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The Interests Meme - Mo's Journal
October 12th, 2007
06:58 pm

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The Interests Meme
Comment on this post and I will pick seven of your interests. You then explain them in your journal and re-post.

kattahj gave me attachment parenting, emergency management, park slope, public transportation, winnipeg, lesbian parenting and beading.


Attachment Parenting (ap) is a philosophy or style of parenting that is based on the belief that meeting babies' and small children's needs for attachment leads to greater emotional health. The tools of attachment most often used are: extended breastfeeding, baby wearing, minimal separation of infants from parents, non-violent and non-shaming discipline, and cosleeping. I'd never heard the term until I joined an online breastfeeding community in 1995 - my first online community. I'm not completely sold on the concept but I think all of those are good things to do regardless of theory and philosophy. I've met lots of people I like and admire through ap circles and learned how to handle a lot of sticky parenting situations. My ap cred is not complete :-) but I breastfed for about 8 years (pretty good, considering I only gave birth to two of my kids), wore babies pretty constantly when not at work, use gentle and loving methods of discipline, and coslept on and off for a long time.

Emergency Management/Emergency Preparedness is what I do for a living. I work in the IT section of my city's health department. I run a web-based information system that gives doctors and other medical providers information about urgent and emergent public health issues. We can send out alerts from anywhere and at any time. I also represent IT in our Incident Command System planning and drills. It's a fun job and very interesting, with exposure to a huge variety of public health issues. I also recognize it's kind of a weird job. As one of my daughters said to me recently, "Mom, you know not everybody talks about bioterrorism over dinner."

Park Slope is my neighborhood and I love it and wish I could live here forever. New York City seems like a monolithic urban mass to people who have never been here, but it's a really an amalgamation of neighborhoods, each with its own character and traditions. This is absolutely the best place for me. It's a physically beautiful place - lots of park land (including Olmstead and Vaux's masterpiece, Prospect Park), great nineteenth century housing stock. It's a lesbian neighborhood (also known as Dyke Slope) and my first experience of living in a queer mecca. It's a very family friendly neighborhood, with lots of services and businesses for people with small children. It has the shul that is perfect for me, Park Slope Jewish Center, a wonderful place to buy food , a lot of politically progressive people (my brother refers to it as "the People's Republic of Park Slope"), entertainment opportunities and a really friendly, neighborly feeling. It's an easy commute to lower Manhattan. Unfortunately, all of that makes it attractive to lots of people and the housing prices have risen steadily since I moved here in 1992. Which wouldn't matter, if not for the fact that my ex is sitting on our home and I haven't been able to realize any of the equity, as covered elsewhere. So I'm hanging on, just barely, in an expensive and tiny rental apartment. But I do love the Slope.

Public Transportation has always been an interest of mine. I love the NYC Subway system, but I love other city transportation systems, too: from the London Tube and the double decker buses to the Paris Metro to the cable cars in San Francisco. I hate a car-based culture for the inefficiency, the environmental impact, the isolation. I also just think trains and buses and cable cars are cool. My sister says I'm really a two-and-a-half year old boy and don't know it.

I was born in Winnipeg, although I never lived there. It's where both of my parents grew up and where much of my extended family remains. I was last there in 2005, for a mini-family reunion. We stayed for a long weekend at our family's beach house in Winnipeg Beach and spent the rest of the week in the city. I wish I could get there more often. I refer to it as my Ancestral Home Town.

Lesbian Parenting has been an interest of mine for a long time. It's been an active occupation for the last 19 years, and trying to achieve it for years of infertility kept me pretty occupied before that. I have three kids, all conceived by donor insemination within a lesbian relationship that lasted over a quarter of a century. When my eldest was born the gay-by boom hadn't started booming yet, so we had to be pioneers in some respects, educating those around us about lesbian parenting. I was a founder of the largest gay and lesbian parenting organization in the US and have done a lot of writing and speaking on the topic. It's something I always want to learn more about.

I make Beaded Jewelry in my spare time. I mostly use semi-precious stones and silver, mostly make earrings and necklaces. It's a fun hobby and good for gifts. My youngest does it, too. Sometimes we sit and bead together. I started doing it when I had a job that required that I spend a lot of time on conference calls with colleagues in London and Dublin (in my pre-public health days I worked in banking). I'd sit in my office and have the call on speaker and my mind and voice and ears would be fairly occupied but except for the occasional note I took I didn't need to do anything with my hands, so I thought I'd take up a hobby that kept my hands busy. I also had to travel a fair amount on business and liked to bead during the flights. Of course, that was pre-9/11 when you could bring beading tools on a plane...



That was fun to do. I hope it's not too boring to read. Comment and I'll ask you about your interests.

(30 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:ringthebells
Date:October 13th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
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I've been learning about attachment parenting! Dave and I are pretty gung-ho about the baby wearing and breastfeeding ideas, and the general meet-your-baby's-needs philosophy. We're not planning to try co-sleeping -- I don't feel safe with the idea, as I'm a very flopping-all-over-the-place restless sleeper, and Dave is a very deep sleeper. But we plan to keep the baby in a bassinette and crib right next to our bed, so we can respond quickly in the night. Anyway, we'll see how it goes!
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From:mofic
Date:October 13th, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
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Keeping the baby with you - and a bassinet or cosleeper attached to the bed is the same thing afaic - is a huge advantage just in terms of the rest you get. Parenthood is truly the end of sleep as we know it, and not having to get up and go get the baby or put the baby back in his/her room saves energy, of which new parents (particularly working new parents) have little.
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From:ringthebells
Date:October 13th, 2007 01:34 am (UTC)
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Yes, that seems logical to me!

At least as long as there are times when he wakes up and only needs to be breastfed, and not actually changed ... I don't think there's any way to change them without getting out of bed, is there? :P

I'm really, really fortunate in that Quebec has kick-ass parental leave; I won't actually have to go back to work until fall of 2008.
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:October 13th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
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It is not a bad idea to have a changing pad, diapers and wipes by the bed.

I had 8 weeks of leave with each of mine and went back to 50 or more hours of work a week right away. So my memories of their infancy are a blur of pumping, working, trying not to fall asleep at work, pumping some more, crying, etc.
[User Picture]
From:ringthebells
Date:October 13th, 2007 01:44 am (UTC)
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Wow, that must have been really hard! I was having enough trouble staying awake at work while I was pregnant—while I was teaching I was fine, but whenever I sat down at my desk to try to work I'd fall asleep! (Thank goodness the medical establishment has decided a cup of coffee a day is okay while you're pregnant.)
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From:mofic
Date:October 13th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
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I think it's a wonder I managed to stay employed for Doran's first year!

It did make me look at other parents in a different way. I think previously I just didn't have an appreciation for how hard it is to work full time with a baby at home.
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:October 13th, 2007 01:34 am (UTC)
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I'd like to hear more about your interest in:

comic books
Cooking
movie theatre etiquette
organic farming
traveling
grammar
icebiking
[User Picture]
From:rae_1985
Date:October 13th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
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Pick me! hehehehe
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:October 13th, 2007 02:20 am (UTC)
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Tell me all about your interest in:

Brokeback Mountain
historical fiction
math
x-men
gay porn
bel ami
barnes and noble
[User Picture]
From:rae_1985
Date:October 13th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
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Thanks! I'm done already. :D
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:October 13th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
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I'll check it out!
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From:barenakedrachel
Date:October 13th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
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That was all very interesting!! Pick some of my interests for me to elaborate on, if you wish :-)

And I keep thinking about you and the whole housing situation... I hope that something is moving forward with it?? No?? I've read all your updates on that. Geesh. I'd be pulling my hair out. Your neighborhood sounds awesome, like a place I'd love to live. I've never been to NYC (airport does not count!), which is a shame :-(

Hoping you are doing well!!
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:October 13th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
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Tell us more about:

cemeteries
looking for richard
fall
muumi
minneapolis
shakespeare
the things they carried

I've heard of some of those :-) but want to know what they mean to you. And there are others I have no idea what they're about.
[User Picture]
From:cherrypin_up
Date:October 13th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
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I knew we had a lot in common. :) I always got looked at funny for how I've raised my children, and even now share the bed with one of them often. Angel is beside me as I type. I also love public transport, especially in NYC. That has to be my most favorite city in the world anyway. And I used to bead, and may pick it up again soon. My grandmother made it into a career and now my mother has thousands of little boxes, bags and containers of specialized beads with no desire to do it. We'll see if I end up with the lot. :-D

Now, do me?
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:October 13th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
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I remember when we were first getting to know each other that you noticed that my OCs Wendy and Arthur are ap parents.

Okay, tell me more about your interest in:

european history
flirting
greece
homoerotic subtext
spooning
theater
view askew

[User Picture]
From:cherrypin_up
Date:October 14th, 2007 03:58 am (UTC)
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That's right. Sometimes I forget how we met. :) I answered in my journal.
[User Picture]
From:kattahj
Date:October 13th, 2007 08:59 am (UTC)
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This was very interesting - I love this meme!

Am a bit sad that "non-violent and non-shaming discipline" is apparently not a given in any conscious form of parenting.
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:October 13th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
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Hitting kids is still considered an acceptable form of discipline in a lot of circles here.
[User Picture]
From:kattahj
Date:October 14th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)
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That is so sad. It was made illegal here before I was born. Which isn't to say that my mom never slapped me, but it was always clear to both of us that this was a bad thing. The idea of hitting a child with premeditation (not to mention a cane or some other weapon) is really frightening to me.
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:October 14th, 2007 11:58 am (UTC)
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The idea of hitting a child with premeditation (not to mention a cane or some other weapon) is really frightening to me.

I'm back and forth on whether it's worse to spank calmly and premeditatedly or in anger of the moment. FWIW I was raised with being spanked and don't feel at all scarred by it. It was pretty much a universal practice in that place and time. It hurt, but not that much; it was frightening, but not that bad - it was just part of what happened to kids. But some kids really do feel profound and lasting hurt and you can't know whether you've got one who will. And there's plenty of evidence that it doesn't work as a discipline tool, so with no upside and lots of risk I think it's a very bad idea.

I do find it frightening that people who believe it's a bad thing to do still do it. I've heard a number of parents who say they can't stop. G-d knows kids can be annoying, even exasperating. But the way I look at it, so can neighbors, colleagues, random people on the subway. Yet most of us go through our lives without ever striking any of them, without ever striking anyone, really, by the time we reach adulthood. (Obviously there are people who go through their lives getting into physical fights with all and sundry, but that's both rare and considered to be a real personality problem). It's part of the control we grow into. So we really ought to be able to have that restraint with our children, too, even when they're obnoxious.

Murray Straus, who is one of the lead researchers on this topic, points out that USAmericans think of ourselves as a non-spanking or anti-spanking society but we're not. In polls, the majority will say that spanking should only be used sparingly, in situations where nothing else works. On the surface that sounds like an anti-spanking sentiment, but if you look at it more closely it's not. It suggests that spanking does work, even that it's more effective than other forms of discipline (because you use it when others don't work). I think for parents to stop spanking, they have to totally take it out of their toolbox.
[User Picture]
From:kattahj
Date:October 14th, 2007 12:10 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I'm definitely not advocating it as an outlet either, but seeing how it was permitted when my siblings were little and then forbidden when I was little, I can understand how in the heat of the moment you could forget that. In a way, I pity her a lot more than myself, because the knowledge that "mommy is being mean to me" is much easier to take than "I am being mean to my kids."

I've got the same kind of temper my mom does, and there was an instance when I grabbed one of the kids at school by her wrist and squeezed harder than was strictly necessary, and it flew through my head, "My God! I really want to hurt her! What the hell is wrong with me?" It was a profoundly scary moment, this knowledge that a part of me not only could hurt a child but wanted to hurt a child. I was very grateful then to have laws and rules in no uncertain words telling me how wrong it would be to give into that wish even a little. I think if I'd been permitted to spank the girl, that would have been incredibly damaging, not because I would have hit her hard, but because it would mean encouraging something in me that should never ever be encouraged.
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:October 14th, 2007 12:17 pm (UTC)
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I think making it illegal is a good first step, but it takes time to get it out of the culture. I do think that in this culture people hit their kids largely because it is allowed.
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From:monitorscreen
Date:October 13th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
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I don't know if my parents believe in AP, but we coslept until we moved apartment when I was about five or six. Back then the whole family (my parents, my brother and I) slept in one single bed :-)

A lot of my interests are fandom names, so there may not be much you're interested in; but, pick some?
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:October 13th, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC)
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So please elaborate on:
corset
lingerie
castle
rabbit
long hair
shoes
wolf
[User Picture]
From:monitorscreen
Date:October 13th, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC)
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Done it, here :-)
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:October 14th, 2007 11:58 am (UTC)
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That was fun to read!
[User Picture]
From:talktooloose
Date:October 15th, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC)
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I have no time for this! Pick me!
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:October 15th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
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Yay! You're back! I was hanging a batik I got in India in my bedroom last night and thought of you. I want to hear all about the trip.

LOL! on the pick me after the no time. If you have a chance, tell me something about your interest in:

alexander payne, yiddish, getting suspended for your interests, finder, maureen f. mchugh, sadness, and tikun olam.
[User Picture]
From:talktooloose
Date:October 16th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
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Done. You're right. It was fun!

Furthermore, if you send me your mailing address by email, I'll send you a related present because you rock.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 6th, 2011 11:21 am (UTC)

Nice blog

(Link)
It was certainly interesting for me to read that blog. Thank you for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to them. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

Katherine Stone
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