Holy Wars

Having a child and being public about it is fraught with advice. Most of it is friendly, welcome and helpful. There are sides to every choice a parent makes. It has been interesting and informative to hear about the sides. Each of these sides are as passionate and adamant as the other. If you decide to breast-feed, there are political ramifications. If you decide to have the baby sleep in your bed, there are the pro-crib people and the anti-crib people. There are the anti-baby squashers. And by God, they are all, each one, right.

The thing that gets me about most of the arguments are that they ignore a few things. The first is that every person is different. That would include an infant. Some infants are colicky. Some are natural born sleepers. Some are born large enough to have different feeding and living requirements than the average infant. For example, a 50lb baby has very different requirements than does a 12lb baby. No matter what, the humanness of the child gets ignored, because the true path to making a great society lies in grabbing a dogma and holding it like your very first stuffed animal.

Science gets ignored. And abused. Studies are always showing whatever we want them to. The thing that gets me is that life expectancy in general has increased, largely due to advances in science and the attendant research and medical benefits. Learning is good. However, learning is just another way we are KILLING OUR BABIES. Classic example: cribs are only a 100 year-old invention. So, obviously, cribs are evil because they _force_ the baby away from the parents. Nevermind that healthy and rested parents can make for happier and better parents. SCREW THAT IDEA NINE WAYS TO JESUS BECAUSE HUMANS DON’T REALLY NEED SLEEP. And then the anti-baby squashers that will tell you YOU WILL KILL YOUR BABY if they sleep in your bed.

Most of the fascists in these debates claim to put the baby first. As with all religious battles, they are just putting their beliefs first. The most disarming thing in all of this is that the mother is reduced to a form of objectivity; she’s the vessel, the instrument and/or the feeder. It’s this same mentality that puts unborn rights above those that are born and living. It’s the same mentality that tells you you ARE A FAILURE AS A PARENT IF YOU DON’T DO AS I SAY.

Either way, thanks for the advice and I’ll apparently be seeing a lot of other parents in hell.