Monday, September 29, 2008

A response to "Responsibly starting solids"

I just finished reading a post on regarding starting babies on solid food. Always one to play devils advocate I had to throw this out there . It shy's away from the topic a bit, and certainly isn't meant to discredit or argue any of Dr. P's points. Just another point of view is all.

In a hunter gatherer society, both parents were responsible for providing for the well being of their children. As the popular "ring sling" hadn't been invented yet it's likely that more parents shoved a chicken leg in their kids hand and got busy with trying to survive than sitting around breastfeeding for 8 out of the 12 waking hours of the day. If you look at the cool vids and pics of African Bush people on National Geographics, many of the children are down in the dirt playing and fending for themselves while being watched by older siblings while the parents are off taking care of their responsibilities. The children that are being carried are only a few months old, and are being carried in a sack on the back instead of being carried on the front. Naturally we aren't native African bushmen....bushwomen....whatever, but the argument was about hunter/gatherer people and the bush people are the best example we have.
I have also even seen videos of some Asian cultres pre-chewing food for babies that appear to be less than a year old.
Not to say that breastfeeding is bad, in fact I think it's great! I just can't help but wonder if parents are stifling a child's natural independance and growth to satisfy a personal need to nurture.

My personal opinion is that there is a certain amount of instict that plays into this. Many children will go after the solid foods as quickly as the breast at 4-6 months. Should they still get the good stuff? Of course. How long? who knows? I don't think that breast milk is going to take care of the dietary needs of a teenager or adult, so at what point do you draw the line?
In my strictly non-medical but commonsensical opinion A child should be given the option of solid food as soon as they are able to eat it. Infants are physically unable to eat solid food, they don't know how to pick it up, or put it in their mouths, they don't have the teeth or the dexterity of the tongue to gum it to pieces, and so they obviously need milk, and mommy's is best. Once they are able to overcome the obstacles of feeding themselves solids, I think they should be eating said solids.

I also believe that this new "breastfeeding" movement has become more combative over the years and is not more about the "rights" of the breatfeeding mother than the well-being of the child.

Many of the breastfeeders (members of a league which I will not name) seem to think that a mother keeping a full time job is a bad thing. "They aren't putting thier child first". That's a bunch of crap. I'm pretty sure that a child that is raised in a financially stable environment while eating pumped milk, formula or solids is in a much better environment to thrive than one that is raised in a financially strapped, stressed out household where mom stays home with them. Of course if Dad is making enough dough to keep it together on his own then great, but I think you will find that by percentage, this is a very small demographic.

Also, let's look at the flaws in the belief that this "is in the best interest of the child" Childhood makes up a very small portion of our actual life. And while our experiences during childhood may have a pronounced effect on our adult life it is by no means the deciding factor. If you were to ask a large group of degenerates, fatties, drug abusers, womanizers and people with poor health if the lack of breatfeeding, co-sleeping etc was the root of their problem they would probably laugh at you. with the few exceptions of medical conditions and the obviouse genetic predispositions to certain diseases you will find that the majority of these situations are the result of poor dietary or life choices made during adolescence or early adulhood. Sorry ladies, when you decide to withhold the breast, and/or start solid foods isn't going to have a big impact on their adult lives.

I think that what has a greater impact on a child as they grow up is how much love they experience and how much responsibility and independence they are taught. Children thrive in a constant and happy environment. They crave the interaction of mommy and daddy, and they are pre-wired to start reaching and branching out on their own. These are good things and should never be overlooked or dismissed.

The choice to breastfeed a child until they are 3 or 4 years old, and homeschooling them may even be a detriment to them. I have personally known and/or read about teenagers that distinctly recall being weened from the breast at 4 years old, or the ones that weened themselves out of embarassment at 6 or 7. This is an apron string that will need to be cut, cutting it once they have reached the age of conciosness is in my opinion extremely unfair. It's kind of like taking a 4 year old boy to get circumcised. That's something he will never forget. Ask any adult that was circumcised as a newborn and they don't remember anything about it. Keeping a child homeschooled for their entire life can be equally unfair. I personally fight with the crap that my children are exposed to in public school on a daily basis. But! I would much rather expose them to those things now and teach them how to work through this ugly world than to turn them loose to college as a clueless 18 year old where they will not have me to guide and teach them.

Some parents and experts say not to give your children aceteminolkadf;l......(whatever) or ibuprofen. So....when they are cutting teeth and screaming their heads off at 3:00am should we....use the old rubber mallet to the head trick, or maybe some whiskey on the gums? What about when they're 7 and get a nasty bone bruise? Maybe an expensive trip to the hospital and some good ole' narcotics? Just a question, I don't have the answers feel free to post some.

One thing that I will definately agree with the experts on is feeding children stuff that contains bleached flour, preservatives and other nasty chemicals. These really are bad for everyone. Unfortunately our life only has so much time and money set aside for food prep and while our family tries to eat healthy sometime "good enough" just has to be good enough. The baby gets a lot of fresh veggies and organics, but the rest of us.......let's just say that we will be well preserved when we die.

To sum things up, I'm not trying to start a fight, or tell people that they way they are raising their children is wrong. Far from it, what I am doing is asking that people be open to other ways of seeing and doing things. I do not know your life or how your life decisions are affecting you now or how they will affect your children in the future. Conversly though, you do not know our lives and how things are working out for us. Keep an open mind, question everything and weigh it against common sense. And above all be wary of anyone that says they have "the answer" Only God has "the answer" anything else is just human speculation.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Don't ask


Trail work....

Somehow, 7:30 yesterday morning found me unloading the chainsaw, weedeater, gas cans and a machete out of the back of my Kia. I had been asked to help out with a bit of trail work at our local bike park and figured why not, the kids are with the grandparents and I've got a little free time.
For some of you this may not seem like a big deal but for me it's huge. The reaon being is that I HATE that bike park and everyone in the club knows this. The park itself is the crowning acheivement of our club in that we even have a legal trail. But it's flat, and tiresome and poorly marked and full of mud.

Anyway, I headed out and put in 2 hours of weedeater time and screwed around on a few other projects for a few minutes and figured I'd done my good deed for the day. After I got back to the parking lot and changed uniforms I headed out on the bike. I was amazed by what I found. I was actually able to link the trails together and get in a 7 mile ride. I only got turned around once and didn't have to wade through any mud. It seems that while I've been sitting around hating, or heading out of town to ride, there have been a handfull of people that have been working their asses of to make Halpat a decent trail. The trails were pretty well marked, most of the overgrowth had been beaten back (I helped on that one) the trails had been re-routed around the mud where possible, and in other places literally tons of shellrock had been loaded in or really well made ladder bridges were installed. Color me impressed.

Halpat still isn't much of a destination for me because I have this strange addiction to hills and stuff. But it is turning into a really nice XC trail that can be ridden by amateurs and pro's alike.

Congrats to the Halpat crew, you've done a great job

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm not at all wierd....

In response to McMamma's list of things that she absolutely does not do, I had to make a little bit of a list of my own.

I absolutely do not complain about masticating animal flesh off the bone. Really!! There is absolutely nothing wrong with baring your teeth whilst ripping into flesh. All the while smearing the edges of your mouth with whatever type of sauce was applied to said piece of meat while cooking it. Even the sound of a room full of people performing this savage act is music to my ears. It almost sounds like a pack of lions shredding a wildebeast carcass.
Nope, it doesn't bother me a bit......

Monday, September 8, 2008

Crowning achievement

I am so "the man" right now I can't get over myself! Actually I'm having trouble getting over much of anything with this everlasting cramp in my leg.

This past Saturday I headed down to Markham park with some buddies for my monthly out of town ride until you can't move session. We got to the park and hit the trails at about 10:00 in the am with 80 degree weather and not a cloud in the sky. The trails were pretty empty as much of South Florida was preparing for the "oh my god we're all gonna die" hurricane Ike. (who never bothered showing up for his own party but that's another story)

We banged out a few trails right off the bat, hitting the warm up loop, washing machine, lost ring and Area 51 topping out at about 5 miles and then headed for some R & R. Those of you who haven't ridden Markham park really have no idea how much 5 miles of trail will take out of you.

The trails take total concentration as there are sharp little rocks everywhere and there are also some short steep climbs that you can't really get set for. I'm sure that the local's are probably laughing at me right now, but I only ride once a month now since my home trail has been closed.

Anyway, after our break we headed straight for "gunrange" which get's it's name from the fact that there is literally a gun range on the other side of the hill. I can say with all certainty that this is the most difficult trail in all of South Florida, and one of the toughest in all of Florida. It has a lot of super steep climbs over loose rock, chunks of cement and tree roots. Also the way the trail is layed out it is difficult to get a good run-up especially if you are following someone. This trail is also covered with a lot of small obstacles that have to be hit nearly perfectly to keep from crashing as well as some long narrow ridges that drop off about 15 feet onto rocks and some insane terraced downhills that'll make your pooter pucker!.....Pretty much one of the coolest toughest trail around.

So why am I the man? (Ok, I'm a man, does that count?) I made it with only 2 dabs! For the non-bikers out there, a dab is when you put your foot down to steady yourself when riding. Again, the locals down there probably don't think that's too much of a big deal but for a fattie that only rides once a month that is a total accomplishment. I'm not going to say that I owned it, but I made it and that's the most important part for me.

The downside is that I put so much of myself into that trail I was so whupped that I ended up walking up the hills on "Jet Ski" (wouldn't miss those decents for the world) and finally bailed to the trail head while the rest of the crew did "Crime Scene" and "Deep dark forest."

Well, I guess every long and boring story has to have a moral, so here's mine.
Set a goal and throw yourself at it with everything that you have and then some. Even if you don't make it you'll either be amazed that you did as well as you did, or you'll be too tired battered and bruised to give a damn!

Here's a link to some Markham vids and pics.
Some of the pics are kindof old but they give you the general idea.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

It's 3 sumthing in the Morning....

I dunno what happened? I was sleeping, blissfully ignorant of all that surrounded me and then.....My alarm clock went off. I smacked it roughly and rolled back over vaguely aware that Danielle had gotten out of bed. Hmm......that's odd, why is she up? It's the weekend, and the baby's not crying. I lay there for a few minutes trying to make remember if I hit the snooze on the alarm clock or if I actually turned it off. It was then that I realized that it had been the baby's motion detector alarm thingy going off and Danielle had gotten up to take care of it.

I'm sure you're wondering at least one of two things; First, why didn't I get up to check on the baby too? and Second, why in the hell do I have my alarm clock set on a Saturday morning?

Answers, The baby has a habit of sleeping in the darndest positions (yes I did say darndest) and get's squished so far over to the edge that the motion sensor can't register her movements. As for the alarm clock, I'm going on a bike trip and I have to meet up with 3 other people. Making the group late for an out-of-town trail ride is not a good way to keep friends.

Anyway, I digress. So Danielle has straightened out the baby monitor and fed the baby and come back to bed herself, and I'm still staring bug-eyed at the ceiling. I'm sweating my kiester off ( I don't know why but I sweat at night) the Ceiling fan is making some odd clicking sound, the Fridge is going through a defrost cycle and Danielle is moving. I'm about to loosing my ever lovin mind.
So I figured I'd come out to the 'puter and share my misery.

Friday, September 5, 2008

You want to know what I hate?

Hate.....What an ugly word..But still, there are a few things that I hate.

I hate driving down the road and seeing these little circular signs surrounded by flowers. These signs list the name, birthdate and date of death of the person that died at that exact spot. I don't so much mind the signs themselves, but I hate that there is a need for the sign.

I hate seeing young women walking around with colorful bandanas tied around their heads. Again, not that I hate the bandana, I just hate the cancer that has brought them to that state.

I hate seeing parents rushing their children through a hospital. In a perfect world children would never need to see the inside of a hospital.

I hate reading the names of Children in the Obituary column.

I hate reading about yet another thug committing a crime against an innocent person.

I hate election campaigns that spend all their time telling about how bad their opponent is instead of showing me how good they are.

I hate Okra.

I hate Nike airs when the air chamber pops.

I hate.......Whew! I guess I'm all hated out. Thank you all for indulging me, I just needed to offload some negativity. As a counter thrust, here are a few things that I love;

I love My wife
I love my children....All three of them
I love my house
I love my job...Such as it is.
I love my Parents
I love fresh flowers still covered with the morning dew.
I love cats
I like dogs
I love riding my bike
I love Lasagna....

Did I miss anything?
So tell me, what do you love.