Etiquette tells us not to discuss politics or religion during dinner, and I don’t think I always follow that rule, but I have found another topic that is about as sensitive as politics and religion and that is parenting.
Yesterday the AttachMode family went to another family for dinner. We don’t know them very well but met through a mutual friend and they invited us to their mansion (yes, they have ‘real’ jobs and therefore earn real money) for a barbecue. And as you probably know from reading this blog, BlueEyes sleeps in our bed, is being worn in a sling and drinks my milk. You can call this attachment parenting, although I don’t necessarily want to be associated with people who think their parenting style is superior and who are needlessly spreading diseases by not vaccinating their kids.
Anyway, the dad of the family that we visited proudly announced that they started the “Cry-it-out method”. Since I didn’t want to be judgmental (and since I was at the same time trying to persuade BlueEyes not to throw wooden blocks at a huge flat screen TV) I didn’t say anything but just asked how that was going for them. He said it went well and that the night before it only took 15 minutes of crying before the kid succumbed to sleep. At 5 they decided the baby was sleepy and they put him in bed. He immediately started crying and they set the timer for him. After 5 minutes one of them went upstairs and came back within seconds, only to leave the baby crying for another five minutes. At 6 the baby was brought downstairs again to drink some milk, but after that he was immediately placed back in his crib and continued to cry. When we left at 8 the baby was still crying but the parents didn’t go upstairs every five minutes any more, but only occasionally and they always came back really fast and left the baby there crying.
The whole thing broke my heart, and I’m not sure if this is what the CIO method is about. I don’t think crying for 3 hours straight is still considered self-soothing… I didn’t dare to say anything about it yesterday, and today I’ve spent the whole day wondering whether I should have. And that’s why this made me realize that talking about parenting is an even more sensitive subject than talking about politics and religion.