What's it like being a male PCG?
We are in a small town in Ohio called Gallipolis. Jocelyn is two weeks into an eight week rotation in a rural hospital. We love it here, the town is on the Ohio River and so is the small house we stay in. There are great hiking trails in the area. I use a Baby-Bjorn when hiking; both Meilyn (the baby) and Deckard (the dog) love it.What are your thoughts on childcare as an Irishman living in the States?
Being a male PCG, I obviously have a strong bond with Meilyn due to the time we spend together. We have exclusively breastfed her since birth, with the help of an electric breast pump. When Jocelyn feeds her directly from her breast it keeps the physical and emotional bond strong between them.
Another observation I have is that I will dress Meilyn with comfort being the primary concern and the child will stay in these clothes until they are dirty or no longer comfortable. Women in general tend to inflict their habit of constantly changing what they wear onto the child. She is not a doll. Men rule O.K.
My biggest fear of raising a child in America is the quality of the public education system here. Ireland, although not flawless by any means, has an excellent public education system. All social and economic classes educate themselves together as private schools are virtually non-existent. Ireland also offers free third level education across the board (not means tested). This system not only reduces the poverty cycle but helps cement a singular sense of community that has a greater social conscience. A far less abrasive class and social system exists in Ireland than in America, in part because of this. I believe high quality education exclusively for the wealthy is immoral.What do Americans take for granted that they should question?
As a guest in this country I am always uneasy criticizing America, especially in these overly patriotic times. The blind patriotism is diminishing slowly but surely and giving way to a more subtle blend of undiplomatic international arrogance. Despite my preceding statement please note that I do not want to convey the notion of a sinking hell that is America and Ireland or anywhere else for that matter as a shining beacon of social moral virtue. We are not concentrating on the imperfections of Ireland (of which there are many) or elsewhere, at this moment in time.
A society that cannot constantly examine its flaws, re-think, re-position, renew itself militarily, socially, and economically is a country that is not evolving, a country that is doomed. I am glad to say that America will always be a country that has a disgruntled public voicing their opinions. I say to all these people whether they are the minute men (with whom I disagree) or they be the anti-war protesters (with whom I do agree), "Shout louder, keep kicking the elephant or the donkey whomever it may be."
To live in a time that quells these voices, such as the firing of Peter Arnett by NBC, uncontrolled wire-tapping, and every other violation of civil liberties that hides under the disguise of the Patriot Act or the “war on terror,” has lead this country down a blind path. This leads me to Abu-Grab, one of the greatest single unanswered injustices in the Iraq war. I have heard celebrities on late-night talk shows make light of these horrors, to the cheering of the live audience. It is at times like these that I can understand how some German citizens took the path they did in WW2 (blind, ignorant patriotism). Am I over-reacting? Can I see the woods for the trees? Please tell me.