Comedian Andrew Orvedahl on Attachment Parenting
One late Monday night about eight years in Denver, I walked into a well-known shithole of a bar known as the Lion’s Lair. It was a stand-up comedy workout room run by Troy Baxley, and if a comic got the crowd to pull their drunken heads off the bar for more than 30 seconds, it was considered a success. It’s where a lot of great Denver comics first cut their teeth on a stage that didn’t have all the cushy comforts of a comedy club. I walked in that night and saw a frail young man trying his hardest to get the crowd to smile. Troy introduced him to the crowd as Andy Overhaul, and he proceeded to try his damnest to get a laugh. I turned to a friend and said, “This candy-ass will never make in this business…” That candy-ass was Andrew Orvedahl, and he has since proven me way wrong by becoming one of the better acts in the business today. Andrew, now based out of Denver, travels all over the country peddling his unique brand of humor, along with a few other creative endeavors starting to make waves in the business of show. Andrew and his Grawlix crew have garnered national attention with their monthly show, and hilarious video shorts that can be seen here on Funny or Die: http://www.funn
You can also see Andrew perform this month on Denver’s version of the Arguments and Grievances Show: http://www.facebook.com/events/217257355058890/
Here is a writeup about it in Denver’s Westword newspaper: http://blogs.we
He has also become a parent, and was nice enough give me my first Guest Posting, writing about the topic of Attachment Parenting. He wrote this piece for my blog a few months ago, but since the controversial Time Magazine article has brought a lot of attention to the topic, I am bringing this great article back. (Also because I know like 4 people that are expecting and I want to make them nervous thinking about as many parenting styles as possible.
Hello, I’m Andy, the stay-at-home-dad! Some see me as a mythical creature only spoke of in whispers, but I’m real! I don’t have a day job other than taking care of my baby! Yes, it’s just like being unemployed but I’m entrusted to care for a small child. Yes, you are allowed to drink beer at lunch as a stay-at-home-dad! Who’s laughing now, child-less friends?
When my wife and I had our baby 2 years ago (well, she had it, I was napping off a nasty hangover), we decided to use a parenting method known as ‘attachment parenting’. Some of you might be familiar with this parenting method even if you aren’t familiar with that name. You might know it as ‘some hippie bullshit’, or ‘some new age bullshit’.
One of the basic principles of attachment parenting means that you never let your baby ‘cry it out’. If your baby is crying, you tend to it and see what’s wrong and remedy it. This makes sense to me on an instinctual level. If your baby is crying why not help it out? I’m not sure what evil genius invented the ‘cry it out’ method, but it seems kind of shitty to me. “Don’t worry, once they realize no one is coming to help them they’ll stop crying and realize the universe is a cold, dark, uncaring void and they amount to less than a speck on a flea’s back.” Personally I prefer to save the crueler life lessons for the teenage years.
We also let our daughter sleep in the same bed with us at night. I know what you’re thinking: “But wait, you must never have sex!” True, but don’t worry, we weren’t really having much sex before the baby anyway. Just that one time, whoops! One advantage of letting the baby sleep in the bed with you is that you don’t have to get up and leave the room to tend to its needs. One of the many disadvantages is being kicked in the face by a tiny foot all night.
For most of my daughter’s life she napped in a stroller, which was awesome. We would put her in the stroller and then push it around the living room and she’d fall asleep really fast, and stay asleep for at least 2 hours. It was terrific. But, eventually she grew too large for the stroller, and sort of hung out of it like a fighter pilot stuck in a parachute rig. So we got her a real bed, and I’ve been spending the past two months helping her nap in it. And by that I mean I’ve taken a LOT of naps in this little bed while my daughter does god-knows-what.
One of the tricks to getting my daughter to sleep is to pretend I’m asleep (which usually results in me going to sleep for real). If you’ve never pretended to sleep with a toddler jumping and rolling all over the bed, you are in for a terrorizing ride. Skip the haunted house this year, take a trip down to nut-crush junction instead.
The first time I pretended to sleep, all was quiet until I heard the sound of Velcro being pulled. I was wondering what my daughter was playing with until she laid a strip of fabric across my back. Turns out she had quietly removed her wet diaper and draped it over my back. Sure enough, I jumped up and my bluff was called. Amelia 1, Daddy 0.
Despite all the apparent hardships, I love attachment parenting, and I love spending time with my daughter. In fact, by far the worst, most annoying part of attachment parenting is hearing other parents tell you that you’re doing it wrong. When I tell people how I’m raising my daughter they react like I’m keeping her locked in a dog run instead of just giving her extra attention and affection. “Oh, you’ve got to get her out of your bed. You’re making a huge mistake. You have to let them cry it out.” Why? Because you do? Because some book you found told you to? Well, some book I found told me not to.
I guess what I’m trying to say through all this is: fuck books. They’re tearing us apart.
Find out more about Andrew Orvedahl and his upcoming shows at http://www.fiveunicorns.com/.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @TheOrvedahl