As a hunter, you’ll be immunized to the blood, gore, and sleeplessness that comes part in parcel with parenting. Pooh-filled diapers? No problem, you’ve ground deer scat between thumb and forefinger to glean knowledge of their feeding patterns. The kid falls on its head and comes up screaming and streaming blood? Who among us hasn’t endured a pate wound in the field? It’s among the bloodiest of injuries, but in the end it’s all thunder and fluff signifying nothing. While other parents run screaming to the hospital, you’ll simply find a clean cloth, (might I suggest cloth diapers?), and apply pressure to the wound while talking to the little cootermaroo in calming tones. A few minutes later voila, you’ll be back up and running. And sleep deprivation? What hunter doesn’t know about sleep deprivation? Sure you’ll have to get up to feed the little tyke and clean their butt, but is that any worse than sleeping in the mud under a tree to get the drop on your prey at first light? I think not!
Can you Parent without a Permit?
Ever run into a game warden out in the field? The ones I’ve come across have run a conversational gamut that ranges from a breif license request and a few words of encouragement, to a full shakedown interview regarding calibers, bullet counts, bag limits, and the number of animals stored in my freezer. As an attachment parenting hunter, you should be prepared. For you, as far as the uninitiated are concerned, parenting looks too easy. Where are your bags of baby equipment? Why aren’t you plodding along behind a stroller, exhausted, and dejected?
One winter early in my attachment parenting career while walking between buildings at a national laboratory, I found myself accosted by a policeman from his patrol car, “I’ve received a call that you might be carrying a bomb!”. I’d pulled the zipper on my hoodie up over Herkimer who was snoozing, as usual in her wrap. Giggling, I reached up to pull down the zipper. The cop flew into a frenzy. “Easy with the hands their buddy! Take it nice and slow!” A few moments later, Hamilton Jr. peered out quizzically as the officer disclaimed the obvious, “That’s a baby!”
“That’s a baby!”
“Yes sir, yes it is.”
“Are you allowed to have a baby here?”
Expect to get lots of, (supposedly), well-meaning questions such as “Are those kids too cold/warm?” “Should those kids be in school?”, “Is that, (are those all), your kid(s)?” And my favorite, “Where’d you get that baby?” It’s all good though, it is in fact, perfectly legal to have, and care for babies without a permit!
Nurture is Nice, but Nature Knows
As your little bundle of joy’s arrival approaches you’ll find well-intentioned parents waggling books in front of your face, asking you if you’ve considered the answer to frankly, unanswerable questions. The real answer though, is that there is no answer. Parenting just isn’t that big of a deal. Like most things in the great outdoors, babies will work themselves out. Want to be a better more relaxed parent? Worry less about what you’ll do, and more about how you’ll do it. Instead of fretting about books, strollers, baby bumpers, and a thousand other things, head into the field, and learn the lessons of patience, mindfulness, and endurance nature has taught countless other generations of hunters… and parents..
Real all the installments!