We had the family bed, and the kids could sleep when they wanted, nurse when they wanted, and they could toilet-train themselves when they wanted.
Most of that was pretty easy – well maybe not the nursing. With the boob always available, the kids would have small meals all night long, they never had to fill up and then do without. Those were some long nights and brutally interrupted sleeps for my wife. The family bed helped, we didn’t have to get up, at least.
Toilet training was a breeze. Human beings will do that as soon as they’re ready, and at a young age, they will see the advantage of not crapping in their pants. Making that a forced thing, making that about the parents, is really stupid, It’s like forcing someone to eat dessert. Who wants to sit in shit?
A few things were a little tough though. As mentioned in a comment recently in someone else’s blog, letting them procrastinate about their homework until the last possible night, and late that night, that made me squirm, freaked me out.
It all worked out though. I learned to sleep through that sort of thing, and they’re straight A students.
Another one was swearing. We had no rules about language, and we all watched anything on TV together, raised the girls on South Park – but when your first daughter, at seven years of age is playing video games by herself, getting worked up and yelling “Holy Fucking Shit-Balls!” at the TV, with no worry that you’re there and listening – well that kind of freaks you out.
Then when the second one, at about the same age, stubs her toe and hop-runs around the house screaming “Fuck, fuck, fuck, Fuckley J. McFucklepants!” again, with no worry that you’re there and hearing it, that can be a little shocking.
I mean, I wasn’t raised this way. It all rattled me too.
But it’s all good.
Really, really good.