When I discussed the title of this blog with my wife, she didn't like the description of my being pushed to the edge. She got the joke I was making of being pushed to the edge of the bed, but she didn't like the implication of the more metaphorical meaning of being pushed to the edge. Though she didn't say it, I assume she meant that she didn't like the implication or believe that I was being pushed to the edge my parenting ability, patience, or sanity. Somehow our children were too trying. There are moments when the first two are probably true, but no more than other parents. So why did I choose that description (besides I think it's a funny and have a bad sense of humor)?
First the funny part of the description. We co-sleep with our youngest, so there is always at least three in the adult bed. But most nights, sometime after midnight or one a.m., one of the twins, M. comes into bed and wants to snuggle with me. He wants to share a pillow and covers. It's very cute. And because he is having some challenges adjusting to losing so much attention, as most children with new siblings do, I don't want to tell him that, "Yes, in addition to having to give up so much time and losing some priority status to your brother during the day, we're going to make you sleep somewhere else while your new brother snuggles all night with us." So, we let him come to bed with us.
This is going somewhere, I swear. If you know anything about children in adult beds, they manage sleep sideways, take all the covers and pillows, and make funny noises and movements when they sleep, and want to cuddle all at the same time. It's either adorable or maddening. In our case, it's both. So, every night, I'm pushed to the edge of our bed, literally, as I try and create space for myself to sleep. Fortunately we sidecarred a crib with intent of our youngest sleeping in it. He doesn't. I do. Well, more acurately I often end up half in the bed and half in the crib. On rare occasion, I end up nearly totally in the crib (as much as I can fit), and M. follows me right in. That is the story of the origin of the description on this blog. If you've made this far, please read a little further.
How else am I pushed to the edge? What less literal meaning is there to the blog description? Though there are times I feel pushed to the edge by my family, parents who claim otherwise are either lying or. . .well. . . I should say are highly unusual. So why am I pushed to the edge? I'm pushed to the edge of my comfort zone -- founded on beliefs and expectations borne of observation, mass media, and armchair parenting -- by what I've read and learned from less-well known, but often more reputable sources. I often feel the weight of society pushing against some of the decisions my family has made about parenting. I know some of the ideas I will examine here will probably offend some readers. Coming to these conclusions has not been easy for me, and I can imagine some of the topics here or my beliefs may offend some. So, I simply ask readers to have an open mind and realize that there are different ways to raise a family, and that, if I can get gushy for a minute, the prime ingredient is unconditional love. All things sprout from there.
So, I've been pushed to the edge. By my own doing and by society. Let's see if I can work my way back.