in Pagan terms....they don't shield. Ever. Acorn really isn't old enough to do that on his own, so this should be interesting.

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