Sunday, February 10, 2008

Two kinds of pablum

Last night we went to see DaddyBoy's step-sister's newborn baby, and I got to hold him! A little critter (my mom-in-law thinks it's hilarious how I turn babies into baby animals, but isn't that how they look?) so tiny and sweet, which such an innocent, trusting face that my heart melted multiple times. He had a cute little wrinkly face with cute little wrinkly eyes. Adorable!

Our own little ChunkyMonkey never had wrinkly skin, somehow. She was all smooth and shiny when she came out (well, after they had de-mucked her)- no flakes, no folds. But we didn't hold it against her and promptly fell in love with her anyways. At nine months she still makes me think of a star that fell from Heaven and there's nothing I won't do to help her feel loved and cherished.

It's funny how some (seems like a lot of!) people view babies in quite a different way, though. Their child-raising philosophies appear to be a lot about making the baby conform to a set of made up adult expectations, all geared to ensure that the baby causes the least disturbance to the parents' way of life. One sign of this is how many times I'm asked if my baby "sleeps through the night". I sometimes almost feel bullied into answering yes to that. The real answer is "Never!". Thank goodness I've never fudged that never, but there's a cult out there that makes it sound like you've failed as a parent if your baby wakes up at night and wants food and comfort. It's true I'm very new to this and I know there's so much I'll need to learn about parenting, and I really don't want to come off like I have it all figured out, coz I don't. But I do feel bullied. Of course, advice is free and rampant: Feed her rice cereal before putting her to sleep; don't nurse her to sleep; don't pick her up immediately if she cries; and worse, let her cry it out. Ouch. Do people forget they are talking about a baby here?

I hope I'm not being yet another opinionated mommy, but some things I'm just not comfortable doing. I would never talk down to someone about their stance on anything, so is it too much to expect the same respect?

A word (sorry, several) about Pablum: I never knew of this product until after the SnuggleBug came and suddenly the whole world wanted me to feed her this, or rice cereal (are these two the same thing?) as a rite of passage to solid foods. Never mind that a nursing baby is much better off without any solids for at least six what I understand, the trademark name of Pablum was derived from the Latin pabulum, meaning foodstuff. Hmmm - is it just coincidence then that pablum means bland in English?

The other meaning for pablum is trite, naive, or simplistic ideas or writings; intellectual pap. Kinda like this post!

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