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SilverStormm

Extreme Guide To Parenting

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Parent-child attachment is addressed when parents believe in being their child's everything. Here, parents face a decision about their 16-month-old child. The Season 1 finale.

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God, I hate idiots...Yes, we all had chicken pox when we were younger, but that doesn't a)eliminate the risk of getting chicken pox again, and b)does INCREASE the risk of shingles as an adult, especially if you manage to acquire a compromised immune system later(thank you spleen removal+lupus!).

 

Does she also subscribe to bloodletting and no anesthesia surgery, too?

 

What a kook 

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My biggest gripe about the anti-vax side is they always go on & on about their rights to keep their kids safe from unknown ingredients and greedy pharma CEO's.  Well what about MY right to protect MY kid from the virulent germs your kid is carrying and spreading as she scoots across the floor of a public space bare-assed?

 

I think the other attachment mom from the group picked at her head scabs a little too much and scratched brain.

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If someone is OK with urine spilled on their home floors, that's their business, but I don't want MY baby or me anywhere near someone else's urine--even a baby's.

Edited by zenme
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I know I'll be in the minority, but I liked this couple. I'm not an attachment parent, but my best friend is. SO I was already pretty familiar with their parenting methods, and I support them all for the most part. And we are a bit of "unconventional" parents ourselves. We homeschool, we don't vaccinate , and I nursed my babies on demand for at least a year. I'm a huge supporter of women being able to nurse their babies in public and feel comfortable, so I really liked seeing Christian support that cause.

 

The only aspect of Attachment Parenting that I find a bit odd is the elimination communication. It just seems like you're set up to fail, because a baby just does not have the physical ability to control their bladder/bowel. So unless you can devote your entire day to watching them like a hawk, there's going to be accidents. And, I mean, I guess if you're cool with that - more power to you. I just don't think it's okay to go diaper free in public places. Even if the owner of the yoga studio said it was okay, I could understand why other parents would not be okay with it. What if Elinor pooped or peed on the floor, and some other baby got into it?? It's just not very sanitary. 

 

But overall I really liked them - I liked that they were so passionate about their lifestyle and wanted to help others, I liked that they seemed very conscientious about their decisions, and they just seemed like a really loving, happy family. Christian's friend, on the other hand, seemed like a very unhappy person. She seemed to feel immense guilt and insecurity about her parenting choices. And it was interesting how she just assumed she would be negatively judged for not breastfeeding, but Christian immediately reassured her that she WAS a good mom, that they just took different paths. 

 

THAT is what I wish we'd see more often out of women - supporting each other's choices, even if they're not ones we would make ourselves. Parenting is the easiest thing to criticize, but the hardest thing to actually do. There are no "right" answers, only answers that are right for YOU.As long as I don't feel a child is being abused or neglected in any way, I try to check my judgment at the door.  Elinor seemed very loved and cared for, and I think this was probably one of the more healthy families we've seen on this show.

Edited by ghoulina
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This is just such a weird response I had... but at the Attachment Action party, she gave a speech and then specifically asked women to thank their "husbands."   My thought: why the gender-specific language? Shouldn't she ask women to thank their husbands, wives or attachment partners? Maybe I've been around a variety of people for too long, but way to hate on single mothers, lesbian couples, or friends who co-parent.  Yeah, I know that there was much more weirdness going on in this episode, but it just seemed to jarringly exclusionary to me.

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I wish that someone at Bravo had recognized how dangerous it is to public health to give an anti-vaxxer a whole hour of primetime TV in which to (a) express her antisocial views and (b) seek out others who share them and let them also enjoy part of her platform. The only people in the episode who countered Christian on the vaccination question were her aunt who thinks the virus is "e-BOW-lye" and her friend who thinks breastfeeding is gross.

 

The episode left it open-ended, but I assume Christian's attitude to vaccinating Eleanor changed when it occurred to her that there would be another child in the house that could also be endangered if she falls ill. It's one thing if all you think you're risking is some stranger's kid being hospitalized after getting infected by Eleanor's totally normal, "fun" chicken pox; but Baby Axness is probably more precious?

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To be perfectly honest, if a family is aflluent enough to be able to isolate their children so that no other children will be involuntarily be exposed to an unvaccinated child, I don't agree with it but I think it's less my business. I'm totally behind insisting that the kids my kid goes to school with vaccinate.

 

I'm not a fan of parent drive-bys either. I have to say, though, that my experience when I occupied the online boards as a new parent was that quite a bit of abusive commentary came from mothers who felt really, really comfortable judging women who didn't have the luxury of choosing 24-hour full-focus parenting if they had wanted to.

Edited by Julia

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I'm all for breastfeeding and doing it in public isn't an issue for me.  For those who make whichever choice, power to you!  I just wish there was a little more respect from those that breastfeed towards those who don't.  I don't think anyone who chooses NOT to do it is against breastfeeding.  We know the benefits of breast milk and the bonding experience.  However for many parents breastfeeding isn't physically possible.  For some it's not economically possible.  If breastfeeding women want to erase the stigma or shaming of nursing in public, they need to help stop the shaming of women who didn't or couldn't make the same choice. 

 

I'm tired of hearing the imperious tone of how if a mother realllllly loved her baby & want to bond, etc she'd nurse. I attended a play group with my daughter when she was in pre-school. The topic of breastfeeding came up and I was one of two in a group of 10 who did not nurse.  We were treated to such condescension and disparaging remarks for about 15 minutes on how we missed the opportunity to bond, pass on immunities, feel like "whole women" blah blah blah.  When there was finally a chance to speak I said " I would have chosen to nurse if I had been able to get pregnant.  After 5 failed IVF's. we adopted and she didn't come home to us until she was 18mos old."  The other woman said she had developed thyroid cancer early in her pregnancy and due to all the drugs and radiation she could not nurse. 

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 If breastfeeding women want to erase the stigma or shaming of nursing in public, they need to help stop the shaming of women who didn't or couldn't make the same choice. 

 

I'm tired of hearing the imperious tone of how if a mother realllllly loved her baby & want to bond, etc she'd nurse. 

 

Thank you. I had breast reduction surgery and couldn't. The La Leche League consultant the hospital sent into my room without an invitation (after 36 hours of unmedicated Bradley labor) processed that and said "I bet you could just kill yourself."

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So unless you can devote your entire day to watching them like a hawk, there's going to be accidents.

 

I didn't understand how Christian could possibly be working at her store while watching Ella for "signals" all day.

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The episode left it open-ended, but I assume Christian's attitude to vaccinating Eleanor changed when it occurred to her that there would be another child in the house that could also be endangered if she falls ill. It's one thing if all you think you're risking is some stranger's kid being hospitalized after getting infected by Eleanor's totally normal, "fun" chicken pox; but Baby Axness is probably more precious?

 

I THINK (but could be wrong- it's been 17 years since I've been pregnant) that it's because of the danger to the mother/fetus if exposed to chicken pox while pregnant. 

 

I actually have had both experiences.  The chicken pox vaccine didn't come out (or, at least was not made available through military insurance) with my first daughter 21 years ago.  By the time I had my second daughter four years later we had the vaccine available to us.  So, my oldest got chicken pox and my youngest got the vaccine.  Of ALL the vaccines out there, I guess I don't truly understand the chicken pox one as, as was stated on the show, it really was a right of passage for us all as kids.  But, I also didn't research any of the complications, so maybe it's necessary.  But, the OTHER vaccines, I do not understand one iota not giving your child the polio vaccine, etc. 

 

I commend mothers who are ok with breast feeding in public.  It really doesn't bother me if I'm out and about and I see a mother breastfeeding their child.  I personally was not comfortable just whipping out my boob- I would use a blanket or something- but to each their own.  The only thing I thought was weird was that the latch on was for one minute.  Why not five?  Babies nurse for longer than one minute normally, so why such a tiny amount of time for their demonstration? ALL of that work and all of that coordination for one minute?  The event itself was an ok idea, I just think it should've been longer.  Also, what if your kid just wasn't hungry? 

 

I don't understand the thought process behind the Elimination Communication.  I mean, do the people who created it and those who follow it think diapers are bad for the kids?  Even cloth ones?  I am not snarking.  I really don't understand.  There are times, as a mother, that you can't stop what you're doing to run your child to the bathroom because they have to go.  Babies can't hold it.  So, when you are cooking dinner, for example, and the choice is either to let the food burn or run your child to the bathroom I guess you're going to just let her go on the floor?  In my opinion, that doesn't really teach her to go on the potty.  I also think when they're that young they really don't GET it.  I believe it was explained to me when potty training (again EONS ago) that they start to understand the feeling in their bladder and bowels and the correlation with relieving themselves and that's when they can start potty training.  If they don't understand the correlation, they are not being potty trained. 

 

Except for the vaccination thing, I really didn't have a problem overall with Christian, though.  Nate seemed a little more close-minded.  Christian at least listened to her aunt and seemed to seek out further information.  Nate just said "no" to vaccines and never seemed open to other thought processes.  My main problems with Christian were when she said that she was home-schooled and raised as a "free-thinker".  That felt like an insult to me.  So, all of us non-home schooled people are not free thinkers?  Also, what does "free-thinker" even REALLY mean?  To me, it just means you can do stuff that is weird or socially unacceptable and excuse it with "I'm a free thinker"... 

 

The other thing that rubbed me a little the wrong way with her was the way she talked to her friend.  I know she was trying to be supportive, but it didn't come off that way to me.  She kept saying that they "chose different paths" and "that's why I opened my own store".  Well, good for you that you COULD open your own store.  Not all of us can easily do that.  I am happy for her that she found an idea and that it seems to be thriving, but SO many small businesses fail.  That's not a viable option for a lot of people.  Also, I know some small business owners that own businesses that aren't kid friendly (not all small businesses can be) and they actually work LONGER hours and are all consumed with their shops that they don't spend any quality time with their kids. 

 

My sister-in-law did the baby sign language with her oldest (she has 3 kids under 4).  It worked really well for her.  She is now in speech therapy though.  I don't know if it's a correlation, but she was using sign language instead of talking for a very long time.  The middle child was not taught sign language (I think she just didn't have the time anymore) and she has no problem with talking.  It's probably unrelated, but I find that interesting.

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It seemed a little odd that, at 16 months, their baby wasn't talking at all. Perhaps she does have words and the camera wasn't capturing them, but most babies at that age have at least a handful of key words. I wonder if their focus on sign language is contributing to that.

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This episode cracked me up. It was like watching my own life and watching myself hang out with my friends, and I would in no way consider myself extreme. (Though I do vaccinate, I delayed on chicken pox because the vaccine has a shorter lifespan and the decrease in the population being exposed to chicken pox has increased the rate of shingles. Other countries don't require it, considering it a minor illness).

 

As far as EC goes. She was clearly doing it part time. Her baby was in diapers for the majority of the show. I did a part timed version with both of my children. My first son was in underwear full time at 18m. My second son is 16m and in underwear at home (but I don't risk it out in public). Yes, it's parent training, but it is nice not to deal with diapers. Kids really don't like pooping themselves, and they are born complaining about it. If you never let them get comfortable pooping and peeing in a diaper, you don't have to "retrain" them not to be comfortable with it. We typically spend 2+ years training children to pee in their diapers whenever, then we get frustrated when we have to retrain them not to do that. And I will say that I have found that both of my boys were capable of holding it *briefly* (with enough time to signal to me and let me get them to a potty) by 15m. I started sitting them on the potty at 12m. I'm a diaper hater, so this works really well for me and my family.

 

I'm really sorry you guys have had bad experiences with breastfeeding mothers judging you for not doing it. I'm an "extreme" in that regard too, having nursed my first son to 2.5yrs and currently nursing my 16mo. But I don't care what other people do. The only thing that bothers me is when they say they tried everything and "couldn't" but really didn't. But I don't say anything about it. I just silently complain to myself.

 

Placenta consumption wasn't for me (I had c-sections anyway), but it's supposed to be amazing for postpartum depression.

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It seemed a little odd that, at 16 months, their baby wasn't talking at all. Perhaps she does have words and the camera wasn't capturing them, but most babies at that age have at least a handful of key words. I wonder if their focus on sign language is contributing to that.

 

Mine started talking in complete sentences after rarely talking at all. My theory is that they start talking when there's something they want that's not already being provided without talking.

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Also, my 15 month old has several words, but is quite shy. I doubt he would say much if we shoved him in front of a camera. <br /><br />And he's vaccinated. And we cloth diaper. So you can be a bit hippyish and still believe in modern medicine.

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Mine started talking in complete sentences after rarely talking at all. My theory is that they start talking when there's something they want that's not already being provided without talking.

 

Ha! I had one of those! His sister seemed to do all the talking for him! He went from barely speaking to asking (in a complete sentence) for a banana, and you know what, the kid is 21 years old and STILL remains more of a listener than a talker--unless he's fired up about something important to him.  I feel like a mother knows if there's an issue with cognitive skills.  Little Ella seemed to know exactly what her mother was saying, but since her mom seemed to anticipate her needs, and understood her cues, the child had no reason to really have a reason to speak.  When she's hungry or needs soothing, she knows to find her mom's breast, and her mother makes herself readily available.  Also, the little girl seems like she's just generally pretty chilled out. 

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Last week's episode had me sick and depressed.

I hesitate to comment on this episode cause I'm not a mommy yet. Who am I to judge til I 've walked a mile in her shoes?

However, as a clinical social worker, specializing in families at risk, the anti-vaxx parents are problematic, myopic, selfish to me. I'm human. I judge.

Baby Eleanor was quite a doll. The elimination communication sign language was a joke to me. I Lol'd. Pee everywhere!

But I want happiness and success for the Axness family--and for all families raising munchkins.

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But I don't care what other people do. The only thing that bothers me is when they say they tried everything and "couldn't" but really didn't.

I've always wondered what special insight allows people to know things like that. I agree, though, that in a situation where new mothers are set up to feel judged whatever they do, it's probably better to keep it to yourself if your impulse is to judge them out loud.

Edited by Julia
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Sorry, fixed the other link. It was an imbedded link in an article and I thought it was directly to his Instagram. Guess not. 

 

I do find it interesting, they spent so much time name dropping designers in the episode, but in most of the Instagram pics, she's dressed in stuff that looks like it came from Walmart. Not that there's anything wrong with Walmart, but if the clothes I'm seeing her in are really designer, they are really getting ripped off. 

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^^Exactly.  My mother still tells the story of being accosted by a La Leche person when she was buying formula for my sister, waaay back in the 70s.  Mom had gotten sick and was on some medication that her doc told her to stop breastfeeding.  Driving a new mom out of a store, in tears, after being told she is a horrible mother isn't exactly pro woman or pro baby.

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This particular episode drove me insane.  I am all for teaching my child the proper name for the parts he has, but I don't obsess over them.  This woman is borderline abusive.  There's nooo need.  Even teaching about uteruses, and where babies come from, I don't care... but vulva puppets and sex toys out where the child can use them as a phone? Seriously?   Not okay.

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Chicken Pox comes with possible complications - including scarring, dangerously high fevers, etc. When I had CP at 10 years old, I had a fever so high that I hallucinated. I ended up in the ER. And if you get CP, you can get shingles as an adult. One of my friends (at 33 y.o.) and two of my sisters (one at 35 and one at 39) got shingles. They were in agony. Also, you can get shingles more than once.

If those idiotic parents think it is good for a baby to get them (as they did before she got preggers again), they are insane. I only feel bad for the children.

Edited by PityFree

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I would think that their method must be like house breaking a puppy. But, they just didn't get it at all, as far as seeing the clues. Guess they should have started with a puppy first.

Compared to the outright sexual abuse last week, these parents were fine.

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Elimination communication makes perfect sense in the rural areas of the African nations where it is commonly practiced. Those mothers spend the majority of their time outside with their babies strapped to their backs as they work, and eliminating against a tree while working outside is also commonly practiced. It does not make as much sense if you are raising your child in a densely populated urban environment.

The whole "let's expose our kid to chicken pox" thing is not unfamiliar to me--my parents did the same with my kid brother and I back in the 80s. But we were school-aged at the time, not infants with underdeveloped immune systems. And it didn't work the way they thought it would. My brother missed 3 weeks of elementary school because the blisters were all over his feet, and he couldn't walk. I somehow didn't get it in spite of the exposure, and instead suddenly had to deal with chicken pox at the age of 13, in the middle of final exams, and I still have scars in some embarrassing places. And now I find out that we have to worry about the shingles virus, too? I would rather my mother have just taken us to get the damn vaccines, because letting it happen "the natural way" hurt us in ways we didn't expect, and it just all around sucked.

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I've always wondered what special insight allows people to know things like that. I agree, though, that in a situation where new mothers are set up to feel judged whatever they do, it's probably better to keep it to yourself if your impulse is to judge them out loud.

 

Just thinking of people I know in person, who were told that their child had a tongue tie that was causing issues, but didn't get it taken care of, but now tell everyone that she just couldn't breastfeed. When really, she probably could have and didn't want to make the effort. WHICH IS TOTALLY FINE but the notion that people "can't" breastfeed applies to very, very few women (and trust me, I get this concept as one of the very, very few women who can't birth a baby because of her pelvis) and it bothers me to have that concept spread like it is something super common. But again, it's not that I would say that to her face. I support her choice to formula feed. I don't care how people feed their children.

 

 

Also, I want to point out that you can get shingles if you have the chicken pox vaccine too. It's a live vaccine, and it's becoming increasingly common for young children to get shingles. A little girl I used to babysit got the vaccine at 12m and shingles at 18m. Poor kid.

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I wish that someone at Bravo had recognized how dangerous it is to public health to give an anti-vaxxer a whole hour of primetime TV in which to (a) express her antisocial views and (b) seek out others who share them and let them also enjoy part of her platform. The only people in the episode who countered Christian on the vaccination question were her aunt who thinks the virus is "e-BOW-lye" and her friend who thinks breastfeeding is gross.

Yes! I used to work as a school nurse and the immunization problems were crazy. Initially, we had parents who claimed the religious angle for not immunizing, then we had the previous home-schoolers who did basically nothing with the required shots, and just before I left that position, add in the anti-immunizations-ers across the board because they can. Ugh. I know school systems typically wouldn't admit those students until they had all of their shots. I'm not sure if that's still the hard and fast rule, but I hope it is. If you don't want them to have their shots, don't try to push them into mainstream education and still squeal about your rights over the other 99% of the students' rights.

 

My cousin's wife home schooled both of their sons. In a conversation during a family get-together, when she said "I hadn't never flew" (yes, that is exactly what she said!) well, that became our family's go-to incorrect grammar phrase to illustrate that not everyone is cut out to teach their children. Plus, when their son graduated high school, 14 out of his senior class of 17 were valedictorians. Ok.

 

When I had my oldest 24 years ago, I tried to breast feed. The La Leche League person came in to "show" me how to get my son to latch on. She saw his mouth cover my nipple and declared we were doing it right and left. I continued to do it for several more weeks like that. My son was screaming a lot (in hindsight, our pediatrician said he was hungry and not getting enough from me). The kicker was the condition of my nipples. They became raw, they peeled, bled, became swollen and engorged. When I asked for help, I was told they had developed an infection and couldn't even try until they cleared up with medication, which took about three weeks. Fast forward to when my second child was born. I tried again, but had the same experience. I have always thought it was something I did wrong, and basically failed my children. Turns out, just last week (24 years later!) I just read some reference to lip ties and tongue ties that can cause breast-feeding difficulties and in some instances, failure. I don't know if my children had either tie, but if so, it could have made a huge difference for us if they had been detected and clipped. The Le Leche League person was useless to me after both births. To quickly give a glance to see if the latch is correct wasn't sufficient in my case. I truly hope those consultants do a much more thorough job in helping new moms now.

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Honestly I know nothing about breastfeeding. Or bottle feeding. I just want to know why other women care so much how new moms are feeding their babies. As long as the child IS being fed I would think that's the important thing, not so much whether it's breastmilk or formula. That's up to the mother to decide, bottom line. Nobody should be bullied by anyone about feeding their baby.

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Chicken Pox comes with possible complications - including scarring, dangerously high fevers, etc. When I had CP at 10 years old, I had a fever so high that I hallucinated. I ended up in the ER. And if you get CP, you can get shingles as an adult. One of my friends (at 33 y.o.) and two of my sisters (one at 35 and one at 39) got shingles. They were in agony. Also, you can get shingles more than once.

I remember having chicken pox at about 5 years old - I ended up at the hospital with complications (you can get respiratory issues including pneumonia from CP). And I had them EVERYWHERE - I had them inside my nose, in my "diaper area", inside my ears. . . And I also had a painful case of shingles years later and was on medication for about a year for post-herpetic neuralgia (where it felt like somebody was shoving a sharpened pencil in my ear) 

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I watched this epi and was transported back in time to the mid 90's, when my son was little and I hung out on misc.kids on usenet! The Mommy Wars! Breast or bottle! WOH or SAH! circumcize or not! to spank or not to spank! the topics came up over and over and the flames raged. good times. well, not really. I remember conversations about EC, too. To me it seems like an awful lot of work but I'm pretty damn lazy.

 

The anti-vax stuff had me yelling at the TV but otherwise I did like Christian, who came across as ditsy but sincere and sweet. she loves her baby and wants to do right by her. I actually "aw'd" when she was getting all teary over her pregnancy test. I predict that there will be no time for "elimination communication" once there is a second child! But I liked them both, for the most part.

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I watched this epi and was transported back in time to the mid 90's, when my son was little and I hung out on misc.kids on usenet! The Mommy Wars! Breast or bottle! WOH or SAH! circumcize or not! to spank or not to spank! the topics came up over and over and the flames raged. good times. well, not really. I remember conversations about EC, too. To me it seems like an awful lot of work but I'm pretty damn lazy.

 

Yeah, me too. And somehow being on the wrong side of any one of them meant your kid was going to end up with impaired brain function and most likely sleeping with strangers at truckstops for drugs, whether because your choice damaged them developmentally or because your choice meant you were obsessive, unrealistic and mentally unstable. 

 

Also, you forgot cosleeping ;)

Edited by Julia
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Nate appeared to be a personality donor to me, there was nothing there. Not sure I'd feel comfortable with him if he was my EMT or paramedic. Has every item he uses on a daily basis in his job been proven to him that they are 100% safe for him to use? I totally related to the friend, Brittany (?), but don't know that I would have shown up at the EC meeting or Minute of Latching as support. I giggled when her husband was creeped out to learn Christian & Nate have sex in the pool they were dangling their feet in at that moment. 

 

Thank goodness Christian's aunt spoke up but I thought it didn't take much for her to start waffling about being anti-vax, even after all of the research she said she and Nate had done. Apparently her stance on it wasn't firm if all it took was auntie's few (that we saw) comments to make her start reconsidering it. If you're going to decide to go against the normal vax, then I expect you to have a die-hard commitment to it and be ready to stand your ground and have a bevy of reasons ready to list when someone opposes your opinion, otherwise, get your kid her shots.

 

I was highly annoyed at Christian's attitude that her baby totally changed her life, like it didn't totally change mine, nor anyone else's that I know. Babies change everything. I also got tired of her trying to be the specialest special snowflake evah, and her green hair. Wanting attention much? I do believe she wants all she can get.

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I am all about the creative hair colors, and Christian's green hair was a big no-no for me. There are plenty of cute ways to add green (or blue or purple, etc) to your hair besides starting 2-3 inches from the root and just slathering on the bleach then the dye. If she paid anyone to do that to her head she wasted her money.

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Why all the focus on chicken pox? Yes I had chicken pox (and of I could have been vaccinated I would), but I didn't have measles or whopping cough. Nobody threw polio parties.

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For all that that mom was worried about how her daughter presented herself I just wanted her to buy the poor girl a decent bra. It looked like she was wearing them way too small with no support!

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Why all the focus on chicken pox? Yes I had chicken pox (and of I could have been vaccinated I would), but I didn't have measles or whopping cough. Nobody threw polio parties.

Because that is the particular vaccine the mom in the episode was worried about.

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My sister-in-law did the baby sign language with her oldest (she has 3 kids under 4).  It worked really well for her.  She is now in speech therapy though.  I don't know if it's a correlation, but she was using sign language instead of talking for a very long time.  The middle child was not taught sign language (I think she just didn't have the time anymore) and she has no problem with talking.  It's probably unrelated, but I find that interesting.

 

My daughter-in-law and I did the baby sign language with my first grandchild, too.  The child stopped trying to speak altogether, using signs and pantomime exclusively.  Of course, she ended up in speech therapy and is speaking just fine now.  So much for that experiment.  Interesting to hear that we weren't the only ones.

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Because that is the particular vaccine the mom in the episode was worried about.

Right, but they made it clear they were against all vaccines. It wasn't like they just had a problem with the chicken pox one. I didn't get the logic of I had chicken pox = no vaccines.

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