A month ago, while we were out running errands, Mom and I stopped at a bookstore in search of parenting books. Specific types of parenting books.
Who am I kidding? My life is an open book. I was looking for books on attachment parenting and co-sleeping. (Suggestions greatly appreciated, for the record.) I was raised by hippies, I married a hippie, and despite my (former) denial, ladies and gentlemen, I AM A HIPPIE. A hippie who likes to do her research.
When we were talking about adopting a dog, I read about dogs. Dog training, dog breeds, dog health. I even watched the Dog Whisperer, until I realized that it was the owners that needed retraining.
Anyway, we get to a Big and Noisy chain bookstore (which I NEVER shop at, for the record), and while standing in the "parenting" aisle, we were approached by a teenage employee.
Before I continue, please note that I love teenagers, especially employed ones. The ones that are engaged enough to ask "Is there anything I can help you with?" cheerfully are in danger of being attack-hugged. They are unicorns.
When I asked where the attachment parenting and co-sleeping books were (because I could find *zero*), RaisedByYuppies asked what attachment parenting *was*.
Mom, being the cheerful educator, attachment parent, and former lactation counselor, briefly explained the precepts of attachment parenting to RaisedByYuppies. (You would brag, too, if she was your mom.)
RaisedByYuppies then informed us that it's more fashionable to raise babies using the "cry it out" method, and that babies need boundaries. Given that I haven't been my sharpest the last month (or so) I ignored her ignorance, and Mom and I left, me in a huff. I'm still annoyed that I didn't say something smart and caustic to her. I did not ever claim to be a nice person.
Though, I suppose if I had punched her in the face while screaming about how important nurturing is, she may have missed my message. Maybe it's a good thing I restrained myself.
It was then, in the car when I was ranting about uninformed opinions and that as a matter of form, I don't take any advice from a teen working retail, that I realized: Librarians are smart, and libraries are full of books. Books they will cheerfully let me read FOR FREE. Without offering opinions.
This might be obvious to you, but I keep forgetting about the amazing resource that IS the local library system. Also? The Sunnyvale library has a KILLER selection of cookbooks. It's a great way of deciding whether or not you HAVE TO HAVE a specific cookbook in your collection.
We zoomed over to our local library, where I picked over the parenting shelves, hunting for books that appealed to my hippified self. For the cost of ZERO dollars, I checked out a dozen parenting books, which I have slowly been picking my way through. Some have been "eh", one was awful, and one has been GREAT. So great, I think I'm going to write the author a fan letter and give the book its own blog post.
Given that all experiences are opportunities for learning, here are mine:
- Never go to a chain bookstore. Buy locally from Recycle Books, on Amazon, or not at all.
- Libraries are amazing, but I'm so sad that they have DVDs there now. They might as well say "Watch a movie, literacy is doomed anyway."
- My hippiness has its limits. And that limit is Elimination Communication.