ParentMap, August 2009 Issue
Are you getting enough?
Also in August, our feature zeroes in on another all-too-common source of parental stress: dangerous food allergies.
Plus, Bumbershoot's new kid-friendly program, Youngershoot!
Getting School Ready: Make summer reading fun!
Out & About:
Feature: When food bites back: coping with food allergies
Media: ParentMap's media picks
From our Readers: Letters to the Editor
About this issue
Are you getting enough?
Sleep, that is! If you’re a parent, probably not. My husband likes to tell the tale of how our first child survived infancy. My heavy-duty sleep-ability left him stuck with night duty, ready to respond to anything from whimper to disaster. Our approach to sleep in those early years could be debated by myriad sleep- and child-rearing experts (Ages & Stages). Was the appropriate stage set for our little one to learn to self-soothe sufficiently? Did we set up models for triangulation, with Daddy to the rescue? Fact: My husband is an insomniac, while I could more easily go without food or shelter than sleep. My husband’s idea of “fun” back then was the bright, beautiful eyes of our babies as they popped up over the crib’s edge in the wee hours.
Enter the late '80s and Penelope Leach, world-famous child-care expert from Britain, who described the bonding benefits of the family bed embraced by most of the world’s cultures (“Is co-sleeping safe?”). We tried our own version with child no. 2. But we definitely needed better sleep coaching to transition this toddler to independence than our method: schlepping Eli from his small mattress next to our bed down the hall to his room each night.
Now there is no. 3, Maya, who knew from day one that her elder parents could not deal with another round of child-related sleep follies. Since birth, she has had the extraordinary ability to get her own needs met on many levels. She happily matches my high-energy pace during the day; at night, she collapses into a deep sleep. At this moment, at the very end of her seventh year, it is 7:25 a.m., and she is entering her 11th hour of sleep. No wonder she loves to tell people we are sleep-a-holics!
But when we wake up, we love to party (“Youngershoot: a kid spin on a quintessential Seattle fest”). Our family is excited about Bumbershoot’s commitment to youth, “an acknowledgment of the fact that families have different needs at the festival.” Maya and I share the dream that Jason Mraz will ask us up on stage to help out with our favorite tune, “I’m Yours!” See you at Youngershoot!
— Alayne Sulkin, Publisher/Editor