Friday, April 27, 2007

Procrastination Rant

So amidst my blog-reading procrastination attempts (there's a clinical skills worksheet due this evening) I found something over on Sage Femme's blog, and started to comment only to find a whole post coming out.

The growth chart issue is one of those that will just about send me into a head-against-wall pose, just about every time.

With the same customary logic that had people commenting that my (100% breastfed) son was so big that I MUST need to supplement to keep him happy (huh?), woman after woman after woman is told that their breastfed baby is "too small."

Too small compared to WHAT? Compared to the - dare I say it - infant-version-of-obese babies that are fed formula? There's no doubt now about the correlation later on. But what if, just what if (come on now people, it isn't really THAT much of a stretch) what we are seeing on the growth charts ISN'T NATURAL. What if it leads to a whole LIFETIME of NOT NATURAL? Nobody really knows what an obese infant looks like. And I'm just going to be horrifically insensitive and say that just as it isn't natural for an infant to be fed formula, it isn't natural for an infant to be obese, and feeding our kids formula is giving their bodies that first taste of that unnatural growth - and we already know that our bodies imprint this and tend to go back to it later.

Why on earth would we want to compare our breastfed babies to THAT?

In classic American style, what we're really worried about is winning. What are we winning? IS there a big mama race for the biggest/best/most normal/most advanced baby? Are we really after bragging rights? After a dainty little below-the-average pocket-sized girl? A BIG HUGE my-penis-is-bigger-than-yours boy? Well, yes, actually, I think there is, just like there's a big mama race for the most advanced toddler, best preschooler, honor-child elementary student, AP academic high schooler (who lettered in Football, to boot!). I can see no other reason for moms to get together and proudly flaunt their childrens' positions on the growth curve or whisper in that horrified drawing-people-in kind of way about how the doctor said their baby just wasn't up to par.

What if we applied it to adults? I have failure to thrive because I'm only 5'2" - it must be my mom's fault for not giving me formula. Only, wait a second, I was a big kid. That must be my mom's fault for not giving me formula. Oh, wait, I'm an average-sized adult. It must have happened DESPITE the fact that my mom didn't give me formula, because everyone knows that the only RELIABLE way to keep to "normal" is formula. It has an ingredient list and comes with a measuring spoon, after all.

It drives me, in case you couldn't tell, fucking batty.

(This post courtesy of Ross Laboratories.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Why I Love Online Exams

So I could complain (and complain and complain and complain) about the Midwifery Care exam I took this morning, but I'm taking a different tact. Instead of dwelling on the substance, I'm going to dwell on the process.

I love online exams.

I woke up this morning at about 6:30, brewed my coffee, put on an undershirt, started up the computer, and opened my exam (7am). I sat in my very comfy chair and read/clicked away. About 20 mintues in I ran out of coffee, so I got up and made myself some more and went back to my test. At about 40 minutes in, I had to go to the bathroom, so I did.

Can I just say, as someone with an insanely small bladder, bathroom-anytime-priviledges are awfully nice.

When I was done with the damned thing, I clicked "submit" or whatever similar thing there is on that particular form, and opened my email.

So yes, I love the online test-taking thing.

I would love it even more if I found out I passed this exam.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Why I Blog

I've been tagged by Louisa...

So I had to think about this for a bit. I still don't really know why I blog, so I'll just ramble along on the subject.

I guess I've always been fascinated with the idea of a journal, and I have tried a few times to start one without ever getting past the first couple of entries (literal - 2-3 days). I never really knew what to write in a journal, anyway. The idea of just keeping writing appealed to me, but the secrecy really didn't. Having this sort of open journal that my friends and family can read and sometimes enjoy is a sort of positive reinforcement for my efforts. At the same time, it gives these people insight into who I am and what our family is. When we interact with other people, it is almost never in a vaccuum. There is the background and the nuance, and in a way the blog informs that. Teaching friends to speak my language (and I've learned a lot about them, in turn, from their own blogs) enriches those interactions.

Corollary to that: I there are bits of me that just don't come out while I'm in the mother-role or the student-role, and all of my friends see me in one or the other of those virtually 100% of the time. For a while my blog was very vent-heavy, a sort of backlash from that supressed and angry part of me that got stuffed down under "mom." It was never a very big part of my personality, as those who know me well understand - I'm easygoing simply by nature. But "mom" can't really scream "MOTHERFUCKING BASTARD" at her 5 year old when he wacks her with a stick (by accident), or crush the 2yo, and for a while the built-up energy hit the blog full force.

So yeah, it is also a venting space, and not just for anger. It spares my children the force of my irritation on at least a weekly basis. I can get the feeling (usually frustration) out just by writing it down: I can do it and feel that it has been utterly spent. I rarely hold on to it after I've hit that "publish" button. For some reason, this is a very different feeling than journalling it privately would be. I know that this is something that not everyone who blogs/journals/whatevers holds in common with me, but it is the reason blogging can be a very healthy therapeutic release in my case.

Sometimes my blog simply chronicles our adventures, like the series I did from our trip to Hawaii in July 2006. There are a LOT of these. It is nice to be able to go back and see the pictures along with their stories, and I'm going to have to take care to keep them for the future. When Fran's grandpa died, he left behind many carefully-kept photo albums. They're wonderful and all, but nobody knows who is in those photos, or what was going on. The photos I've placed on the blog are often some of my most favorite, and they all have some level of backstory and context and who-is-who written into the text and labelling surrounding them. I have no grand plan for my blog, I don't intend to live beyond my years through it or anything. But it lays life out in neat little packages, and I like that.

I have an easy time rambling around in my writings and could probably do this all day. But I think that's the core of it, so I'll leave it here.

I'm tagging Lory (if you've done it before, link it) and in an effort to get her to write a little more (because she is an excellent writer with a lot of good things to say), Aimee.