Saturday, December 18, 2010

Beware of Bears

I have this theory. Okay, it's not really my theory. It's something I heard from someone else years ago (when I was working at WIC, I think, but I'm honestly not sure). But the theory makes sense to me.

Babies don't want to be put down because they're afraid a bear might eat them.

Hear me out.

It's not at all advantageous for babies to be content with being left alone. In certain times and certain parts of the world, the babies left alone could very well be snatched by predators. MY baby has no clue that she's safe in our house. She just has a hard-wired instinct that being alone is very much NOT okay. And that's not a ridiculous idea for her to have. I would never leave her alone in the woods in bear country, because, you know, a bear really might eat her. To go along with this theory, is the other idea that it is distressing to hear a baby cry. Literally, on a physical level, it raises the stress your body experiences. This too, makes perfect sense. A baby's cry is SUPPOSED to be stressful. As parents, we're SUPPOSED to want it to stop (in some way that also preserves the baby, of course). So yes, I carry Secora around A LOT. Yes, I nurse her "on demand" (I think "on cue" is a more accurate term) and provide non-nutritive sucking after she eats. Yes, I let her sleep next to me (with appropriate safety precautions) as millions of babies all over the world have done for thousands of years. And no, she's not spoiled. Babies don't spoil, food does. Babies don't have any wants that are not also needs. They aren't crying for ice cream or a ride on the ferris wheel. They aren't screaming in the store for the latest new toy. They are asking for food, a clean bottom and safety in the only way they know how. These are all needs that deserve to be met.

It only takes about a year for them to realize that, in fact, they will NOT be eaten by a bear if they are in a different room at night. And a year is an exceedingly short time in this very sweet season of life.

So for now, I'll protect Secora from the bears.
After all, just this week, Sierra got wide-eyed in the meat section of the local grocery store and quietly asked, "Are those baby back ribs REALLY made from babies?!?" So maybe she's right about needing constant protection.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I think I understand these things more this time around. Feeding on demand with Conner became annoying, but now I relish the moments I have with Corbin at this age. I never thought the fear of being left was b/c of bears though, interesting idea.

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