Scary stories from a lovely place

Subjectivity is the mother of all babies

Recently I was at a friends baby shower and we played one of those wonderfully engaging and intelligent party games. The expectant mother had to answer questions about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting and if she failed we all got to laugh at her. Good for building the confidence of an upcoming mother I’d say. All of the questions were so grounded in subjectivity that I was amazed the asker considered them to be fact. They revolved around such pertinent issues as whether or not the water (that breaks when in labour) smells like bleach, what you should do when your baby has the hiccups and why it’s wrong to switch between breastmilk and formula.

Naturally this all got me thinking afresh about the subjectivity of baby education and the mass of difference from one little person to the next. Books and other baby education or training (a scary term) all set out their philosophy or theory as correct and purport to ‘work’ with your child. But how can they all say that!? It seems that their theories must work for their baby, or the children they look after or doctor, but not for every child born into myriad different family, cultural and social situation the world over.

Lesedi (3 weeks) and Silas (1 week) - same age, different people

And really, that makes sense because babies are people too. There aren’t two polar ways of treating people, with a few variances in between, like with babies and attachment and independence parenting. There are millions of ways people act and are treated by those around them. Just because babies can’t talk doesn’t mean they can be squashed into 15 or so categories of different behaviour or temperament.

If only there were a book about each cute little one.


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This entry was posted on January 4, 2011 by in Baby, Home and tagged , , , , .
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