Google-eyed cookie

Lucy finally found her toys, at least this toy bar, in the last week.
When people say you don’t need that much stuff, you don’t need that
much stuff. Fine by me, because I don’t want to have that much stuff
around. She is almost four months now and when we hold a toy in her
face, she looks around to catch our eye instead.

I just finished reading "Parenting, Inc.: How the Billion-Dollar Baby
Business Has Changed the Way We Raise Our Children
" which is an exploration of
the TRILLION dollar parenting industry. It made me want to take my
baby and flee to the hills. But even the hills are filled with baby
stuff. You can’t escape it. And honestly, I was hesitant to have kids,
not because of the long sleepless nights, but the solicitations and
expectations of today’s children. I know that I am guilty of some of
these stories, but I’m working on it.

I have many thoughts about this book that I haven’t quite processed
yet. The arguments about over consumption deadening creativity ties
directly into my graduate work regarding art, play and creativity.
Although I wasn’t thinking about the insanity of what we buy for
today’s infants at the time. Plus the growth of the industry has only
mastisized over the last five years, since I finished grad school. If
I had this book then, I would have definitely cited it. Many times.

In the end, the author reminds us that all we really need is to remain
confident about being a parent and what our children really want is to
be loved, talked to and cuddled. I must say, naps are one of the best
perks of being a mom.

The best advice I received was from my lactation consultant, one of
many parenting service providers explored in the book. She said, "You
are the best parent for your baby. She is a mirror of how you are
feeling." I often found that to be true. If I was tired, I realized
she was tired. If I was stressed, so was she. And if I remain calm,
Lucy is generally calm.

"Parenting, Inc." hits on a few of the missing links, but maybe not
all. I am eager to read back through my paper to see where we overlap.
Freetime is a big thing, even if that means just staring out the
window at three months. Multi-generations are very important. So we’ve
planned a multi-state tour to visit the familias this month. Also,
being part of a bigger community, like church, so kids can learn that
it’s not all about them. Overall, it was a great book and I want other
parents to read it so that we can discuss it further. How can we stop
the insanity?

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