Monday, October 26, 2009

Middle of the Road

For a long, long time our family has found itself with one foot planted firmly on each side of the fence of many issues.

Vaccines? One foot is "yes, please, as many as age appropriate" and one foot is "why do we give our kids so many vaccines, all at once? Isn't that harmful to their tiny, underdeveloped immune systems and brains?"

Attachment parenting? One foot is "we sleep with our babies and breastfeed into the second year" and one foot is "I LIKE my space when sleeping, you bed hog. Off to your own crib you go!"

Birth? One foot is "Thank GOD for modern medicine and those two Csections- we have three healthy- and ALIVE- children because of it!" and the other foot is "Skeptical of modern medical interventions during labor and birth and wondering if those surgeries were actually necessary."

Discipline? One foot is "You will do as I say, when I say, do I make myself clear?" and the other foot is "If we meet their needs, the needs will go away. Come here and snuggle with mommy and tell me how you feel when you are being such a douche."

Eating? One foot is "We have our own bottom line to consider, and also? Processed foods are easier sometimes. Our kids are made up of 90% fish crackers" and the other foot is "We buy local and/or organic as much as possible and make many, many things from scratch with whole ingredients."

On being green: One foot is all "ZOMG I love Clorox wipes!" and the other "we use reusable shopping bags, earth friendly cleaning products, etc and recycle like we're going for a prize".

One foot, planted in each camp. Straddling the fence. Taking a little from each side and customizing it to meet our family's specific needs.

Usually this feels right and healthy. Like we do not swing to one extreme or another. Like there is a balance, and that we've found a good mix for our family.

Other times, it feel like we don't belong in either camp. It feels a little lonely. Or like we can't make up our minds.

Which is where I am with the h1n1 stuff right now. I'm quite casual about it, not really worried, feeling confident that we're all going to be fine. As of right now, we are not planning on vaccinating (mostly because our kids likely already HAVE it).

However, I do still feel uneasy about it all sometimes. The "what if's" come sneaking in, and I too want to camp outside the clinic with a deadly weapon and demand protection for my family.

Also, I hope I have not come off smug about our experience with h1n1. So far, the kids are fine. Kate is still healthy, and the other two are doing that maddening thing where they are fine and fever free for 15 or more hours, only to dissolve into buckets of weeping woe. Which only means one thing: fever's back.

I do realize though that our family is not out of the woods. That it has yet to be determined whether or not we will all escape with only being mildly sick. I am well aware that one of us could still need a hospital stay... or worse. I'm just choosing not to dwell on that and to NOT get caught up in the hysteria.

(I see the media coverage as less "public service information" and more as "a way to get great ratings". And I think it is their fault that none of us has the ability to gauge the actual seriousness of the situation. We are shown case after sad case of deaths and then told "not to panic" and that "most cases are mild".... wait... what? Are we ALL GOING TO DIE or not?)

Oh, and remember the mixed-up doctor's appointments? Well, the REAL appointments are today and I've talked to the nurse there TWICE about whether I should bring in my sick kids; once this morning when they appeared to be on the mend, and again at noon when they both presented with fevers. She assured me both times that I should keep the appointments because (1) our doctor is hard to get in to and we've had these appointments since August and (2) because then she can check out the kids and make sure that they do not have anything else.

So! Off to Bigger Town we go! Wheeeee! Two Sickies and me!!!!!!!


Marie Green said...

PS. Can't wait to strap on a face mask to each kid when we get to the clinic- sounds like a BLAST on SO MANY LEVELS.

desperate housewife said...

Our doctor's office is using the masks too. Fun times.
I am so with you on the foot in each camp thing. I couldn't have said it better, and don't have anything to add, but just YES. EXACTLY.

buderfli said...

I love this post. So well stated - esp the part about feeling lonely, like you don't belong in either camp. Totally get that.

Swistle said...


Anonymous said...

Yes indeed. Well said on all counts.

d e v a n said...

I think a LOT of people are in that straddling the fence camp. We definitely are!

Giselle said...

Yes. yes. and more yes. I almost envy people who are whole-heartedly on one side...decisions must be so much easier. I always feel so open-minded and intelligent about straddling the fence, until it gets to be decision time. Then I'm all, "Well I like THIS about the Republicans and THIS about the Democrats, and I don't think EITHER will do who do I vote for?"

Glad to know others are riding along in the middle as well ;)

Erin said...

You are brave.

You know, the CDC reports that 1 out of 5 U.S. children has had H1N1 since the beginning of September. It's all over the place. It's the FLU. It sucks, you lose 3-5 days of your life, but the vast majority of us will be just fine.

I like what my pediatrician told us: "You're going to get H1N1 before the vaccination is here. Just count on it." At least he's honest.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

We're right there with you. I like to think of my "a little of this and a little of that" as pragmatism.

Kelsey said...

I'm a straddler as well. Sometimes I think it is less stressful that way - sort of live and let live, and other times it stresses me out not to have strong opinions on ALL the IMPORTANT issues.

I'm happy to see so many people I respect saying similar things in your comments section.